According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Indexhomeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting.
The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:
Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?
The index examines that entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers at use a “’horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.”
Ken Johnson, Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors states:
"The U.S. as a whole is still in clear buy territory. The cities of Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York City are deep into buy territory."
Miami and Portland had been inching closer toward renting being the better option but have "pulled back from the edge." Johnson goes on to say, “that's a good sign for home pricing as it suggests prices are going to level off in these metro areas."
Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.
In school we all learned the Theory of Supply and Demand. When the demand for an item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 4.8-month supply. This is significantly lower than the 6 months inventory necessary for a normal market.
Every month NAR reports on the amount of buyers that are actually out in the market looking for homes, or foot traffic. As seen in the graph below, buyer demand this year has significantly surpassed the levels reached in 2014.
Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream home (if they even are able to find a home they wish to purchase).
Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale in the market, which will translate into a better pricing situation.
Many homeowners underestimate the amount of equity they currently have in their home. According to a recent Fannie Mae study, 37% of homeowners believe that they have more than 20% equity in their home. In reality69% of homeowners actually do!
Many homeowners who are undervaluing their home equity may feel trapped in their current home, which may be contributing to the lack of inventory in the market.
If you are debating selling your home this year, meet with a local real estate professional that can evaluate the equity you have in your home and the opportunities available in your market
Last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that housing inventory was down 4.7% from the same time last year and that the month’s inventory of homes for sale stood at 4.8 - far below the six months necessary for a normal housing market. Why is there such a shortage of inventory?
The recently released Homeowner Sentiment Survey suggests that the American homeowner may not be fully aware of the opportunities that exist in the current real estate market. The survey, conducted by Edelman Berland for HSF Affiliates, also reports that many homeowners would be placing their home up for sale if they were better informed about today’s market.
Since the housing industry is facing a shortage of housing inventory, the survey’s findings are crucially important.
The survey reported that 23% of current homeowners questioned are considering selling their home, but haven’t yet put it up for sale. That’s almost one out of every four houses. This is the inventory necessary to normalize the balance between “supply & demand” in the current market.
Why are potential sellers hesitating?
The survey shows that 55% of the 23% contemplating selling “would be more likely to put their homes on the market if given more information about the process”. What information do they need?
Here are a few of the challenges that potential sellers perceive to exist according to the survey along with what is actually happening in today’s market:
1. More than half (53%) don’t realize that “the number of homes for sale on the market is lower, giving buyers fewer choices”. As a matter of fact, only 6% of potential sellers believe that listing inventory has recently decreased.
In reality, as we mentioned before, inventory is down from last year.
2. 80% think credit scores make it difficult to get a loan.
In reality, though other studies have shown that many Americans believe that you need a credit score of at least 780 to get a loan when the actual median scores on closed loans are demonstratively lower than that.
3. 76% believe stricter lending requirements make it more difficult to get a mortgage.
4. 68% think that current homeowners are trapped into their mortgages and are unable to sell their current homes.
In reality, a recent Fannie Mae study revealed that 32% of Americans are dramatically underestimating the current equity in their homes. Many more can afford to make the move they desire.
What’s the answer?
Every family should feel confident when they are buying or selling a home. In order to feel confident they need to truly understand their options and opportunities. HSF Affiliates CEO Gino Blefari put it best when he addressed the findings of the survey:
“Education is essential in today’s market. The stage is set for real estate professionals to connect with consumers, learn their needs and concerns and determine the best way for sellers and buyers to capitalize on the opportunities that exist today.”
If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate.
Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.
There are 3 questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:
1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?
This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances.
A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
A place where you and your family feel safe
More space for you and your family
Control of that space
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.
2. Where are home values headed?
When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.
Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
Home values will appreciate by 4.1% in 2015.
The cumulative appreciation will be 18.1% by 2019.
Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 10.5% by 2019.
So what does that really mean for you and your family?
The chart below was made using the Home Price Expectation Survey’s predictions:
If the experts are right and you were to purchase a home by January 2016 for $250,000, that home would appreciate by over $34,000 over the next four years! As we have reported before, home ownership is one of the best ways to build your family’s wealth.
3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?
A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:
Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.