Even Miami lost ground. Spring selling season is a dud so far. And the banking crisis hasn’t even made it into the data yet. That’s still to come.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
Spring selling season is here, but so far, it’s a dud. In some markets, home prices fell from the prior month, despite spring selling season: Miami, Seattle, Las Vegas, Portland, New York City, Dallas, for example.
In other markets, prices ticked up from the prior month, but a lot less than a year ago, and so year-over-year, even in those markets, home prices either fell further, or the year-over-year gain was further reduced. This is based on today’s release of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index today.
For example, in the San Diego metro, house prices rose 1.5% from the prior month, but because that increase was a lot less than the increase in the same month last year, the year-over-year decline worsened to -4.1%, from -1.3% last month. San Diego’s year-over-year percentage change illustrates the principle of how the housing market is still worsening even with a seasonal uptick because that uptick was less than in the same period a year ago:
The effects of the banking crisis are not yet reflected in the housing market data. These home prices today are based on sales that closed in February and prior months, so the March fireworks at Silicon Valley Bank and at First Republic will make it into the housing data in future months.
Today’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for “February” is a three-month moving average of home sales that were entered into public records in December, January, and February.
The list of year-over-year price decliners keeps getting longer. Prices are now down in 8 of the 20 metros that the Case-Shiller Home Price Index covers, double the 4 metros a month ago (percentage in parentheses reflects the year-over-year change the prior month):
- San Francisco Bay Area: –10.0% (from -7.7%)
- Seattle metro: -9.3% (from -5.1%)
- San Diego metro: -4.1% (from -1.3%)
- Portland metro: -3.2% (from -0.5%)
- Las Vegas: -2.6% (from +0.4%)
- Phoenix: -2.1% (from -0.01%)
- Los Angeles: -1.3% (from +1.0%)
- Denver metro: -1.2% (from 0.0%)
Prices down the most from their respective peaks (ranging from May to July 2022) in these metros:
- Seattle: -16.5%
- San Francisco Bay Area: -16.3%
- Las Vegas: -10.9%
- Phoenix: -10.4%
- San Diego: -10.1%
- Denver: -8.8%
- Portland: -8.7%
- Dallas: -8.5%
- Los Angeles: -7.3%
- Boston: -5.6%
Methodology. The Case-Shiller Index uses the “sales pairs” method, comparing sales in the current month to when the same houses sold previously. The price changes are weighted based on how long ago the prior sale occurred, and adjustments are made for home improvements and other factors (methodology). This “sales pairs” method makes the Case-Shiller index a more reliable indicator than median price indices, but it lags months behind.
- Month to month: -0.3%.
- From the peak in May: -16.5%.
- Year over year: -9.3%.
And here are the year-over-year percentage changes of the Seattle index. The current year-over-year decline of 9.3%, came after the 5.1% and 1.8% declines in the prior two months:
The San Francisco Bay Area:
- Month to month: +1.0%.
- From the peak in May: -16.3%.
- Year over year: -10.0%.
And here are the year-over-year percentage changes of the index for the San Francisco Bay Area. This was the fourth month in a row of ever steeper year-over-year declines.
San Diego metro:
- Month to month: +1.5%.
- From the peak in May: -10.1%.
- Year over year: -4.1%.
- Month to month: +0.1%.
- From the peak in June: -10.4%.
- Year over year: -2.1%
Las Vegas metro:
- Month to month: -0.9%.
- From the peak in July: -10.9%.
- Year over year: -2.6%
And here are the year-over-year percentage changes of the index for Las Vegas. This was the month the index flipped to a year-over-year decline.
- Month to month: +0.8%.
- From the peak in May: -8.8%.
- Year over year: -1.2%.
- Month to month: -0.1%.
- From the peak in May: -8.7%.
- Year over year: -3.2%.
- Month to month: -0.02%.
- From the peak in June: -8.5%.
- Year over year: +2.0%
Los Angeles metro:
- Month to month: +1.0%.
- From the peak in May: -7.3%.
- Year over year: -1.3%.
- Month to month: +0.1%.
- From the peak in June: -5.6%.
- Year over year: +2.2%
Washington D.C. metro:
- Month to month: +0.4%.
- From the peak in June: -4.6%.
- Year over year: +1.1%
- Month to month: +0.1%.
- From peak in July: -4.7%
- Year over year: +7.7%
- Month to month: -0.4%
- From peak in July: -2.9%
- Year over year: +10.8%
And here are the year-over-year percentage changes of the index for Miami. You can see that the market is about six to eight months behind Seattle:
New York metro:
- Month to month: -0.3%.
- From peak in July: -2.6%
- Year over year: +3.6%
The Case-Shiller indices were set at 100 for the year 2000. So that Miami index at 397 points in February is up by 297% since 2000. This makes Miami the #1 most Splendid Housing Bubble in terms of price increases since 2000. Miami has moved into the #1 slot because its prices started to fall later than in the prior #1, Los Angeles and then San Diego.
The New York metro index value of 269 indicates that house price inflation since 2000 was 169%, and though this is still a huge amount of house price inflation in 22 years, the metro forms the tail end of this list of the Most Splendid Housing Bubbles. The remaining six markets in the Case Shiller index have experienced far less house price inflation since 2000, and don’t qualify for this list.
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Let’s see how many comments we will get on this article “This is not happening in my neighborhood” this time around…
haha who knows….in SoCal, selected areas still doesn’t “feel” like it…case in point, idiot neighbor upstairs just sold their condo for $515k in LBC area. 1100 sq ft, bought last year for $450k ish and now pending in a week…so I guess there are still plenty of FOMO buyers out there.. This place, I wouldn’t pay $300k for but I guess I am not the majority…
How’s your neighbor the idiot?
Young couples, bought it, thinking they got a great deal at the previous price, and probably got FOMO into buying. Spent quite a bit to fix it up and dealt with many issues, like bathroom pipe leak, incompetent management company and high HOA fees, crazy neighbors surrounding them (one with a howling dog and a bi-polar screaming sister and a hoarder as upstairs neighbor)
Given how much it sold for, I wouldn’t be surprised they barely broke even if not a slight loss…maybe not as big of an idiot compare to if they end up selling with a big loss, still dumb IMHO. Probably could’ve done more homework and avoided all the headaches just to break even. The place is well overpriced for what it is, guess they are just lucky it hasn’t crashed on them yet and got out while the getting is still good as they say…
Now the new owner that just bought…will have to see what kind of genius they are to buy this place with a $500 HOA and all you get is the gardener blowing dirt on your car in the garage or a clueless association that do absolutely nothing to prevent break in at the garage…good luck
That was a lovely advert for detached single family dwellings :-) Anything with HOA is trouble. If you are renting it’s OK because you can just move.
When Iwas looking at houses, I refused to consider any properties with an HOA for exactly this reason.
My HOA has worked out alright, approaching 30 years. Worst issue is incessant neighbors’ yammering about things like “all you get is the gardener blowing dirt on your car in the garage or a clueless association that do absolutely nothing to prevent break in at the garage.” Easy enough to tune it out. There are risks and trade-offs to consider, but I have got a new roof and deck, which wouldn’t have been cheap in a stand-alone, and were simply — done.
Murder in Chicago suburb over a leaf blower yesterday. I can only speculate that perhaps the perp remembers when the country didn’t have leaf blowers.
….”crazy neighbors surrounding them (one with a howling dog and a bi-polar screaming sister and a hoarder as upstairs neighbor)”
This is exactly why I left exclusive suburbia for a rural place with real decent folks. Had a very nice home, but the crazies gradually moved in to make it feel like a funny farm full of angry people out to one up each other. Simply becomes intolerable.
If they sold for $515K and bought at $450K, the gross might be $65K, but they most certainly got creamed on the transaction costs.
Just a back of the envelope…
Total realtor fee (sell side), around 6%: $31K
Buyer’s closing costs (conservative 2%): $9K
Seller’s closing costs (conservative 2%): $10K
Federal long-term capital gains (assuming they sold after 1 year): $2K
California income tax (Let’s say 10%): $1K
Total expenses before improvements: $53K
So, unless they spent $12K or less on improvements, then they are taking a loss on this “investment.” That’s why the neighbor is an idiot.
Actually bought for $442K 5/21 and now pending at $515k and I agree with you likely got creamed and best case scenario broke even. Although I doubt it consider how much they put into the place, if not money then definitely plenty of sweat/headache equity…
From what I see where I have been looking to buy a house for the last 3 years (got outbid once), there is not much of anything decent for sale and when there is there are many offers. In a nice suburb of Cook Cty, a bungalow listed at 575k for only 3 days had multiple offers, and more than 50 ppl showing up to a 2 day open house. With Cook Cty taxes and 20% down the monthly payment is 4,000. There are several rehab houses but most ppl can’t afford a gut rehab, so the flippers buy them, still. My agent (who I think is actually good) tells me its the flippers buying these houses to rehab. They will make money even in a downturn. Rehab 2,100 sq ft house for 350k that needs pretty much everything will sell for 800 or 900k. I dont see prices rising here, but do see them stable. There are so many ppl looking to buy a house. Chicago is very expensive, and the only reason why it is said to be cheap here is because they include the worst neighborhoods that are war zones. So if you can get a decent house in a nice neighborhood in the suburbs for 575k that’s a steal. But it really isn’t. 4k a month to purchase is the same as rent. There are just a lot of buyers and not enough for sale. So that is a fact with what is happening where Im at and prices just have not cone down enough with the rates. That same house would have been 550k 2 or 3 years ago w lower rates. Not sure what’s going on.
Western ‘burbs of Chicago here. We’re planning on downsizing to a condo from a smaller house originally built in the early 1950’s. Where we have pretty much replaced everything.
The condos I see for sale on Redfin etc. are S-L-O-W-L-Y dropping in price.
Haven’t even talked with a Realtor yet. But we hope our house is dropping slower than the condos. :-)
Thanks for your report!
Lisa, all that you wrote is so true, even here in Missouri. You can get a home here in St. Louis for 30k but you probably wouldn’t want to live there. Anything decent and not in a crime ridden area is MUCH, MUCH more expensive.
To be fair, those 30K homes are in North St. Louis, arguably one of the biggest murder capitals in the US.
Even if you live in a nice house in St. Louis, that won’t stop the hordes of crime and mayhem from busting through your gate, as the McCloskeys had the misfortune to found out. On top of that, the government has the horde’s back, not yours.
STL is such a beautiful city, but I’d never consider living their until they ditch the city income tax.
I inquired about a house that looks like a real bargain.. The owner died and left 4 long term residents in the house who don’t want to leave. Needles in the driveway. Caked with mold in the attic, although they did recently cover the entire roof with pond liner.. Can’t really tell from the photos. It’s near a place that has the highest murder rate in 2 counties. And on and on. The realtor ended up being very honest about the place after a few questions and begged me to come take a look. I think the neighbor will end up with the place at an even lower rate. Tons of people interested in it until they see it for themselves.
Looks really nice if you don’t look very closely. If anyone outbids the neighbor I sincerely hope it’s a company or fund that bids cash after just looking online or at algorithms. I think there are a few of them left.
Which suburbs are you looking at? I’ve noticed the same pattern near Arligton heights, mt prospect etc it went from no inventory to now more houses being listed, but with prices of400K+. Similar houses were listed at very least $50k less just few months ago. They also go contingent in couple days (its prime season though). It almost as it seems like all seller coordinated that latest spike or people migrated from California and brought the spike with them lol. I hope its just a “the last stand on Fiji”, but if it keeps going that way, i will focus on building a new house instead.
Have been looking in Evanston for 3 yrs. Very small radius. A client of mine told me houses were moving really fast back in February, in Arlington Heights. People will be moving here for the freshwater.
I’m originally from the Midwest mot that it matters I guess.
Every single homeowner seems to think renters pay $2k and up.
Where do they get that idea ? Sure there are plenty of places that expensive but I live in a moderately expensive midsize city in eastern Washington and my 1 BR is $825.
It’s on the lower end of the spectrum but I dont consider it cheap either.
Different matter: I bought a new home in 1986 near Dallas Texas. Lost money, bad luck: Savings&loan fiasco, oil industry tanked TX economy. Quite a nice home but those circumstances caused prices to tank considerably latec80s early 90s. I list 8% after 10 years.
But here’s my point: buyers in 1986 Dallas had a COMPLETELY different experience from the H*** that so many buyers the last few years have apparently gone thru.
Bidding wars ? Never crossed my mind.
Realtors called up prospective buyers !
The Dallas Morning News real estate section had pages and pages of new construction throughout north Dalkas and surrounding cities. Very affordable. I was an engineer making 35k and new homes priced $70k to $130k, most in the $80 to 110k range. So about 2.5 to 3 times my salary. My 1650 ft²
3/2/1 new home: paid $89.5k. Other homes in this Rowlett subdivision were $79k to $110k.
They actually built a lot of new homes then !
Okay I know there is currently a lot of homebuilding in CERTAIN cities, but apparently in many parts of the Northeast, South and Midwest they don’t build hardly any new homes.
Conspiracy of sorts ? It’d be nice if renters in those areas could force (how?) politcians/builders to build more housing… smaller size and more affordable as well.
Typos: Quite a nice home but those circumstances caused prices to tank considerably late 80s, early 90s. I lost 8% after 10 years. (89.5k to 82k… then 3% buyers RE commission ).
And the buyers RE agent got him a new roof (home only 10 years old but Dallas gets serious hail), new garage door opener and I threw in some $$ for any unforseens ( I had zero problems my 10 years except I needed to caulk a few windows, minor water leakage during windy hard rains, patched roof once, and garage door opener was starting to get a hitch in its giddy up… hah and I’m not a native Texan).
We need to quit building houses on productive farm land ,this is just stupidity
Average home price here seems to have gone down somewhere between 10 and 15% would be my guess and still has a ways to go. Sales are slow and inventory building up. People still asking too much for the average well paid family to buy. The medical and other professionals including the doctors are moving out of the area.
Phoenix_Ikki, you are so right!
I appreciate the spirit of Real Estate agents that comment here. Sales pending closure are down more than 30% in the West this year and RE agents earn on commissions of actual closed sales. If I had a business where revenues were down 30% and resultant profits by 50%, I would be very desperate and demotivated.
Many younger agents haven’t seen a single downturn and don’t know what’s lying ahead. What is simply ignorance for them can look like intentional misinformation to us. What else sales pitch can they use. Will an honest sales pitch like this work “Mortgage rates have made houses unaffordable and sellers have still not gotten this message. So any purchase close to listed price will result in underwater home soon. It’s not a good time to buy.”
Former (2004-2022) Princeton, NJ RE agent here with top brokerage. I gave it up last year when I could see this coming. I could not suffer this kind of downturn to my business. I needed to close 12-20 deals a year to survive, and I could tell that was just NOT gonna happen in this new environment (where people are stuck with their 3% mortgages) no matter what I did about it.
I ended up closing ten deals last year which was a minor miracle. But I gave it up in July and moved to Central America where I can live on my social security. There is just not enough business to go around.
So many people got their RE licenses during the lockdown and there is so little inventory that there is now an average of only THREE TRANSACTIONS per realtor per year in the US! Obviously that’s an average and an awful lot of realtors close NOTHING in a given year, but still, there’s just not enough churn to sustain those who profit by the churn.
Wolf needs to have a post/start a comment chain about relocating to Mexico/Central America/Ecuador/Colombia (basically anyplace with a cost of living <35% of the US)…tons of fascinating details that could be hashed out.
Or, we could start with training wheels and discuss relocation to Wichita, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, etc…basically anywhere with a cost of living <35% of NYC, SF, LA)
Pending is not sold. Wait until it closes to see the final sales price. They may not get 515k
Hopefully not, this POS place is not worth $515K…the fact that it sold in a week leads me to believe it sold for asking…let’s see how much after it’s listed as SOLD on Zillow…
Seems like there’s no shortage of suckers in SoCal..
Meanwhile … March new house sales BOOMING, to use the opposite expletives in most housing articles and comments…
I’m getting really tired of this dumb stuff (“new house sales BOOMING”) with which you (and others) are hyping real estate. In know that RE is how you make your living, and part of how you make your living with RE is hyping RE, and I respect that. But here are new house sales, and check and see to what extent they’re “booming,” and this is occurring as homebuilders, the pros, are making massive price cuts and mortgage-rate buydowns to stimulate sales:
Wolf, I think he was being sarcastic and commenting on the dishonest propaganda of these articles still pushing sunshine… maybe…
Yeah, every house in every real estate market in every location in the USA is falling in price and not one is selling for over asking price.
The reporting (dec, Jan, feb) is a few months behind what’s actually happening in San Diego and other socal areas. Yes, things are down year over year and down from all time highs, but the more recent observations show were quickly coming off the recent lows, and it’s likely due to extremely limited inventory. The monthly increases are much higher than the dated 1.5% figure of a few months ago, and have been steadily increasing since then. I’ve included a link to a San Diego Union Tribune article, but it’s most likely pay walled.
An excerpt of note is:
“Here’s how the different home types fared in March:
Resale single-family: Median of $880,000 with 1,538 sales, up from $850,000 last month. Down from its peak of $950,000 in April 2022.
Resale condo: Median of $650,000, with 813 sales, up from $625,000 last month. Down from its peak of $663,000 in May 2022.
Newly built: Median of $801,000 with 151 sales, down [up] from $777,000 last month. This figure combines single-family homes, townhouses and condos. It is down from the peak of $890,500 in August 2022.”
The most splendid reports for March April and May are likely going to be full of all sorts of contrary surprises.
Inventory of homes for sale has been decreasing this year in my town and subdivision. I keep track of this on a month to month basis and I was expecting inventory to increase as we got into the spring selling season. Possibilities:
1) Those who were planning on selling to “cash out” maybe realized this is not the time and are holding back. My question is: When is FOMO going to hit?
2) Those who bought in the last 2-3 years are not willing to give up their cheap payments due to the need of buying another home (interest rates too high and prices too high means cash flow would take a hit) or rent would be too high while they “sit this one out” and wait for the market to come back down.
Overall, inventory as a whole has been increasing, but certain areas seem to still have low inventory. No, the numbers don’t show there is a housing shortage. But it seems like sellers are being more cautious at the moment. Lots of homes have been put on the market, taken off, listed for rent, taken off, re-listed lower and so on. A few homes have been listed, taken off the market, remodeled, and re-listed higher and they still sit.
Buyers don’t seem interested in buying at these prices and sellers don’t seem interested in selling for lower prices. When will FOMO hit on the seller’s side, especially those with multiple properties?
I got a robocall asking me if I wanna sell a property… because demand is high, supply is tight, the best time to get on the market is now, and blah blah blah.
Having to spam that message out there speaks for itself!
I get calls like that every week and label them as Spam. But they keep coming!
I also still get mailings from Opendoor, Redfin and others I have never heard of asking if I want to sell my house.
I got a real person call me up to ask if I needed roofing work. He used my real name. I asked how he got my number. He lied and said he got it from a neighbor. I told him no neighbor knows my phone number. I told hm he lied and to try again Then he said he got it from public records. OOps, another lie. I have an unlisted number. Then I told him why should I hire you if you’ve already led twice?? Then I told him to get lost and hung up on him.
Its insanity that thats legal in the US.
why answer phone calls you don’t recognize? Seriously that is what voicemail is for.
If for some reason you must answer, you made it worse by confirming your name to the caller.
AGREE TOTALLY RT!!
Because of some ”glitch” in my latest phone, now an antique because it’s 5+ years old,,,, my ID does not appear to either callers or those I call, or those who call me…
WAS worried for a while until I realized: NO SPAM calls, and don’t have any worries about folks who I actually want to talk to.
They, in this case the folks I want to talk to , must first text me, then, when I come to where the phone is parked pretty much 24/7,,, and the text alert is doing its thing, I text back and then call…
Of course it is ”disconcerting” to some fond folks who want me to fix it.
NOT so sure I want to do that with the peace and quiet of NO spam, etc…
Course, as an old guy whose first memory of ”phone” was the one on the wall with a corded ear piece- had to hold it up to ear to hear, and speak into the phone on the wall,, LOL – and a totally ”party line” where ALL the neighbors could, and some damn shore DID listen in to everyone’s calls…
Everyone wants to think that Miami is different what with all the new money arriving from NYC…but if you really drill down there are countless neighborhoods where prices are already down 40 or 50 percent. Miami has always been a low-income city and a few hedge funds relocating there isn’t going to change that. I saw one house that last sold for 2 million in 2010 and now asking 25 million. But all it takes is one oligarch
If so many people are leaving northeast and bidding up FL and southeast, why’s northeast is holding up nicely?
Someone’s a lion. I think it’s the realtor.
I live in Delray Beach. It’s not different. What happened was a lot of people moved down to Florida during the pandemic and assumed their WFH jobs were permanent. These were people making NY finance salaries, and they bid prices up. Now I’m seeing a lot of them move back to New York (look at houses on Zillow that were purchased in 2020 or 2021 and are now on the market), or take jobs here for much less money. It was never sustainable, and anybody who thought Citadel moving was going to materially impact a metro area with 6 million people was deluding himself.
Brickell, Wynnwood, and to some degree downtown Fort Lauderdale off Las Olas are still holding up, but the rest is collapsing. I’m seeing rental units on the market forever, something that didn’t happen at all the past two or three years.
Where in miami are house prices down 40 to 50 percent? As a Miami local I don’t see any evidence of a drop as steep as you are referring to. You must be referring to prices that were astronomic (and unreasonable) merely falling back to sky high.
Floriduh is a great place to visit,not live high humidity bugs ,alligators and snakes it was mostly SWAMP land . And it will be that in future .
AGREE TOTALLY small bug!!!
Having been a war baby born during the last hurricane to hit SRQ in ’44, I really and truly do NOT understand why otherwise apparently rational folks actually CHOOSE to live in FL.
Between the ”climate” that has not changed much in spite of the HUGE amount of AC pumping TONS of HEAT into every concentration of folks, PLUS the already almost totally DEGRADED ecosphere here, it seems to me that any and every rational person can and will find many other places, such as SoCal a much better place to live.
Of course that summary ignores the ”social issues” that our current crop of antique politicians continue to ignore…
Just one more reason to VOTE to ELECT younger folks who at least appear to have SOME awareness of the environmental degradation WE PEEDONs deal with every day while they swish by in their mega sedans and private planes, etc.
1 – Florida’s oceans are actually nice and warm, unlike California.
2 – ” SoCal a much better place to live” – San Diego is one of biggest real estate bubbles (see article title), so many would probably like to live there, but cannot afford.
I wish more people thought the way you did and would leave.
Few years ago I got talking briefly to an older women in a grocery store here in Eastern Washington. She lived for
awhile in Kansas.
Mind you, I’m from humid Ohio and lived in super humid New Jersey for 3 years.
Anyhow she thought the Kansas summer was unbelievably unbearable between the heat and the humidity.
Something about getting out of the shower for a few minutes only to need another one.
I found her recollection of the experience quite amusing.
Heck I figure she wouldn’t survive a spring in Florida nevermind the
Prices are still shockingly high. Considering where interest rates, I’m surprised there’s any movement in any of these markets. Lots of last gaspers, I guess. Saw the same flagrant innumeracy in 2009.
Sometimes I wish I lived in one of those cities attached to the charts to see such a tremendous home equity increase. But I would want to have bought the past 2 or 3 years.
I have a friend who moved to Phoenix 7 or 8 years ago. His home equity has increased at least 400k. He probably will retire sooner than later because of the gains and move back to a midwestern city to retire with those HE gains.
They think they’re gonna grab a deal and then refinance once the free money comes back. The free money isn’t coming back, though.
We are not seeing any slow down in Northern Virginia. Houses are selling in days at more than the asking price in many cases. New builders are going crazy and increasing prices every month with no end in sight.
That’s why I give you some actual data so you don’t have to rely on “selling in days” and “more than asking prices” and “going crazy” and “with no end in sight.”
In addition to the data above, to get greater detail, I’m also now looking at the Bright MLS Mid-Atlantic report for March, for Northern Virginia/Washington Metro (Frederick, Loudoun, Montgomery, Fairfax, Arlington, DC, and Prince George), in March:
Sales -29% yoy
Median price: -2.0% yoy
New pending: -28% yoy
Median days on the market: +3 days yoy
Active listings: +19.4% yoy
Showings: -27.9% yoy
Thanks WR for your energy and enthusiastic to reply and refute ‘not in my neighborhood’ people 😀
The Delusion is deep in that one (previous post) master Yoda!
Trolls cannot trick the wolfman!
Clap for the Wolfman
He gon’ rate your record high
Clap for the Wolfman
You gon’ dig him ’til the day you die…
Your assessment is what I’m seeing as this spring being a dud. Lower priced homes are moving fast but the number of sales are way down from a year ago. This fall and winter will be interesting?
I don’t think it will be interesting. I think it will be quite boring.
People forget the seasonal effect. Yes the sales and the prices are a little higher than Christmas holiday days, BUUUT, its is lower Y-O-Y. I don’t want to compare this market with 2008, but if you take a look at 2007-2012 period, every selling season prices were a little higher and the dropped more down in winter. Lower Y-O-Y for many years.
Some people that have FOMO, still want to jump in thinking the nightmare is over.
As Wolf said nothing goes to hell in straight line;)
The city of Washington DC is not showing any price drops that I can see. There are so few listings that once a property is listed it is gone. Sleazebag realtors are even putting up signs saying “Gone” once they get a contract on an overpriced house.
Currently selling rental in Arlington / Alexandria not too far from DCA. Lowest per sqft price compared to comps but no bites. 1200+ Zillow views 80 saves in 8 days. 47 attendance at 2 open house. No bids. Realtor was mad that we listed so low but we are moving and not fighting to get “top dollar”. Not certain what’s up. Guess we are all used to the 2021 bidding wars.
I have a friend selling a 650k house in Upper Marlboro for 100k under what the current talking heads think she could sell it for, and like you, she’s getting all sorts of realtor flak. You and she are the smart ones though, imo: see the trend, front-run the trend. Better that than be sitting with a property you can’t sell once prices overcorrect downward.
You need glasses, then.
Washington DC metro, March MLS report. All stats YoY comparison to March 2022:
New Pending sales -28.2%
New Listings -35%
Median Days on Market +3 days
Closed Sales -29.3%
Median Sales Price -2%
Active Listings +19.4%
Months of Supply +64.2%
Home Demand Index -30.8%
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Sorry, SwampCreature, that post came across more strongly than I intended. The March numbers clearly show the trend, and that trend is that either the prices are setting up for a big decline, or Days on Market is set for a big increase….which will lead to the former eventually.
DC is slowing too, just like everywhere else.
It’s the “no end in sight” part that makes me laugh; if you can’t see an end to the bubble you are blind to more macro forces than I can count on fingers and toes. Even the bloated government-workers’-filled NVa corridor isn’t immune.
If I understand these things correctly – and I possibly may not – listings being up while showings are down tells you roughly where we are in the “sellers haven’t relented” story. The moment that “Median Days on Market” rises closer to, say, 20 days or so, things get interesting.
I have a recent post elsewhere describing how my homebuying experience in 1986 WAS VERY different from the buyers experiences the last few years.
(Search “Randy” if interested).
But then again my selling experience was also DRASTICALLY different than the last few years.
1. Bought nice new home $89k in 1986
2. 10 years later: Went with realtor for 3 to 4 months Spring, 1996 to sell. Started 90k, inched down to $86k or so. Only a couple showings per MONTH.
3. Gave up or realtor…she seemed like a good realtor but hardly any showings
4. June: Read up on FSBO and put out signs, 5 line ad in Dallas Morning News. $85k or so.
5. Very few calls… DFW at that time had 3 to 4M people … actually wondered and still do if my inbound calls were diverted or deleted.
6. Summer … a few showings but not many.
One potential buyer talks about very wierd stuff unrelated to my house. Maybe 2 or 3 showings for June, July. Ad running in Dallas Morning News the entire time.
Still only one or two calls a week.
7. Price now at 82.5k. Realtor brings buyer around. Sale. She negotiated a new roof (my insurance company covered that), new garage door opener, and I threw in a little $$ for any unforseens.
Probably on the market 6 months.
Bought $89k, sold $82.5k, 3% buyers agent commission => net $79.5k.
Internet was new… I looked at comparable homes in the area… most were listed in the 90s if my memory is right. My home was in good condition. The carpet looked like it was new. Single person, almost never had anyone over, no pets.
My sellers experience was 180 degrees different from what I’ve read about the last few years. I have a minority last name though that probably wasn’t an issue, but one never knows.
When you get hardly any inquiries…ad in the DMN for 3 months… you do begin to wonder if the CIA might be messing with you. Oh i certainly put my home in a good light in the ad. Who knows.
When I consider what I went thru to sell my home in 96, sure it wasn’t torture, but it was painful… not only do I not have any love for current sellers… I have a visceral dislike for many of them. Attitudes in SoCal, Florida especially but kind of in general across the country.
And I’m not in the market to buy now.
I begrudge the easy $ homebuyers the last 10 years have made. You betcha.
Your experience is unknown to today’s young people. That’s why I think their turn to experience this is coming. There is no market that always grows. There comes a time when he will go down. The mass buys at peaks and sells at the bottom
Wife and I bought our first home in ’04 for $96k. We paid a mortgage payment at closing to walk(sold for $85k). That was 2015. Once bitten twice shy. I’m not going to be a sucker twice.
I just saw another article that is supposed to be reporting on the same data but they say there was surprise bounce in the housing market. Let the good times roll.
With that said it does seems to be an asking price bounce in the market around here lately. I am not sure what is going on with that. I did a little investigating and seems that quite a few houses that have sold recently have all been instantly listed on AirBnB. I am curious how that will work out for them, given how empty the 5 or so AirBnBs I walk past daily seem to be. I will add I live mid size city which in my opinion has little draw for tourists outside of a larger regional hospital.
Starting to see small clusters of AirBnBs being listed as furnished long term rentals, but their monthly asking prices are still exorbitant.
I was going to book a place in Washington near the Columbia for a couple days. The cleaning and other fees added 100/night. Cheaper to stay in a hotel. Not sure what these landlords are thinking.
Thats one of the reasons I don’t stay in airbnb.
Stayed in Idaho springs Colorado ,ARBNB had to clean it ourselves . Never again they can pound sand,way overpriced.
If the economy remains strong, and people have money to spend, then these AirBnBs would stay strong and thus home prices would stay strong or go down slow.
If the economy tumbles, lay offs happen then it’d be a different story.
It’s definitely an interesting story.
I think layoffs have just gotten started.
I just don’t think this can continue. Every single person I am friends with who is making 6 figures has slowed down their spending. We didn’t take a Spring vacation and have refused to buy a second car. We need to buy a house but that has to be before my kid is a freshman in HS next year. Hopefully by then things won’t be so crazy. Who knows, I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime. 2008 seems like a nothing burger
Airbnb’s aren’t staying strong though. Super Bowl in Phoenix was an example.
Seeing the tops form on those graphs brings a faint glimmer of hope to my bleak, shriveled heart.
Hopefully next year something comes into reach so I can stop being a rent refugee.
Prices are “normalizing,” I guess, toward more reasonable affordability, hopefully. But look at that variability in those charts. It’s a big, illiquid asset and trade, and hard to “time it” since 2000. As with other assets that vary this much (stocks), there will never be an obvious steady perfect time to buy (or sell. In hindsight, it worked out for me (30 years’ ownership by now). I stayed steady and didn’t extract cash or anyting like that. Each variable like price or inflation changing, helps and hurts someone (like, debtor or creditor). ZIRP and now inflation have helped me as a debtor. That’s one reason I don’t vent too much paranoia about the Fed and banks. I would say “the system” has treated me not too badly.
Supposedly more apartments are being built now than anytime since the 70s so maybe rents will stabilize or even go down in a few locations.
Of course our population has gone up considerably since the 70s which begs the question: why has it taken 50 years ?
Around here, well priced homes still sell within a week. There’s a lot of pent up demand waiting for either prices or mortgage rates to drop.
If people need to start selling/downsizing/foreclosing it could trigger a big slip in the market.
American cities seem to be on track for a correction, but here in Canada, the real estate prices are doing a dead cat bounce.
There are bidding wars and rumours of bidding wars right now in Canadian real estate. It’s a mess.
I’ve done a social experiment about the labour market. I applied for the Amazon warehouse jobs. Indeed shows at least 8,000+ applicants and on ZipRecruiter the job ended before the day ended.
Who is buying Canadian real estate at the crazy prices?
Edit: I changed my username because of those hosers across Alaska appropriating the last letter of the alphabet.
I’ve heard that your government is now doing things to prop up the market. Sad if it’s true. It would be no different than an admission that the market can’t survive on its own. I’ve always adored Canada. Grew up on the great lakes, loved going across to Ontario. I wish you well.
BILD reports a steep decline in new home sales in March, when only 1,277 homes were purchased region-wide. That marks a staggering 70 per cent year-over-year decline, falling 65 per cent below the ten-year average for March sales based on data from Altus Group.
Condominium apartments accounted for most of the inventory sold in March at just shy of 900 units, down 73 per cent year-over-year and 63 per cent below the ten-year average for the month. Only 384 single-family home sales were recorded last month, a 57 per cent decline from last year and 67 per cent below the ten-year average.
You in the US and Canada stop watching the prices and let them crash. Then shop on sale. This will take a long time. Have patience
It concerns Toronto, but it will be the same for the others cities in us and Canada.
>>You in the US and Canada stop watching the prices and let them crash. Then shop on sale. This will take a long time. Have patience
The biggest question is what time horizon we are looking at here.
If we are talking 10+ years, I’d argue that it is VERY bad, way worse people can realize now.
Imagine the whole cohort of people “missing” their 30-40 childless in rented apartments just patiently waiting for the craze to pass. By the time they are ready for kids, have a house they so much waited for, they may not even want to get into it.
I don’t know if it it good or bad, but that’s almost exactly how the Idiocracy movie started lol.
Like I kept saying about even more severe events like wars or political turmoils, one has to always keep in mind that 100 years from now this turbulent period may well deserve just a small chapter in a history book, while for people living in it now it can be pretty much their whole life being shaped by it.
I wonder how people lived in rent until 2020. What has changed that now suddenly in 3 years everyone rushed to buy. Until a few years ago, there were no auctions and hysterical purchases. What changed!?!
You will say inflation has changed. Yes it is high but from 2015 until now housing inflation rose every year until 2020 when it took off. And then there was no such hysteria about real estate. If so, do you think now is the time to buy? I do not think. And if I have to, I’ll live in rent for another 10 years. At some point this bubble will deflate, as all balloons deflate sooner or later. Therefore, patience is the winning move.
If so inclined search “Randy” in these comments for my drastically different buyer/seller experience of the 80s, 90s versus last few years.
“There are bidding wars and rumours of bidding wars right now in Canadian real estate. It’s a mess.”
Doubtful. Rumours lol
“Hurry, BUY NOW!!!”
-Every Realtor™ Ever
Warren Buffett said, “Don’t ask a barber if you need a haircut.”
Relying to IN above about: Imagine the whole cohort of people “missing” their 30-40 childless in rented apartments just patiently waiting for the craze to pass.
Let me tell you out of my own experience: It is perfectly fine to raise kids in a rented home / apartment.
Owning home ownership for raising kids is hyped up by real estate lobby to extract $$ from people’s pocket.
In my area, southwestern Ontario with view to the US, sales picked up in the last month.
Houses below 400 k sell fast even if hundred years old, small and not renovated in the last 50 years.
For expensive houses bids are rare and they sell slow if at all.
It’s very much worth noting that it took another 4-5 years for house prices to stop declining once the Fed actually started lowering rates prior to the Great Financial Crisis really gathering steam.
This market is NOT the stonk mkt where prices turn on a dime.
As the current economy continues to weaken, and eventually break (you all know it’s coming… again), only then will the Fed stop raising rates and begin QE again. But at that point it’ll be too late and we’ll slide into the abyss again.
Keep your powder dry and await the asset fire-sales with bated breath.
Rightly said, it’d be a slow moving process.
Last HB, HB12 took 5 years to find its bottom.
There won’t be a housing bust of the (national) level of 08/09+ this time around. Largely due to that prior bust resulting in too low and slow growth from 2007 to pre-2021. Now there are pockets of overpriced housing (primarily in Cali/Florida) but most markets are still very affordable. This is especially the case when compared globally.
Most markets are not very affordable. Right? Especially not with current rates.
The condo I’m living in was purchased 6 years ago with a monthly payment of 1.9k. Someone coming in today, at today’s estimated price and rates would have a monthly payment of 3.4k.
Dude, that’s approaching double. In 6 years.
That’s not very affordable. It’s not even regular affordable. The vast majority of people in seemingly the vast majority of US cities couldn’t comfortably afford their own house if they had to buy it today.
Price increase does not equal unaffordable. Home price to income ratios are key (and of course income vs payments).
Those ratios suggest US housing is more affordable after the recent run-up vs:
Canada (by a factor of about 2x)
Virtually all of Europe
Of course virtually all advanced economies in Asia (not saying much)
While real estate markets are regional / national, you can still make these comparisons.
Pockets of the US are indeed unaffordable (eg California) – that is, income-adjusted they look closer to Northern Europe (though still cheap vs Canada).
But affordability in the US is still very good. Combined with lack of widespread fraud, ARM usage, and multi-home private speculative (domestic) investment ala 2005-2007… there will be no collapse.
I would post the address if Wolf would let me, but I bought a house in Austin in 78731 on nearly an acre of land for 450K in 2013. That same house is now Zestimated at about 1.5 million.
Yes, the new owners did a bit of remodeling but rather than preserving what was an interesting architectural work, they tried to make it look like a Hilton Garden Inn
Truth, how do you explain the current rate of decline, which is much faster than what occurred during HB1?
Ridiculous comparison in the above post between the US and those even bigger bubble countries.
Longer term, rates are destined to “blow out” since the interest rate cycle dating from 1981 almost certainly turned in 2020. This is just the beginning of a multi-decade rise in rates, like the last one from the 1940’s to 1981. The fundamentals are also far worse, credit quality and credit standards are in the gutter, and the USD is a lot more likely to lose a lot of value versus the currencies that will matter most. E.g., the currencies of the countries which actually produce real stuff and aren’t based upon services with inflated wages which are likely to be a lot less competitive in the future.
“Those ratios suggest US housing is more affordable after the recent run-up vs:
Canada (by a factor of about 2x)
Virtually all of Europe
Of course virtually all advanced economies in Asia (not saying much)”
I am so tired of people just putting mindless info out there.
You would not talk how in EU, health care and collage education, etc is free/affordable so they don’t have to spend literally tens of thousand and thousands of their income annually on these things. Yes housing is more expensive there but there are lot of other things that are free/less expensive there which cost tens of thousands annually in US.
And the reason why you dont talk about it, is cause you dont know jack sh*t. You just read some sh*t some where, and start posting it in other websites as it suites your agenda.
You are trying to compare apple and oranges. Completely different dynamic, income, expense, etc.
Similar thing with Asia too.
“Price increase does not equal unaffordable. Home price to income ratios are key.”
Of course it’s key. Which is why I showed the mortgage payment figures doubling. Unless you think incomes for americans have also nearly doubled in the same six years?
Going back to this condo I’m sitting in right now:
In 2017, this condo would’ve cost 28.5% of the city’s median gross income, not including hoa fees, utilities, etc.
In 2023, that jumps to 45%!! After hoa and other housing-related expenses, you’re talking 50+ percent of GROSS income for the median earner. This is not some luxury high-rise. This is a 120 year old co-op with outdated central heat, no in-unit laundry, no dedicated parking… See where I’m going with this?
If we assume the median wage earner is taking home 70% of pay, after all deductions, retirement, taxes, etc, then that leaves a monthly budget of less than $1500 for everything else. Food, drink, car, fuel, insurance, pet costs, home maintenance, travel, entertainment. And remember, all that stuff now costs 15-20% higher than it used to.
No matter how you cut it, it’s a big change in financial feasibility, and hence, a big reduction in affordability.
@Zest I wish there were thumbs up here. I’d give you a few dozen. It stymies me how people are continuing to afford what inflation has wrought. Rents are just as obscene. How can this continue? Even if inflation were to come to a standstill, the level we’re at now is unaffordable. Is everyone just living on credit? And what happens if the BRICs take away some of the USD’s reserve currency status? All of this is concerning.
Those citing other attributes in those markets – consider how they diverse they are. Also, consider tax rates and mortgage interest treatment deductibility. Both of those elements favor the US market’s affordability (lower income taxes and reduction in actual cost to borrower).
I get what your saying but current rates are still good historical rates. Housing prices need to drop to be considered affordable.
I think we will be lucky to ever get below 5% range again. The problem you get when Mortgage rates drop below 5% is that banks do not want to hold those loans. The GSEs are the only buyers of mortgages that low.
How far can house prices drop? Construction costs are up over 20% compared to 3 years ago and up 25% over 5 years. So a 400k house 5 years ago costs 500k now. Not many peoples salaries have increased 25% but inflation is sticky and don’t count on construction costs to go down. The floor under housing is what it costs for the land and the construction costs.
So the solution to build more $400k home again. But the builders need to reduce the size of the house to 25%. Instead of 4 bedrooms they need to build 3 bedrooms. etc.
To Truth below:
So if murder rates are up everywhere … wherever its up the least is pretty darn good, eh ?
If inflation is quite high most countries, if its only up say 7% in your country you should feel privileged. Hey you got all of 10 years before prices double.
Username does not check out. Sounds more like used house salesman truth.
“There won’t be a housing bust of the (national) level of 08/09+ this time around. Largely due to that prior bust resulting in too low and slow growth from 2007 to pre-2021… most markets are still very affordable.”
That doesn’t make any sense at all. If most markets are still affordable, how do you explain sales tanking everywhere, like in the last bastion of east-coast hope, Miami. Sales have cratered 41% YoY there now. Guess where prices are soon to follow. Shouldn’t sales continue unabated if prices were still affordable, as opposed to being almost halved?
The Everything Bubble is far larger than anything seen during the GFC, so how you’re extrapolating that this particular bust won’t be as bad as that one seems like wishful thinking. Or possibly untruth.
“There won’t be a housing bust of the (national) level of 08/09+ this time around. ”
I thought the same in 2008 :-).
Affordability trumps all.
It is possible, there may not be any crash of there are no lay offs, all get big pay hike and rates go down big time. I see none of these happening.
Lol not to that extend the income haven’t increased. If that was the case, we wouldn’t have people being stuck in starter homes.
As Zest posted – $1,900 to 3,400 would mean salaries should have doubled in last 6 years.
They haven’t and in fact, despite highest salary increases in last three years, those are still behind inflation so do the math. Now, i’m also going to bet that average rent in that area is below $3,400…
“Affordable” I feel like you don’t know the meaning of that word…
There is a “Housing Affordability Index.”
Wanna guess what the Housing Affordability Index shows?
*Spoiler* it ain’t good :P
“Housing affordability falls to record low in Q4 2022” says:
“Just 38.1 percent of homes sold during the fourth quarter of 2022 were affordable to families earning a typical income, down from 56.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.”
I agree with you, I’m in your team.
I work in a DC area Land Records office. Volume is still massively down the past several months and not getting any better. I’m surprised that the drop is only 29% year over year myself for the region. Thanks for the stats Wolf, informative as always.
This data is lagging by a couple of months. You’re current situation will reflect a report in about another 60 days or so(dont recall the exact time period).
Prices are declining but i still see some people fomoing. I can not understand why. Are they being mislead into fomoing by realtors?
I think it’s because of the “low inventory” narrative. People need to live somewhere and they don’t want to rent. There’s just a lot of ppl who want a house to buy. But the more affordable houses in high tax areas have very high monthly payments. I don’t know how there’s so many bidders on the most affordable houses. How the heck are avg income folks going to pay for that with all the other expenses? It absolutely cannot last.
My only idea is that they are betting on rates going back to 3% shortly (which is a Stupid gamble), hence lowering their monthly payment. Otherwise, i can’t make heads and tail from this phenomenon.
Rates are going back down is exactly what the realtors are selling to naive young millenial buyers.
Mortgage brokers running ads saying “you can refinance for free with us next year when rates drop” is fanning the flames of hopes that rates will be 3 or 4% soon. I personally know someone who purchased a house banking on refinancing in a year, not a good situation.
An article in “Fortune” magazine today said the housing correction is over due to a modest month over month increase in sales volume and price. They said this based on one data point with zero context. This kind of lazy “journalism” is why. People believe what they read and most of what people read these days is only half of the truth. And that’s being generous.
Healthcare worker forums are starting to uptick with posts warning travel RNs where not to work due to dangerously low staffing and gross inaffordability of local housing/rents. Some agencies do cover housing costs but not all and even if they do, the local staff shortage is akin to holding your license over a fire. Travel nurses are doing the math and starting to refuse assignments.
Hospitals have been leaning heavily on highly paid travelers due to staff nurses leaving over burnout, local inaffordability and poor staffing post pandemic. Given healthcare is one of the top employment industries particularly for women, when the travelers making $150+ an hour won’t accept an assignment bc its too expensive to rent and/or facility too understaffed, that’s a huge red flag. Especially in more rural areas where the hospital is the main employer and anchor of local economy.
With Boomers retiring and downsizing, they’re not going to want to move to an area with a collapsing healthcare system. And that’s just one industry that affects people’s downsizing/relocation decisions. Education is its own ball of wax, and so on. Nothing’s feeling sustainable for the working class these days.
I heard the same thing.
I guess we need to bring in some H1B nurses from other countries like we do with Tech workers.
I am sure we can get a lot from India and China.
ru82, the Phillipines. Huge exporter of travel RNs to the US.
Amen. This is why I switched my specialty to something that won’t put my license on the line. They can bring in whomever from whatever country to work the ER. By law is supposed to be a 4:1 ratio there. It’s more like 7:1. RNS are bailing unsafe depts in droves.
The avg or below income folks will have to rent. The new normal. If you in the lower 1/3 quartile of income, the odds of ever owning a home are dropping.
Low-income homeowners comprised a smaller fraction of all homeowners in 2020, at just 27.2%, down from 38.1% in 2010.
That was in 2020. The 27% is now lower.
My apartment size interior is 570 ft²
Not too big, not to small. Have balcony, storage unit. Lower utilities than much bigger home.
I can’t buy a home this small.
Not even close.
Most homes are 2000 to 4000 ft².
Mortgages $2k and up for that.
I’m better off buying stocks, CDs than buying a home. That has been my experience for 32 years.
Owned a home for 10 years…search “Randy”
for my buy/sell experience in the 80s, 90s.
Much better buy experience vs. today’s buyer (though eventually lost money on my “investment”), much worse sell experience vs. 2 or 3 years ago seller and probably today’s seller even.
I think there’s a lot of cash sloshing around in the system…some from stocks, some from Boomer parents…my daughter and her partner FOMO’d on basically an overpriced fixer thanks to a hefty down payment from said Boomer parents, resulting in a monthly mortgage payment 40% lower than current rent, which wad going up, and for now they’re enjoying fixing up their own place. I was happy to dump some cash into it, although I squawk at the price….what else was I going to do with it? Save for my future….
Please come east asap. Pouring concrete diy to make more room in house for babyyy
-10 to 20% needed for affordability
Wolf/others – how long do you think it will take to erase pandemic gains?
My guess is 2 years or so.
Last housing bubble, it took 5 years or so to find its bottom.
This time, if no huge lay offs happen, may be home prices may never crash but affordability is terrible atm.
Here in the Coachella Valley there is limited inventory on the market. Prices have skyrocketed here due to the work from home movement as well as the prevalence of investors buying SFRs for short term rentals. Prices in middle class neighborhoods have almost doubled over the past 4 years. I moved back here last year, and hope that prices start dropping soon so it will be possible to stop renting and that I can finally purchase a house.
I hope all the investors who took opportunities away from actual families get crushed
All depends on people ability to vacation.
This year, it’s $500 the ticket for one weekend of Coachella festival. People ready to put this kind of money on a festival don’t mind the AirBnb nightly price, it’s all going to ballooning credit card debts anyway..
Depends on how miserable you can keep the working public, since only truly miserable people seek a vacation from their regular doings.
Ticketmaster and other ticketing outlets charge well over $100 in additional fees for an event like this so the actual cost of those Coachella tickets were closer to $650. Over $100 in fees alone! Welcome to late stage capitalism.
Grasshoppers dance in the sunshine, since ancient times. Ants are thrifty and save. These are perennial and eternal. Tell the Coachella story to the kids heedlessly racking up debt on the credit card in 2004, the folks at parties talking big plans in 2004 or 1928. But since 2008, Uncle Fed deepened this thinking (more kindling piled up for the conflagration) by bailing everybody out (VERY quickly in 2020). But one day that cupboard is dry. And on that day, other stuff breaks too. Like 1939.
I think it depends on the price points in the Coachella Valley. Very little available that’s in an affordable range. But there are ton of Palm Springs luxury homes on the market between $1M-3M. Not sure if they are selling many of them.
Isn’t the sub-story here that some smaller and/or warmer cities are attracting disproportionately more domestic migrants than the largest property markets have in the past, and therefore are experiencing more consistent housing demand and stable property values?
This appears to be the case in the hood where my pup and I walk every day in the saintly part of TPA bay area CE…
Houses on our particular block, all w exact same footprint when built in 1950 were selling for about $100/SF in 2015-6, and are now holding at about $350-400 IF livable; ”tearer downers” now going for far less, and newly rehabbed more, and new construction more yet, up to the $500/SF range.
There has been some slight decrease in older house last few months, but nice hood, and most stuff goes pending first week, closes in 30-60 days.
Traditionally undesirable markets are seeing minimal corrections and/or quicker appreciation rebounds. “The” real estate market appears to actually be separate, regional real estate markets.
It’s incredible how the same axiomatic sentiment, prognostications and even stock language like “keep your powder dry” echoes almost exactly the type of commentary I’d see throughout finance & Real Estate centered blogs back in ‘08-‘10.
I sensed even back then that the reflation of the housing bubble was in the cards. Crazy to see it finally somewhat widely acknowledged/denied and starting to totter.
Stock market naysayers were yelling sell with Dow at 7k… I was yelling sell before the drop but once all hell was priced in, it was clearly a long-term buyer’s dream.
Real estate in 2010 was also a buyer’s dream. Many markets had fully corrected by then (don’t believe the use of average data – median prices were at their lows for most regions in 2009). This over-correction was necessary but also lumped together impact of systemic panic/issues with fundamentals.
The recovery made it clear the noise around absolute lows was just that, noise. Buying in late 2009 through 2010 was a smart long-term move.
I had conversations in 2011 or 2012 with some others who also (and more famously) correctly predicted the crash. Problem was they were fixated on that now-resolved narrative. Couldn’t move away from it as the facts changed.
I am not a bull or bear and certainly not a real estate cheerleader. But the facts and trend suggest a modest correction and no crash (outside some regional pockets). Would I buy in California today? No. I would not have bought pre-covid price surge either, to my short-term detriment.
Man — 2009-10 was absolutely not anything like a bottom – certainly not in the markets I was looking in. Not by several hundred thousand dollars. This is not conjuncture or bias. I still have the price histories I tracked back then to prove it.
1. Very low interest rates by Fed…too low (?) many claim, I’m not sure… starting with HC1.
2. I guess some forbearance for certain homeowners (PBS had a segment during HB1 in which a homeowner squatter bragged he had lived the last 18 months in his house w/o paying a dime. Different segment: Boston homeowners chanting how government was not going to foreclose on them, no way). Renters get kicked out but homeowners, certain ones, felt entitled to their home whether they paid or not !
3. Homebuilding, new construction, dropped very low. Slowly restarted. Today in high gear some areas but I’ve read still pretty negligible in many parts of the Midwest, NE, and South.
4. Free pandemic $$, supply shortages (did Trumps rhetoric cause some of this… read the Opium Wars), WFH movement.
5. Investors buy homes more than before. 5% 2000, 2001 to 11% 2011-2019, to 19% 2020, 2021. Per Washington Post graph. No government regulation. Politicians tacit approval as rents skyrocket in some western metros and homeless increase. Dallas County 2021 42% investors, Tarrant County 52% investors, Atlanta 33%.
6. NIMBYism as always. No manufactured housing allowed in the county I live as I was told by a MH representative a few years back… they built a subdivision in the adjacent county instead, right on the county border.
I’m an anomaly… nobody is upset politicians allowed so many investor purchases.
I think it was unethical… I’m not as upset with the investors as the politicians (senators, representatives, governors, mayors, even city councils) for letting the
INVESTORS essentially HAVE PRIORITY over INDIVIDUALS in many large urban areas.
So lots of factors.
On the positive: lots of Americans bought houses at low interest rates.
Biggest negative… more wealth concentration. Those who could not buy a home saw their rents go up (often drastically) and no politician gave a hoot.
Very discouraging: neither homeowners nor the media nor politicians seem to give a hoot about points 5, 6 above.
Observation: identity politics seems much much more important to Americans than class politics. Ones ethnicity, race, sex, religion (played down) is given HUGE emphasis by the media… ones class is IRRELEVANT. I find this quite interesting.
It might change slowly. Class warfare, not violent of course, but more indirect might emerge. Right now middle class seems reasonsanly satisfied economically. Poor not so much. Perhaps politicians and media distract the poor very skillfully.
Chomsky has a well-written book (or two) on your final points.
SocalJim here. Hate to rain on your parade, but here is a market recap for last weel from Teri Adler, a prominent Wellesley, MA realtor below:
Each week I think to myself, maybe things are slowing down and perhaps inventory is higher than I think. Then I sit down and do my research and take a hard look at the numbers and realize pretty quickly we are really in the same place we have been. It’s still a struggle to build up that inventory. Not many drastic changes to report.
Here is a tale that nicely demonstrates where we are. This adorable house (not my listing) sits beautifully on a side street in downtown Wellesley.
As soon as it was listed there was a rush of people with 5 days of packed showings and pre-inspections. At a listing price of $1.3M it was attractive to many, many people from first time homebuyers to empty nesters. 22 offers later it sold nearly 30% over asking. I am proud to say it was MGS Group agent who led their clients to victory. It was underpriced to begin with, so a good agents told their buyers not to get too invested if you only wanted to spend up to $1.5M. This is the reality of house hunting for those searching under $2M in our area. According to the watch group Inman, “homes in the lower tier of pricing are still 8% more expensive than at this time last year — and inventory has barely budged, according to a new analysis released Thursday by Zillow.” And the Boston Globe was reporting, “the median price in the first quarter climbed 13% in the Metro West region which include Framingham, Needham, and Wellesley according to the Greater Boston Realtors. Ditto in Central Middlesex County communities such as Concord, Lexington, Sudbury and Weston.”
In Wellesley, of the 24 houses on the market right now, two thirds are over $2M and most are north of $4M. The 8 properties priced in the lower tier will most likely sell by the time you read this. Just today we tried to book showings at a few adorable houses in Wayland priced around $1M that came on days ago, had multiple offers immediately. The number of houses selling far outpaces new listings being introduced in all the towns mentioned above.
Welcome back! don’t disappear – we miss your insight. I certainly do :)
Not all homes in New England are selling like you described. In Newburyport, MA, a highly sought after area, a brand new home, 3700 sf 4 bed, 4 bath with a two car garage has been sitting on the market for over 64 days. They just lowered the price 101k. You can look it up on Realtor. They keep holding open houses and no one is buying it.
I forgot to mention, the home in Newburyport, MA is listed at 1.7 million.
This is called a “sponsored post,” meaning a form of advertising that Teri Adler put together and is trying to spread around. How much did you get paid by Teri Adler to post this?
Why not delete it?
Normally I do, but I saw it too late, people already replied, including Lucca’s comment, which was interesting, and so I decided (maybe wrongly) not to delete it but to explain it.
Blog spam is a disease. Much of it is porn, but there is other stuff too, most of which I can block and delete with my brains tied behind my back.
But RE is much more sophisticated. Teri Adler put this out on purpose, she knows what she is doing, this is a very slick thing to do, and she pulled it off well, so I kind of admire the skill of it, and that’s why she is successful selling RE. But if Teri Adler wants to advertise on my site, she can contact me and buy a banner ad for example.
Because it’s humorous? I certainly hope nobody would fall for it.
“Because it’s humorous? I certainly hope nobody would fall for it.”
I don’t find it humorous at all, I find it disgusting. I find realtors disgusting. Shilling for high house prices in order to extract the largest commission possible at the expense of buyers and society as a whole – intentionally lying while trying to inflate shelter prices – is a despicable act.
I think it’s time to call out all the perps in this housing bubble scam, from the government and corporate cronies to the FED and the entire real estate industrial complex. It’s a massive scam. And it’s built upon fraud. The people who were spouting nonsense about how “lending was solid this time” are about to get their clocks cleaned with truth as this entire sham comes apart.
DC, I agree with you.
Curious if it was the real SocalJim. If yes I don’t think this is his way to make money. And if it were, then things must have gone really bad :)
If SocalJim didn’t get paid by Teri Adler then he performed unpaid labor for her.
with all due respect Wolf, I have very hard time believing that Adler would hire SocalJim to come back to this site because she so badly wanted to advertise to us readers :)
The ads aren’t for us long-time readers, they are for people who stumble upon the site. Cannot let the truth slip out so you have to fight it every step of the way.
Not surprising – Wellesley is full of people with way too much money. Exactly the types who would fomo into an overpriced property.
Even if this all is true, here’s the only way it makes sense to me:
Inventory is so strapped that the only people left on the demand side are folks with exceptional incomes, too much cash set aside, or too stupid to know they can’t afford a $1.5m house.
If you restricted inventory in Wellesley to only one SFH of moderate quality, all those same folks would bid it to the moon anyway.
Eventually the market will jostle itself loose, inventory will expand, prices will fall, and average people will finally be able to buy something without betting so heavily that the next ten years of raises will lift them to the point where they can start going on vacations again.
For me the big question is, how fast will inventory loosen up again. If it’s gradual, we could see a prolonged period of just slightly reduced tension for average buyers. If prices drop enough for panic to set in among would-be sellers, we could find ourselves in a buyers’ market overnight.
I don’t disagree, and perhaps could have worded my comment better.
The type of person looking at property in Wellesley, is exactly the type who would overpay.
Yep, yes let’s use Wellesley MA as a measurement for the overall housing market in the US. Next up, comparing Martha’s Vineyard to Brockton MA.
This is comedy right?
Such a really and truly indictment of MSM.
Many many folks in MSM are truly needing direction if they actually want to do other than a fantasy…
Sure I know ”THEY” won’t, just as exactly as I know most if not all MSM are doing what their owners dictate.
I just checked out of curiosity – Wellesley is the 10th wealthiest town (by per capita income) out of 351 towns in the Commonwealth.
Nearby Weston is *the* most wealthy town in Mass by this same metric.
Nice cherrypicking by OP.
My favorite part of this stupid BS is where she says the $1.3 million dollar price was attractive to first time buyers. On what planet?
It is cheaper to live in Natick.
…and I haven’t seen anybody factor in the cumulative 12-14%+ 2+ years of FJB inflation.
Yes! I said something similar about inflation adjusted prices pushing towards -30%, but it was deleted.
I deleted it because I already explained a gazillion times that the Case Shiller IS AN INFLATION INDEX, of HOUSE PRICE INFLATION, that measures how many more dollars it takes to buy the SAME HOUSE, which is how you measure the purchasing power of the dollar, which is what inflation is. And I explained a gazillion times that it is conceptual BS to adjust one inflation index (Case-Shiller house price inflation index) by another inflation index (such as CPI or your own silly inflation index), or adjust for example, the CPI by the PCE price index, or adjust a wage inflation index by a wholesale inflation index. I’m so sick of having to explain this every frigging time.
The mistake I made is not seeing and deleting Javert James’s comment.
And I use the Case-Shiller Index in my coverage of CPI inflation. So this is the CS HOUSE PRICE INFLATION index (purple) and the CPI RENT INFLATION index (red):
And if you read the article, which is obviously too much to ask, you would have seen this:
“The Case-Shiller indices were set at 100 for the year 2000. So that Miami index at 397 points in February is up by 297% since 2000.”
This index gives you the house price inflation rate since 2000 for each market.
This chart should make anyone hot for buying a house take a fistful of aspirin. Especially seeing the 25% drop from 2008 – 2012 which is a 4-year period of house price decline. Add to that the absurd home price inflation from 2012 to the present.
They might want to read Carlo Cipolla’s, “The five basic laws of human stupidity”.
George Carlin: ““Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that.”
Sorry, Wolf. I see your point now.
I recently viewed the data directly on Case Shiller website and saw they have both nominal and real.
I’ve been looking at a number of small to mid size cities for retirement and have not seen a significant price drop. This bubble pop appears to be limited to the super popular cities.
No, it is spreading widely at this point. The CS regions are pretty big. I suspect that many people think it isn’t happening where they are looking because prices are still really high, and that’s true… but they are coming down, at least in the areas where they ran up a bunch.
Everywhere I would wish to move….nothing for sale or just junk.
IMO, there is still way too much money in the system ($4 Trillion too much) and the Fed has essentially done nothing of any significance to reduce it.
QT terribly slow….12 months in now.
Agreed. They’re not trying in good faith.
Seattle is set to crash the hardest and fastest this time (usually it is late to the crash parties) after the greatest over build of RE in history here when the City junked their application process and allowed developers free range.
The artificial market that the City created was for these tall-skinnies, a dark space full of stairs. Put six or even seven at a time, on a single lot, Let them be priced north of 600k. Totally illiquid. Can’t even rent them to cover the mortgage payment. For at least a year now.
The city is full of these hastily built Lego-block looking abominations. Maybe these things are worth 200k.
City gained a 100k peeps in the decade before COVID but that’s backed up to near-zero growth from the 2020 census.
With more big layoffs coming, might be like ‘68 bust all over again…., I can stay and turn the lights out.
I turned out the lights in Seattle in 1973. The happiest day was when I left and drove across Idaho visited the sight of Custer’s last stand and made my way all the way to DC where I’m still living and working. I noticed in my Google search that the block I lived on Summit Ave E, Capitol hill is now all different. Don’t recognize a single building. Lots more apartments.
The “replace entire neighborhoods with hideous apartment blocks” thing has happened in every city it seems like. Same thing in two cities I was in (San Diego and Minneapolis). Neighborhoods I remember from the old days look completely different now.
Interesting to hear that about Capital Hill. It used to be a Bohemian kind of place with record stores and such. Well, I have about zero interest in visiting Seattle anymore.
To be fair, Seattle does need to repurpose space, but advocates for smarter urban life, were used as beards for developers who built pretty recklessly. Yeah, the space is tight, there are more people, so the repurposing of lots was inevitable, the carelessness of how it was done, was not inevitable. I doubt much of Seattle’s construction post bubble 1 is very robust.
Alki, the original place of settlement in Seattle, translates to “Eventually” so give it 10 or 15 years to really feel the impact of what’s been done.
I have been a patient buyer on the sidelines for the past one year in Collin County (Frisco/Prosper), TX area.. I went window shopping this weekend.. and nope the same frenzy is still in place.. SFH spec builds that were selling for 550-600k around 2020 are all now getting sold for 970 – 1.1mil!! I’m not even in the game anymore.. no incentives nothing.. With a 800+ credit score and 30% down payment I qualified for 5.875 interest rate and ..my pocket would still hurt badly with interest and taxes..
OK, look, just for the heck of it, since I kinda know the place, I checked out Frisco, TX, on Zillow.
Median price: $647K, -5% from peak last July; nearly flat yoy
14.6% Percent of sales over list price (February 28, 2023)
69.8% Percent of sales under list price (February 28, 2023)
If you go “window shopping,” what you see are homes for sale, and listing prices, not sold prices.
You’re comparing listing prices to where they were 2-3 years ago. Look at the chart, how it started trending down after July for the first time ever in the data going back to 2014.
You people are thinking in time frames of video games and cryptos. Do you think housing is going to drop 50% overnight?
Millennials, now the biggest generation and now in their high-income years, have for years been trying to outcompete each other and to outbid each other to buy homes, and they trampled on each other to buy homes, and they got so antsy that they often bought sight-unseen, just looking at promos and videos, and offering ridiculous amounts over asking. They’re the ones that caused prices to spike over the past few years.
First-time buyers are what drives up prices, not a homeowner that sells one home and buys another (-1 +1 = 0) which has zero impact on the market. The entire industry is drooling over “first-time buyers,” and that’s why the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tracks them separately, and reports data on them. First-time buyers are the classic drivers of price increases.
And now there is the biggest generation of first-time buyers ever, and they’re frustrated and eager, as you make so very clear. But you gotta look at the data and not get caught up in the frenzy.
Wolf, does the data provide any ability to analyze what percentage of homes are owned as second/vacation properties? Not properties purchased primarily for investment/rental/Airbnb, but as a second home for an existing family?
I know several people in my own building who have bought getaway properties in nearby mountain or beach towns. And many more who now own homes both in Florida and up north. Obviously neither of these scenarios are new phenomena, but wondering if we can quantity how much of the restriction on inventory may be due to folks buying homes for part-year usage, since remote work and a wave of pandemic-induced retirees has pushed people to explore more flexible living arrangement across properties.
There is a lot of that going on, and the only source that provide any kind of data on it is the Census Bureau, but it’s for the US overall, not by market. You can check this out:
VERY good question Z:
While in my FL ”hood” ,,, approximately 144 square blocks where my pup and I walk every day, has and continues to have few listings and sales following within a week for every one of them, so far,,,
I will still stipulate that most are ”refugee(s)” from high tax places rather than otherwise…
Mostly small homes designed as winter cottages, but just on the edge of the high rent district.
“They’re the ones that caused prices to spike over the past few years.”
Partially, sure, but what about baby boomers? They make up almost 40% of house buyers, and often outbid millenials, some with all-cash offers, looking for a second home (or third, etc.)
OK, this is a huge fundamental principle. And people need to understand it.
1. First-time buyers remove one home from the market without adding one to it. Change in inventory = -1, which drives up prices.
2. Existing homeowners (incl. boomers) when they move and buy a new home, they sell their old home and inventory stays the same. Change in inventory = -1 +1 = 0 which leaves prices roughly balanced in aggregate.
So I’m repeating my comment here, but split into one-liners:
“First-time buyers are what drives up prices… (because they don’t sell a home when they buy; they take one off the market without adding one to the market).
“…not a homeowner (such as boomers) that sells one home and buys another (-1 +1 = 0) which has zero impact on the market.”
Boomers are still buying, but they’re also SELLING their old home when they buy a new one, and so, unlike first-time buyers, they put one home on the market and take one off the market.
In addition, people eventually die or move into some kind of assisted living facility, and then their home goes on the market, adding one home without taking a home off, therefore adding to the supply.
It’s time to stop blaming boomers for the home price increases over the past few years. This is largely driven by the huge generation of millennial first-time buyers that are now making lots of money and are too eager to buy.
If millennials ganged up together on Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, and other social media sites and decided to not buy any home at all for the next five years, the market would totally collapse. So do it!!!
Without first-time buyers, the market is dead.
Which is why I said this in my comment:
“The entire industry is drooling over “first-time buyers,” and that’s why the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tracks them separately, and reports data on them. First-time buyers are the classic drivers of price increases.”
I explained a lot of the fundamentals of “What actually adds to inventory of homes for sale” in the linked article below. Please read it (this is the inventory that that first-time buyers need):
It is different reality in So Cal, Wolf!!!
A lot of cash buyers are putting their newly purchased properties on rental market. They keep their homes too. They just want extra cash flow because now there’s no alternative safe way to make money. Why they do that? They have kids and they want to invest for their children’s future . Simple as hell!
Well, then why would you buy the house at peak prices when you can rent the same house for a lot less than the mortgage payment? What’s your problem?
Putting the same house on the rental market makes the house available to be lived in, which removes another potential buyer from the market. You need to arbitrage this for your benefit.
Ture, and that’s what I’m decided to do until the chart that shows price increase vs rental rate increase will have less difference,
The difference has grown since 2012, and was widening exponentially during covid area. When taking a look at historical data it seems like that the difference will be suddenly reduced during the housing bust, but its very slow and not happening fist this time. The owners are yet to agree to reduce the price to sell them, and you know why.
Now I am stock thinking if I have to wait for ever? I just want to start to have a place to pay it off for retirement. Thats why our generation is so frustrated. We are paying high 401k cash outs and high house prices of Boomers, they are happy as hell , and add the SSI and medicare costs that we have to pay them as well. And worst part is always we have been told that we should not expect to get SSI for our retirement, it wont exist for us.
Now you get the picture?
There are still a lot of mom and pop pyramiders or those looking to buy the second home in a destination locale, rent it out part of the year, use it when they feel like it.
And they have made out very well.
So there is an effect of the previous home owner doing well and buying one (or more) properties as an investment.
VRBO changed things a lot.
Rates are still historically low, especially in relation to inflation.
And because of the inflation, the construction/replacement costs have soared. House values, IMO, will be stout. Maybe a downtick here and there.
What might hurt FL prices is the fact flood and storm insurers have gone broke, there are just a few left, and they are cranking up the rates.
“SFH spec builds that were selling for 550-600k around 2020 are all now getting sold for 970 – 1.1mil!!”
Wolf’s charts and data are so cool – and the Case-Schiller is the best metric of all.
We’re beyond a year from peak pricing in all markets now, yet, per Wolf’s report, only 8 out of 20 (less than half) are showing YOY declines, and only ONE (1) is double digit so far (San Fran).
Like in the GFC, the super crazy markets will EVENTUALLY show huge pullbacks, but considering the meteoric rise from 2018-2021, those pullbacks will be merely corrections to a trend norm, and that trend norm will still be relatively unaffordable, especially if interest rates stay north of 6%.
As for the other 60% of markets not reflected in these articles, still showing YOY increases, including some of the anecdotal FOMO stories we keep hearing, the best yer gonna get is a leveling on price or maybe a slight drop after this round of Fed Reserve shenanigans plays itself out.
Overbuilt attractive Multi-Fam will hopefully come to the rescue to make renting more affordable against the backdrop of continuously unattainable home ownership.
Your comments are inconsistent with the trends seen in the data. I really don’t know how anyone can look at this data and not see the trends.
We have a market that reacted to the most insane monetary policy in US history, including direct injections of heroin based on massive MBS purchases by the Fed. The only way that the resulting prices can be maintained is for a resumption of that policy. If that occurs then your pipe dreams may come true. If, on the other hand, future monetary policy does not exhibit the same degree of insanity, then all bets are off.
At some level, we all want equilibrium; we want things to be normal. And because we want that, we ignore chaos.
The current economic (and political) conditions are quite chaotic. Not because of some conspiracy: random or unexpected things have hit the economy (worldwide) for about 20 years now.
So it would be best to watch your backside in what is really a very turbulent period in our history. Personally, I don’t see this as a time to “invest” – gambling yes, investing no. Risk is very high and isn’t being factored in. Most of the risk is unknown.
As I’m rereading my own comment, “Most of the risk is unknown,” it appears to not make sense. It’s like saying that most of the universe is filled with dark matter.
But I think the point I was trying to make is understood.
“‘Most of the risk is unknown,’ it appears to not make sense.”
It makes sense. Good old Rumsfeld said it best: There are “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns.” There are risks that you’re aware of; and there are risks that you’re not aware of.
I have opined that perhaps we would all be better off if Fed Funds had stayed at 2% and 30yr mortgages 5.5% from 2009 until 2020.
(when inflation kicked in) But would have inflation kicked in if there hadnt been the flooding of the economy/govt with money?
And I also believe, to obtain some normality and predictability, a formula driven hard rail monetary policy is needed.
FF = 3 month moving average of the YOY inflation as measured by an honest metric.
Money supply can not increase more than what some GDP calculation warrants.
This would remove or greatly discount the Fedspeak and Fed Govs and Presidents randomly spouting off, jerking markets around. IMO
The “it’s not happening here” crowd make me laugh. You really think that while prices are going down in places where people actually WANT to live, they will not go down in places that no one wants to live?
You’re not seeing price drops because you live in (fill in blank with shitty state). It’s already cheap and the whole state is a “fixer upper”. Too much Aerosmith, I suppose. “Dream on, dream on, dream on”
So Cal and Sights
If you actually read my comment (as Wolf might say) – I agree prices are gonna come down – but only back to where they were trending – reversing the crazy spikes – and yes – the crappy markets (I live in one of the desirable ones which is still way above trend) – will show little change (maybe slight down).
In the GFC, as Wolf’s charts above reflect, especially in the sand states, pricing reversed rapidly and dropped BELOW the former trend. I’m just saying that ain’t gonna happen this time. Therefore, since we were trending (2015-2019) high to begin with, when we revert back to where we would have trended to begin with – it’s NOT gonna be a buyer’s banquet like it was in the GFC.
You wouldn’t know “trending” if it bit you in the ass. Markets were rolling over in 2014, then Mel Watt and Obamanomics juiced it with even looser lending. The same happened in 2018, then the FED started cutting rates again. Then the COVID associated rot started. You don’t have a frigging clue about housing. Like you have admitted.
“…You don’t have a frigging clue about housing. Like you have admitted…”
To the contrary – was in SFH investment housing (rentals, flips and carrying notes) for 16 years (successfully). My observations include experience and history – mostly gleaned from Wolf’s excellent statistics, which I use in my analysis, as opposed to demeaning others who have a differing viewpoint. In short, I have a better clue than most of Wolf’s readers – on THIS topic.
I always welcome statistical reasoning and personal historical experience as counter-points to further the discussion – they just never seem to materialize. ;-)
There wasn’t a pandemic and all of the concomitant collective existential anguish foreshadowing GFC. If you think that didn’t scramble buyers brains to a very seismic degree, you’ve got more gaps in your thinking than a redacted agency document. Very different factors helping to drive and – surprisingly – sustain this mania. But it IS just a mania.
I have one female friend that started the nomad van life about a month ago. So far, so good.
Another is finishing up her tiny home on her son’s property.
Both friends don’t really have the income to pay market based housing so they are choosing an alternative.
I have been pretty fortunate to be able to bounce around between four properties dog sitting, helping parents, and a little mooching/bartering. I don’t think houses or stocks are attractive right now. I just have determined to be patient and see if we have some panic selling in the next few years.
Be patient, housing is like a carrier making a turn at sea, it takes time, wait for big money to start selling, they have no one to sell too, 2012 is when u could start buying after last bubble.
If you can hold off to 2025, it would be wise
“I have one female friend that started the nomad van life about a month ago. So far, so good.”
I’m guessing she has no job at all and there was some kind of welfare stimulus involved. Who pays for gas and food? She actually saved up and bought a van? Seriously doubt it.
“Another is finishing up her tiny home on her son’s property.”
This was likely funded by some kind of COVID loan/fraud/inheritance.
“I just have determined to be patient and see if we have some panic selling in the next few years.”
Yup, patiently mooching and dog sitting is gonna pay off BIG TIME.
The lady in the Van may be on disability. She has got some severe health problems.
The lady doing the tiny home has a modest social security check.
I think they both are living on about $1000/ month.
Yada yada data data lol. will someone hopefully wolf just give me some solid advice on what direction to take. Sold home 12 months ago for double what I purchased for in 2018, have been renting since sitting on a big chunk of change. so question is do I keep waiting this thing out and if so what is your projection on how long until we see a bottom of this cycle 1 year 5 years? Or do I just purchase now if these prices are going to relatively stay stagnant within +_ 5% ?
Salt Lake County, Utah
Thanks in advance!!
“Sold home 12 months ago for double what I purchased for in 2018,”
So WHY DID YOU SELL? Did you see the top of the market and decided to dump it? Yes, as you can see in the charts here, that was perfect timing, you nailed it, kudos. Not many people were able to time it that well.
In terms of the bottom of the market, if that’s what you’re looking for, instead of a falling knife, well last time, it took 4-5 years of 0% interest rates and lots of QE before the market bottomed out. Now Fed rates are 5%, and not coming down because we have the worst inflation in 40 years. So you can do your own math.
Yes I saw the top of the market and also wanted to move to another location 70 miles south where we are currently renting waiting for this to all play out. It was my 3rd home I had built since 2006. 1st one in 06 kicked me in the nuts and was thankfully able to sell and walk away in 2011 because I personally build my homes so I owed ~150k less than all my neighbors so when they were all foreclosing, I sold for what I owed but no profit. Built another home in 2012 and got a steal of a deal on a nice lot in a gated community, by 2016 I had equity of roughly 60% over cost to build so I sold again and built my last one in 2018 that I sold last April for double what I had built it for. So I timed 2006 like shit but I was a 19 year old kid building my first house by myself and didn’t even understand what the market/economy was at the time, the last 2 I have timed about as well as I could have hoped for. But this economy and how things seem so ass backwards has me really questioning what to do now because it all seems so crazy! That’s why I was looking for some advice, this is my first post here ever, but I am a big fan and daily reader of wolf street.
From a purely financial answer, talk to a financial advisor unless you are able and willing to do the math yourself. It will take several assumptions and likelihood analysis. The math side of things varies depending on the assumptions you make or give to the financial advisor. Keep in mind that if your assumption doesn’t pan out, it doesn’t mean you were wrong or the advisor was wrong, it just means one of your variables changed, so the end result may have changed. Stick to the known entities (private client services where you bank, Edward Jones, Fidelity, etc.) and steer clear of those financial advisors pushing products on you.
Looking at it from another angle, if you’re planning on staying in this new location “forever”, then don’t worry about the market values and find a house you really like and can afford. Don’t look at housing as an investment, but rather an expense to be able to do what you want. If you cannot see a house as a simple expense and wish to invest your gains, then a financial advisor would be your best bet to create a plan to invest your gains.
Housing arbitrage has been a very common theme the past 3 years (I participated in it) so if you sell a home in a high dollar market and then move to a lower dollar market, chances are you are ahead of the game. I like to think of it as currency exchange. Example, sell near the top in NYC, but buy near the top in Tulsa, OK. NYC money goes further in Tulsa, so even though you bought near the top, you probably still put money in the bank and are mortgage free. But there is no free lunch…you are now in Tulsa and not in NYC.
I am no housing expert, but seems like you are in a perfect spot with cash paying 4.8% while house prices going down 10% plus. No need to do anything different til these numbers switch around.
I think a pretty good rule of thumb is be sure the housing market has bottomed even if you wait a few months too long.
Bluecollar, “will someone hopefully wolf just give me some solid advice on what direction to take”. You should have ended that with a question mark.
HowNow as you can probably tell from my name Bluecollar grammer and punctuation aren’t my strong points, but building shit and making money are! but thank you for the English 101?!……
I was in a similar situation. Through no fault of my own, I sold my condo in downtown Austin in December 2021 at a huge premium. A developer made a big money offer that a supermajority of owners approved, so the condo regime terminated. As part of the deal, sellers were offered below market rent until the buyer was ready for demolition–incremental cash flow for buyer plus warm bodies in building helps keep squatters out.
Sadly, June 30 is the drop-dead move-out date, so I had to make a move. I signed a contract on a built-to-order new construction home in New Braunfels that the original buyer couldn’t close on. I signed at a huge discount to comparable existing home listings. I wish that I could have waited longer, but my hand was forced. (I still wonder if renting somewhere else might have been a better move, but with 4 cats, finding a place was going to be a hassle. And rents around here are silly.)
So my advice is to keep renting as long as you can, but keep an eye on the market for the right opportunity. And don’t look to buy your “dream home”, but rather a decent place in a middle class neighborhood. I spent a fraction of my condo buyout on a place that I could be happy for a few years–or forever. I may (or my not) lose money on the current house, but buying a smaller property at a discount will minimize the absolute dollar amount of losses for any given percentage decline in the overall market.
So park your cash in safe short-term investments–money markets and treasuries or brokered CD’s with not too long maturities. And casually cruise by the sales offices of new housing developments to see what is around. The builders have lots of land to move and can make money at a discount to today’s prices. They will keep building and selling into a declining market and will be faster to drop prices than homeowners mentally living in 2022. Take your time and the right opportunity will present itself. And remember, cash is king!
Wolf, quick question for you: is okay to use the n-word here?
If you do, the comment will be deleted, and you will be banned forever.
Wolf, I think he means National Assn of Realtors. And yeah, maybe that should be a lifetime ban if used in a positive context.
Why would you even ask that question? If you’re referring to what I think you are, that’s terrible.
Just trashy, bottom shelf hatred for low rent minds with zero imagination.
Wolf’s charts are great. Its pretty easy to imagine how fast the equity position is changing for those that put 10% down.
I have seen a couple of stories, one on cnbc that new Federal lending standards are coming in May that give better rates to people with lower credit scores and down payments and add a fee to everyone else.
This sounds like the same type of thinking that hurt a lot of people in the last housing bubble. You aren’t usually doing someone a favor stretching things to get them in a home especially at the top of the market.
To old school and Bluecollar: OS, I agree with you, again. Lowering fees for people who are struggling and off-setting it with higher costs for others is flat out stupid – paving the road to hell with good intentions.
BC: you’re asking about deflation and here’s a definition that I got from the web:
“Deflation occurs when prices keep falling, convincing buyers to delay purchases as they wait for still lower prices.”
We’re a long way from Kansas.
In the definition, why do they add – “…,convincing buyers to delay purchases?”.
That’s a bad assumption, with zero evidence of correlation.
It’s like saying “sport cars run fast and able, which increases the desirability of drivers.”
Bringing back subprime is a terrible, terrible idea and if they do this I will consider it pretty much proven that the people who rule this country are so out of ideas that they just recycle the same scams every 20-25 years or so. Just long enough of a period to hook in another generation.
It’s a great idea if you want to buy votes. Those who rob Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.
Do you have the graph for Chicago. Thank you.
Tampa is being a very stubborn market.
All the crashmongers just make me laugh. Especially the ones who missed the last 10 year bull market in real estate. Take a look at the charts! Markets up 100%, 200%, even 300% from the lows are down 10% and this is supposed to be a CRASH!!!!!!
I’ll take that kind of “crash” return on all my investments and be ecstatic! Yeah, a few ridiculous markets in poorly managed states with high tax rates are coming down, but good luck finding anything decent in my markets – Miami, Dallas.
My homes are selling like crazy. Yes, 10% below peak prices – but 100%+ above what they went for just a few years ago. In the meantime, rents carried the properties, paid down principle, provided tax deductions and threw off good cash flow. I wouldn’t bet against real estate in the long run. And if you’re a house “trader”, you’ll probably lose money regardless of the market direction, just like 97% of stock traders do. Yes, that’s a real number.
Most builders are slowing down or stopping new construction, except for the luxury market segment, where most buyers pay cash or don’t care about bumps in interest rates. Construction costs are up 60% since pre pandemic so dont expect any steals soon, unless youre willing to live in a crowded, overtaxed city/state with crappy infrastructure and govt services.
I continue to travel a lot, live light and rent cheap. I have better things to do than blow a couple years of income on a stupid house. Not to mention that once you buy a house, you either get to pay astronomical prices for dum dum to do shoddy work on it, or you can have the pleasure of doing all the labor yourself- as if you need a part time job. This is not an investment, this is ridiculous.
Now if house prices ever become truly cheap, I will probably buy a couple, but they would have to be very cheap, this is unlikely to happen.
Not every one is lucky and/or freedom you have.
Enjoy your time.
I’m guessing there’s no way to determine this, but it would be interesting to see how many buyers over the last two years have student loans currently on pause. If prices have been driven up mostly by inexperienced first time buyers, I’m sure at least a few weren’t consciously factoring this in, assuming they ever do resume that is.
We need another word, investment is when you spend money and expecting gain, but when you put your cash in real estate when the market is expected to collapse, because you are afraid of inflation, stocks going down, war, pestilence, whatever, then this is fear, not investment.
I have been meaning to ask this question for a while. How does Case-Shiller get home sales prices in states where the info is not public, like Texas? I am reviewing the 37 page methodology doc and haven’t found the answer yet. Do the home owners agree? Or …
Did some research and it seems the MLS has the sales data but it is not public and is actually, in Texas at least, a huge political football that gets kicked around. Like some appraisal districts get access to and use the data no problem, but then others do not even try to get it. In Travis county the appraisal district and the developers/realtors actively fight about the data. Travis county hires a middleman to give them the data and the developers sued to get it deleted.
Yes, this is an interesting story. Since this comes up occasionally, I have a canned answer. Here it is:
Houston is not included in the CS. Back in the 1990s, when the CS was designed, they ran into big problems getting public records data in Texas, which doesn’t allow public access to deeds. But that’s where the CS data comes from.
To get the data for the Dallas metro, the CS people at the time worked out a deal with a Realtor association to get data from their multiple listing service.
And in terms of Houston, one of the founders of the CS said this:
“And when it was all put together, the decision was that was a bit of a hassle, so we’d stick with one city,” he said. Also, “we had Boston, New York and Washington so we decided that was enough for the Northeast, with apologies to Philadelphia.”
Thanks Wolf for the answer. I wonder why the Dallas realtors/developers/whomever is the gatekeeper of data allows Dallas to get the sales info, and why Houston and Austin are such a pain.
Funny how the CS index ressembles the M2 graph. A giant pandemic headfake has turned into a giant sucking sound of vanishing leveraged equity. This will be very painful.
Was checking out Tucson for a possible job move.
Seemed like a lot of overpriced hovels for what used to be considered reasonable prices,
If I take the job, will rent until the market crashes.
I agree with those that say the FED is not inclined to drop rates anytime soon and will look for every excuse to keep raising them.
They hate inflation and low rates.
In addition to inflation, there’s been a global crisis of confidence in the dollar, and the American political system, as well as sanity. From abroad, it seems that America is tearing itself apart.
To address both inflation and the confidence crisis, the monetary authority needs to tighten severely, to prove the US buck is still king.
The realtor pushback is just like last time. The gloating winners are just like last timex5- it is a sad testament to how emotional and foolish people get with regard to this topic.
House prices will go down, it is an inevitable result of the bond calculation of value that is used to price interest rate costs- along with those stupid interest rate buydowns that exist for ten flipping minutes (refi in 2 years? LOL).
Now comes reality. I have perfect Shiller pair experiment going on within a few houses of the domicile in the nearly 40 year old neighborhood. Last year, desperate guy sold a 2875 4-3 for 808k (dropped 41k from listing- closed August 2022), now the next door house is up for $749k after a 11k drop from listing 60 days ago. Told her the realtor is incompetent for not urging her to take the 699 all cash she got two months ago. She about had a heart attack when I told her to get to perfect her house needs 150-200k in updates and repairs and she should run as fast as she can when she gets the next offer.
House needs 2 ac units, roof repair, new windows, new bathrooms, new floors, new garage doors, etc etc etc….
But it looks good at first glance…
Real estate, the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to really buy it now.
How long did the last crash take? Now instead of bums with NINJA loans we have inwestors buying for AirBNB fantasy returns.
Plus ca change.
Let’s say you bought a house with cash on Dec 31 2021 for $300k. It doubled in price the next year so on Dec 31 2022 it was worth $600k, a 100% increase.
For the year 2023, the value dropped 20%. So at the end of 2023 it was only worth $480,000. So your 100% increase after one year has been reduced to only a 60% increase after two years.
Now let’s say it dropped 50% in 2023. So at the end of 2023 it was worth $300k. So your 100% increase after one year is now exactly a 0% increase after two years. A drop of more than 50% in 2023 and your home is worth less than what you paid for it.
My point is percent decreases are perhaps quite a bit more important than they might seem at first. After all, a 100% decrease in any year means your house is worth $0 in that year, even if it went up X% in the last X years. Insert any number for X.
So in Wolf’s graphs, a 10% annual decline can be a very substantial loss.
The graphics are almost comical like from the comic books I devoured when I was a kid some 65 + years ago.
The crash of the first bubble, in each of the graphs pale in comparison to the gargantuan size of the current asset price bubble 2.
Accepting for ten minutes that the world economy was gonna collapse in 2008, if their friends in government didn’t prostitute themselves. The greatest con in history.
I thought a couple months ago you had charts showing much of the SF Bay area down 25 to 35 percent peak to trough. Some cities down 25%, one or two as much as 35%.
Now peak to trough is off 16.3%.
The peak presumably didn’t change, so has the Bay area recovered 9 to 19% (city dependant) ? I’m thinking not… so what gives, why the rather drastic improvement in peak to trough results ?
Those were median price charts based on data from the C.A.R., not Case Shiller. You cannot compare them.
Verified: Your 2/17/23 used the California Association of Realtors January data.
Article reported 5 counties. One down 22%, 2 near -35%, 2 near -30% going by memory.
So on average about -30% for the Bay as a whole.
Considering CS (Case-Shiller) is -16.3% for data drawn from December 2022, January and February 2023 it seems the following is mostly true, correct me if I’m astray:
1. SF Bay area bottom…at least near term… probably occurred during January. CS suggests this as its December (just prior to bottom) and February (just post bottom) pull the -30% up. The drop/ascent was fairly steep providing more than just a one or two percent differential.
[Aside: abductive reasoning or Bayesian or are they just 2 names for the same thing… probably not. The former a fall out of the latter ?]
2. You have previously explained the housing mix (composition) effect. Perhaps the C.A R. results of January manifest this phenomenon: low end of the Bay area selling much more so than the middle or high end segments. CS is not skewed by such asymmetrical (distorted) selling and as such provides less drastic negative results.
These 2 phenomenon could account for C.A.R.’s January results, on the whole, being appropriately 14% more negative than the CS results (December – February) just reported. Or is this mistaken and/or are there other factors that explain the significant difference in results ?
1. You’re still comparing the two. Sure you can do that but you will get wrong conclusions if you do.
2. Bay Area bottom is in the distant future. Likely years out. This has barely started. I say this because the HUGEST driver of housing here is in the process of imploding: the startup scene. These companies have received hundreds of billions of dollars in funding. Most of these companies are now on the drydock. Much of this money, plus the newly created share plans were heaped on lots of people who bought houses with this money. First Republic specialized in lending to these people taking their untraded stock or stock options or RSUs as collateral. All this depended on more funds coming into the sector to keep these cash-burn machines alive. Now the fuel has stopped flowing, and the companies are spending what they’d received previously, and when they run out, they shut down, and everyone gets laid off. This is already happening. And this kills demand for overpriced housing. San Francisco and Silicon Valley have lost a lot of population over the past three years. San Francisco’s population is down 8%. Dotcom bust was a minor squiggle compared to what is now playing out, in terms of dollars.
Point two: okay. Good to know
Regarding point one:
“You’re still comparing the two. Sure you can do that but you will get wrong conclusions if you do.”
I know you’re busy but that is not a useful response.
Climate change scientists (heck scientists in general) use multiple methodologies to attempt to reach conclusions (ice core samples, tree rings, etc). I was trying to reach a conclusion from considering the results of both the CS and C.A.R. results.
Nothing inherent in doing that guarantees “wrong conclusions “.
I was hoping you would support my conclusion or either: a) find specific fault with it or b) point out some other necessary considerations.
Instead you say its mistaken w/o any specifics.
The 2 points I made (1, 2) supported the idea that SF area may have bottomed NEAR TERM in January.
If you disagree be please be specific or leave my comment alone. Thank you.
As to your point 2:
B.t.w I lived in Redwood City for a year.
Beautiful weather though mind numbing boring summer.
SV undoubtedly will face increased competition from all over the US and especially from abroad. As will the Puget Sound… perhaps SVs main rival (along with China, S. Korea, Europe, and Nihon) 1000+ miles to the north.
I like your articles but there is a pattern with you swiping my comments. In 2 cases you said it was mistaken.
At yahoo finance … which has some really lame commentors… generally worse than here, I get quite a few likes but occasional criticisms that make some sense.
Have a good weekend.
Washington state just passed a bill allowing duplexes on almost all resi zoned land for cities with 25k pop, quads in cities with 75k pop. Also, if near a bus stop, or dedicate some units to low income housing, can build quad or sixplex instead.
Any city in a county that contains a 275k+ city can do duplex. So all cities in King county currently (seattle), pierce and spokane soon (tacoma and spokane city are 200k+).
Appears enviro-issues land (wetland, geo, streams) would be exempt, as well as hoa’s with previous single family restrictions (no new restrictions allowed in hoa docs).
My first thoughts are (relative to downturn):
Sfh prices closer to city would go up. Land value further from major cities would go down. Duplex/quad prices hammered, especially suburbs/exurbs further from big cities. Development and construction costs/demand up at first.
In Seattle and King county I am seeing a down turn, and I am already seeing duplexes/quads hitting market. I’m not sure if overall this will be a boom for washington, as developers ramp up tearing down singles for 2/4/6’s, inceasing economy/sales; or if the overall US downturn will extend into 2024/2025, and these new multis hitting the market will cause a complete collapse from overbuilding doors, maybe even extending the downturn.
Interested in your take, whether reply or article. I was about to buy property in King, to build my first duplex in a sub 25k city, but think i dodged a bullet with timing.
Click “view bill as passed” near the april 21st date. Important tidbits are right after the definitions, in sec 3.
Nah, not gonna. Can’t even keep up with the state and county/city stuff right here in front of my nose LOL
Guess it’s something to keep in mind in case we start to see SFH in Seattle proper start moving up, or stop declining. All the hoa singles with “no multi family” clauses should go at a premium, not to mention tear downs turning into future multiunits.