It's no secret that the residential real estate market, particularly in West Michigan, is in a crazy condition (as of today, March 23, 2017). I have heard people express concern that greater availability of lower down payment loans and lower credit score mortgages would create a situation like the crash pre-recession that started going down about 10 years ago.
Generally, I disagree with that sentiment, citing my belief that the loan products out there are nowhere near as crazy as the "fog a mirror" products of the mid-2000s. I’m not a lender, but I do see the type of loan and terms that comes across on every purchase our brokerage is involved in, and I am just not seeing much behavior that I would define as risky. I’m sticking with an opinion I posted late last summer about why I believe we aren’t in any kind of dangerous “bubble” condition. Click here to revisit.
Another positive sign of the health of our real estate market came across in a daily email thread that I follow, which addresses general economics. I’ll share below, but what it says to me is basically that homeowners are keeping equity in their homes versus electing the option to drain it. Smart, right?
I enjoy the “Brief Blog” published 5 days per week by Dr. Elliot Eisenberg. Late last night, this one came across my email:
“Despite a prolonged rise in house prices, bringing them back to where they were prior to the Great Recession, mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) is a pittance compared to a decade ago. Between 2003 and 2007, MEW averaged 7% of disposable personal income. From 2012 through 2015 it averaged negative 1% and in 2016 it averaged 1%. Tighter lending standards, older, and more credit-worthy borrowers have held it back.”
It's truly tough out there for buyers. There are many, many stories of multiple offer scenarios, and sales happening well above asking prices. As always, it pays to have a strategy. On the other side, I believe most homeowners, who might have an interest in becoming home sellers, still have no idea of the price they could potentially achieve. For a discussion of the value of your home or to put together a plan to sell, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (616) 914-1556.