This Real Estate Market Is the Strongest of Our Lifetime
The strength of this housing market is the one thing that sticks out when you look at the figures right now. We can tell that this is one of, if not the strongest, housing markets of our lifetimes from a structural standpoint. Here are two principles that support this assertion.
1. Existing Mortgages' Current Mortgage Rate
Let's start by taking a look at the current mortgage interest rate. Over 80% of current mortgages, as of the fourth quarter of last year, had rates below 5%, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). That matters a lot. And to go even further, the graph below shows that the interest rate on more than 50% of mortgages is less than 4%:
The media frequently discusses a potential crisis involving home foreclosures or a spike in homeowners defaulting on their loans, but take this into consideration. With such low mortgage rates, homeowners will make every effort to keep their mortgages and remain in their houses. This is due to the fact that they are unable to rent an apartment or even buy another property for what they are now paying. Their monthly mortgage payment is less expensive now. With today's rising mortgage rates, it might be more expensive even if they reduce.
Here's why this currently provides the housing market with such a strong basis. We are able to prevent a crisis with a flood of foreclosed properties entering the market since there are so many homeowners with such cheap mortgage rates like there was back in 2008.
2. Equity owned by homeowners
Second, Americans currently hold a lot of equity. Approximately two-thirds (approximately 68%) of homeowners, as determined by the Census and ATTOM, have either paid off their mortgage or have at least 50% equity (see chart below):
Equity wealthy is the phrase used in the sector to describe this. This is crucial because, if you remember back to 2008, some homeowners were forced to leave their properties because they owed more on them than the properties were worth.
However, this time is different since homeowners have amassed such a large amount of equity in just the last few years. Additionally, having that much equity in a home helps us prevent another wave of foreclosed homes hitting the market like we did during the recession. Additionally, it builds a very solid foundation for the current housing market.
To sum up
Because homeowners will battle to maintain their present mortgage rate and because they have a ton of equity, we are in one of the strongest housing markets of our lifetime. Another reason why things are fundamentally different from 2008 is this.