Recent comments show hope may be ahead for the housing market. Plus, learn why signs of cooling inflation could mean opportunities for homebuyers this year.
“Silver Lining” in Latest Builder Confidence Report
Despite declining confidence among home builders, there was a positive sign in December’s Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This monthly survey measures builders’ perceptions of current sales, sales expectations for the next six months and buyer traffic. NAHB’s Chief Economist Robert Dietz said, “For the first time since April, builders registered an increase in future sales expectations.”
He added that, “The silver lining in this HMI report is that it is the smallest drop in the index in the past six months, indicating that we are possibly nearing the bottom of the cycle for builder sentiment.”
A rebound in builder confidence would be a welcome sign for many buyers around the country who have struggled with a persistent tight supply of homes. While there were 461,000 new homes available for sale at the end of November per the Commerce Department, reflecting an 8.6-months' supply, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that there were only 1.14 million existing homes for sale in that same period, representing just a 3.3-months' supply. A 6-months' supply is considered normal.
And while sales of new homes rose 5.8% from October to November, existing home sales declined 7.7%. However, NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects homebuying activity to “inevitably rebound in the coming months,” especially if home loan rates continue to decline like they did late last year.
What Cooling Inflation Could Mean for the Housing Market
Last year, the Fed raised the Fed Funds Rate, which is the overnight borrowing rate for banks, seven times to try to tame inflation. When rates rise, people and businesses tend to borrow less, which helps cool the demand for goods. And, over time, lower demand typically leads to decreased prices.
In his press conference after the Fed’s December meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell began by emphasizing, “I would like to underscore for the American people that we understand the hardship that high inflation is causing and that we are strongly committed to bringing inflation back down to our 2 percent goal.”
Thankfully, there were welcome signs that runaway inflation has started to slow, as December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that prices fell 0.1% from November. On an annual basis, CPI eased to 6.5% after being reported at 7.7% in October and 7.1% in November.
Why does cooler inflation matter? Inflation reduces the value of fixed investments like bonds, and home loan rates are tied to a type of bond called mortgage-backed securities (also known as mortgage bonds). When mortgage bonds improve or move higher, home loan rates tend to improve or move lower. Though many factors impact the markets, lower inflation is usually beneficial for both mortgage bonds and home loan rates.
If you’re wondering how you can benefit from the opportunities ahead in the housing market this year, call or email me any time. I’m happy to help.
Sources: National Association of Home Builders, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, National Association of REALTORS®, Federal Reserve, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNBC
Time Tips from TED Talks
These popular TED Talks are filled with time-saving tips to help you have a prosperous and successful year.
“How to gain control of your free time” by author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam was first presented in 2016 and has since been viewed over 13 million times. If you've ever felt like you don't have enough time for what matters most to you, you’ll be intrigued by Vanderkam’s study of busy professionals, which showed that many of us overestimate our commitments each week and underestimate the time we have for ourselves. Through humorous and relatable stories, Vanderkam offers easy-to-implement strategies that illustrate how to use the 168 hours in each week to build the life you want in the time you have.
“Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” by blogger Tim Urban has garnered over 65 million views since it was first presented in 2016. Urban explains that there are two kinds of procrastination. The first occurs when there are deadlines and the effects of procrastination are short-term, like cramming to finish a project. The second happens in situations without deadlines, where people feel like they aren't even able to start chasing their dreams, much less achieve them. Through his hilarious journey of last-minute papers, “YouTube binges and Wikipedia rabbit holes,” Urban encourages us to “think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.”
Enjoy a productive year ahead with these TED Talk tips!
Powerful Social Media Post Ideas
You’ll create engaging connections with clients thanks to these social media post ideas that are perfect for the new year.
Share a “State of the Market” post so your followers can see what to expect in the months to come. For visual appeal, consider creating infographics that you can use to highlight price, number of homes sold, current pending sales, average days on the market and more.
Buyer and Seller Checklists filled with important do’s and don’ts can help your clients get ahead in competitive markets - and help them remember why they can count on you for their real estate needs. Seller lists can include organization, staging, renovation and repair ideas, while tips for organizing a home search, what to look for during a home inspection, and making a strong offer can benefit buyers.
FAQ Fridays are a weekly way you can demonstrate your expertise by answering the most common questions buyers and sellers in your market have today. Keep a list on your phone of all the questions you’re asked regularly and shoot a short video each week answering one. At the end of your videos, ask your followers to comment with the questions they want answered. This will not only help you build engagement but also give you plenty of content ideas for future weeks.
These powerful social media post ideas can help you become known as a trusted resource so you can build your business in the year ahead.