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Recently, Freddie Mac published an Insight Report titled Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing. The report focused on the impact the projected rise in mortgage rates might have on the housing market this year.

Many believe that an increase in mortgage rates will cause a slowdown in purchases which would, in turn, lead to a fall in house values. Ultimately, however, prices are determined by supply and demand and while rising mortgage rates may slow demand, they also affect supply. From the report:

 “For current homeowners, the decision to buy a new home is typically linked to their decision to sell their current home… Because of this link, the financing costs of the existing mortgage are part of the homeowner’s decision of whether and when to move.

Once financing costs for a new mortgage rise above the rate borrowers are paying for their current mortgage, borrowers would have to give up below-market financing to sell their home.

Instead, they may choose to delay both the sale of their existing home and the purchase of a new home to maintain the advantageous financing.”

The Freddie Mac report, in acknowledging this situation, concluded that prices are not adversely impacted by higher mortgage rates. They explained:

“While there is a drop in the demand for homes, there is an associated drop in the supply of homes from the link between the selling and buying decisions. As both supply and demand move together in this way they have offsetting effects on price—lower demand decreases price and lower supply increases price.

They went on to reveal that the Freddie Mac National House Price Index is…

“…unresponsive to movements in interest rates. In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

The following graph, based on data from the report, reveals what happened to home prices the last six times mortgage rates rose by at least 1%.

Bottom Line

Whether you are a move-up buyer or first-time buyer, waiting to purchase your next home based on the belief that prices will fall because of rising mortgage rates makes no sense.

 

If you are considering selling your current home, to either move up to a larger home or into a home in an area that better suits your current family needs, great news was just revealed.

 

Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40+ years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:

“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.

Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016.

Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”

Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average:

The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.

(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.)

There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.

Bottom Line

If you have held off on moving up to your family’s dream home because you were hoping to time the market, that time has come.

The Frisco Town Council is considering an overhaul of its short-term rental regulations after receiving estimates that only half of town properties listed on sites like Airbnb and Homeaway are in compliance with current licensing rules.

The most likely change, which could take effect by November, would scrap "umbrella licensing," which allows property management companies to list their entire short-term rental portfolios under a single license. That leaves thousands of revenue dollars on the table and prevents the town from precisely monitoring STR numbers.

A recent third-party analysis found approximately 850 short-term rental listings in Frisco, but only 237 active vacation rental licenses — 25 of which were umbrella licenses. Town staff estimate that even if umbrella licenses account for 200 units, the town has still only achieved a 50 percent compliance rate.

"We've known about this for a couple years, we haven't put the resources into it, but I think now we need to get more staff involved and start looking at it pretty closely," Frisco Mayor Gary Wilkinson said during a council work session on Tuesday.

More stringent measures like capping STRs in town are on the table, but council seemed more inclined to strengthen and better enforce the current licensing system rather than strictly curtails rentals. More public hearings will precede any rule changes, council said.

There are plenty of benefits to short-term rentals, which keep the lights on in town and generate foot traffic on Main Street. And while recent tax revenue data suggest they may be taking a bite out of the hotel business, lodging isn't necessarily a zero-sum game. Renting out a spare room can also help local homeowners stay afloat financially.

Perhaps the most important question for short-term rentals, however, is their impact on housing for locals. While STRs have taken on a sort of symbolism for residents who chafe at the lack of long-term housing options, their actual impact on the rental market is unclear.

"Do we know that, if we limit short-term rentals, those owners are going to turn them into long-term rentals or just sit vacant?" councilman Rick Ihnken asked. "I don't know if we can get that answer, but that's the big unknown for now."

If owners can make more money renting to vacationers day-to-day, the thinking goes, they're less likely to lease their units to locals year round. But testing that theory is almost impossible. Historical data are lacking or incomplete, and there are a slew of factors influencing how owners choose to make money off their properties.

"Impacts on long-term employee housing supply are incredibly difficult to quantify as historical data sets are unavailable as to how many units were once available for long-term rent, how many of those units were actually rented by local employees, and how many of those units may have converted to short-term," Frisco town staff noted in a report to council.

Academic research indicates that short-term rentals can limit local housing. One study by an affordable housing advocacy group found that STRs reduced New York City's housing stock by 10 percent. A paper published in the Harvard Law and Policy Review similarly found that STRs were exacerbating Los Angeles' housing crisis.

Frisco, of course, is no coastal metropolis, and it's unclear how STRs might impact the rental market in a town where roughly 70 percent of properties are second homes.

Breckenridge, like all of Summit County, has a high proportion of second homes as well. In 2016, the town commissioned a study that found STRs had a "significant" impact on local housing, reducing the available stock while increasing the demand for workers. The findings, however, were approximate and limited by data availability.

Nick VanDer Sluis, who lives in Denver but rents two condos in Breckenridge short-term, bought his first unit four years ago to avoid Interstate 70 traffic. Renting it out on Airbnb allowed him to use it whenever he liked while still making money off of it, something he couldn't do with full-time tenants.

Breckenridge is not considering new regulations. However, Sluis said that if he were dis-incentivized to rent short-term — perhaps through a cap system that made licenses expensive — he would probably sell his units rather than rent them long-term.

"It's a two-fold problem," he said. "There's a shortage of affordable housing but there's also a shortage of hotels and rooms to rent to drive the industry there. So that's a tough call. If you start limiting short-terms, you're helping one market and hurting another."

Paty Frost, who also lives in Denver and rents a unit in Breckenridge short-term, also enjoys the flexibility of Airbnb, which allows her to bring in some extra money when she isn't staying at her place.

"We haven't discussed doing long-term, so the economics of it wasn't even really part of the decision," she said. "We just wanted to still be able to use the place."

There are probably many owners like Sluis and Frost, whose units would be empty most of the year if they weren't being rented short-term. And while some units that might otherwise be rented to locals have certainly been converted to short-term, it's an elusive number.

One of the stated goals of the town's STR regulations is to "preserve and build Frisco's sense of community as a place where people live year round." But in a town with so many second homes, short-term renting may actually add life to blocks that might otherwise sit empty.

"Whether it's good or bad for neighborhoods, at least there are lights on in these communities and people going to our businesses," councilman Hunter Mortensen said. "I went for a walk with the dog today and walked by four driveways that had not been plowed all winter. To me, that's more of a concern than short-term rentals."

2030 Olympic bid for Denver would require major land, housing commitments for mountain towns

by Deepan Dutta ddutta@summitdaily.com

Bringing the Olympics to the Rockies may be a tall order for Summit and neighboring mountain communities — 12 to 15 stories tall, to be more exact.

The Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee recently met with Summit housing officials and set out the needs for an Olympic village for athletes, coaches and staff in the mountains. Summit Combined Housing Authority executive director Jason Dietz presented the Olympic village requirements to local town and county officials at the authority's regular meeting on Wednesday.

"The site will need to be 35 to 50 acres of 'flat' land," Dietz announced, and was met with a smattering of chuckles from around the table. Finding a contiguous, flat parcel of land is a steep ask in the mountains. A current property listing on LandWatch.com has one 26-acre flat parcel in Breckenridge selling at $1.75 million.

Dietz added that any such site purchase and infrastructure development would need to be privately or publicly funded, as the Olympics would only pay to rent space while the games are being hosted.

“We want to see what legacy makes the best sense for Denver and the mountain towns.”Ramonna RobinsonSpokesperson for Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee.

For a 35-acre site, Dietz said, housing would need to be dense and cover a smaller footprint in order to accommodate the 2,000 rooms needed to house all the athletes. That would necessitate the construction of a 12- to 15-story residential tower in the middle of a village complex. For a 50-acre site, the building would be 2- to 4-stories tall on a much larger footprint. The villages would also need new infrastructure such as roads, plumbing and electricity.

Summit County manager Scott Vargo said that the county is not at all thrilled about the first proposal. "I don't think a huge tower block would be appropriate for our community," Vargo said, adding that the shorter 50-acre complex seems more feasible, though finding appropriate flat land remains a daunting challenge.

Vargo also said that aside from housing, three new sports venues will need to be built in Denver and the mountains for Nordic skiing (the Nordic centers in Frisco and Breckenridge do not meet Olympic specs), the ski jump and a sliding track for the luge/bobsled.

Ramonna Robinson, spokesperson for the Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee, said that the housing requirement is necessitated by International Olympic Committee requirements. "The IOC requires enough housing for 5,500 beds for the athletes, coaches and staff," she said. She added that the committee is looking at the possibility of building separate villages in Denver, Summit and Eagle to spread out the residential need.

Robinson sees lasting benefits to bringing the Olympics to Colorado. She said that the villages and other infrastructure development could become permanent improvements and address some critical needs in mountain communities.

"There are a lot of infrastructure and capital improvements that aren't being funded in Colorado," Robinson said. "We really believe that the Olympics can be a catalyst to attract much-needed federal funds and help with major issues in the mountains, such as workforce housing and expanding and improving I-70. It could be a benefit for everybody."

Robinson said the exploratory committee is listening to as many local voices as they can to see what solution best fits their communities.

"We want to see what legacy makes the best sense for Denver and the mountain towns," she said, adding that affordable housing could be one such legacy.

The exploratory committee has met with officials from mountain towns including Breckenridge, Frisco, Georgetown, Vail and Winter Park. The committee is also encouraging public input through an online survey that closes at midnight Saturday. The survey can be accessed through the exploratory committee's website, SharingTheGold.org.

Mortgage Rates on FIRE! Home Prices Up in Smoke?

by KCM

 

Mortgage interest rates have already risen by over a quarter of a percentage point in 2018. Many are projecting that rates could increase to 5% by the end of the year.

What impact will rising rates have on house values?

Many quickly jump to the conclusion that an increase in mortgage rates will have a detrimental impact on real estate prices as fewer buyers will be able to qualify for a loan. This seems logical; if there is less demand for housing then prices will drop.

However, in a good economy, rising mortgage rates increase demand as many prospective purchasers immediately jump off the fence to guarantee they get the lower rate.

Let’s look at home prices the last four times mortgage rates increased dramatically.

In each case, home prices APPRECIATED and did not depreciate. No one is projecting as dramatic an increase in rates as the examples above. Most are projecting an increase of approximately 1% by the end of the year.

The last time mortgage rates increased by 1% over a twelve-month period was January 2013 (3.41%) to January 2014 (4.43%). What happened to house prices during that span? They appreciated by 9.8%.

Just two weeks ago, Rick Palacios Jr., Director of Research at John Burns Real Estate Consulting explained:

Mortgage rates have risen 1% or more ten times in the last 43 years, with little impact on home sales and prices when the economy was also strong…Historically, rising confidence, solid job growth, and higher wages have more than offset reduced demand for housing resulting from higher mortgage rates.

Bottom Line

When mortgage rates increase, history has shown that prices appreciate (and do not depreciate) during that same time span.

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

by KCM

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high, and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.

REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX

Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that homebuying demand continued to outpace the supply of homes available in January.

The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger demand there is).

 

In addition to revealing high demand, the index also shows that compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 22 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in only 4 states (Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota & Utah).

Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in the report was not sales but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

Total housing inventory rose 4.1% from December to 1.52 million homes available for sale.
Unsold inventory is 9.5% lower than a year ago, marking the 32nd consecutive month with year-over-year declines.
This represents a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply. The underproduction of single-family homes over the last decade has played a predominant role in the current inventory crisis that is weighing on affordability.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.

As we mentioned before, there is currently a 3.4-month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Existing Home Sales Report shows that 43% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.

In January, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 42 days. As Yun notes, this will continue unless more listings come to the market.

“While the good news is that Realtors in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market and supply will ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.

Home Ownership Matters

by House Logic- Realtors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home ownership has a significant impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life. And, home ownership helps create jobs—lots of them—right here at home.

Owning your own home is not only beneficial to you; it also helps create jobs and stimulate the economy.
 

Home Ownership matters…to people, to communities, and to America. Why?

For every two homes sold, one job is created in the U.S.

Each purchase generates as much as $60,000 in economic activity over time.

The home ownership debate

Some who care about creating jobs also argue that home ownership may be overrated, and that we might be better off as a nation of renters.

If that’s of concern to you, follow the debate about federal government incentives to home ownership—the outcome of which will determine whether the average American can still get an affordable mortgage and whether home owners can continue to deduct their mortgage interest as a benefit of home ownership. 

Stay in the know on this debate by subscribing to the HouseLogic newsletter and following us on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up in the “Stay Connected” box at the top of this page.

Read about the issues affecting you as a home owner right now:

Home ownership

It Pays to Support Responsible Home Ownership
Protect your home’s value and build stronger communities.

Home Ownership Matters Bus Tour Hits the Road
The Home Ownership Matters bus tour, sponsored by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is revving up to celebrate the benefits of home ownership with you.

Home Ownership Matters Ad

Mortgages

How Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Save You Money
Home owners who use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages save thousands of dollars in interest payments each year.

Show Your Support for FHA
FHA supports home values by providing a steady source of mortgage financing for families across the country, but critics worry it has taken on too much risk.

Mortgage deduction

Your Mortgage Deduction: Turn Tax Savings into Home Value
Sock away your mortgage deduction tax savings, and you’ll have a nice cushion for life’s necessities—and a few luxuries. Here’s how a typical household might spend their tax savings at various life stages.

6 Mortgage Interest Deduction Myths
Think losing the mortgage interest deduction would be no big deal? We bust seven myths to show why the cost is bigger than you think.

Deduct Mortgage Interest and Home Equity Loans
Deducting mortgage interest, as well as interest on home equity loans and HELOCs, can save you money on taxes.

MID app
Estimate your tax savings based on the mortgage interest deduction.

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

 

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

[2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | MyKCM]

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

A study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?

by KCM

 

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 7.0% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.2% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line 

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage as opposed to paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.22% last week.

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

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Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
970-468-6800
800-262-8442
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker