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5 SIMPLE GRAPHS PROVING THIS IS NOT LIKE THE LAST TIME
With all of the volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about COVID-19, some are concerned we may be headed for another housing crash like the one we experienced from 2006–2008. The feeling is understandable. Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview: “With people having PTSD from the last time, they’re still afraid of buying at the wrong time.” Many reasons, however, indicate this real estate market is nothing like 2008. Here are five visuals to show the dramatic differences. 1. Mortgage standards are nothing like they were back then. During the housing bubble, it was difficult NOT to get a mortgage. Today, it is tough to qualify. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association releases a Mortgage Credit Availability Index which is “a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage. As shown below, during the housing bubble, the index skyrocketed. Currently, the index shows how getting a mortgage is even more difficult than it was before the bubble.
There’s a stark difference between these two periods of time. Normal appreciation is 3.6%, so while current appreciation is higher than the historic norm, it’s certainly not accelerating beyond control as it did in the early 2000s. 3. We don’t have a surplus of homes on the market. We have a shortage. The months’ supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued appreciation. As the next graph shows, there were too many homes for sale in 2007, and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory which is causing an acceleration in home values.
2. Prices are not soaring out of control. To the top right is a graph showing annual house appreciation over the past six years compared to the six years leading up to the height of the housing bubble. Though price appreciation has been quite strong recently, it is nowhere near the rise in prices that preceded the crash.
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