Tag Archives: residential

SUBDIVISION APPRAISERS NEED TO ADJUST ABSORPTION IMMEDIATELY

LAST UPDATED – SEPTEMBER 18, 2022

JULY 17, 2022 – REMINDER TO CHECK BACK AS I WILL UPDATE THIS WITH NEW INFORMATION AS I RECEIVED SUCH.

There are times when the data available to us real estate appraisers suddenly become (almost) useless. For example, after Hurricane Katrina almost all real estate data in New Orleans prior to the hurricane was all but worthless. Manhattan had 9/11. The entire country had the lockdown in Spring 2020.
Today the entire nation is facing this in regard to residential real estate. Basically, the data thru Spring 2022 is no longer reflective of current market conditions. Nor future market conditions.
It is time for subdivision appraisers to look almost solely through the windshield and no longer the rear-view mirror. There is no excuse for using absorption rates over the past year to forecast absorption over the next year or two.
We have the training to forecast future supply and demand. It is critical we do such now. For those familiar with the Appraisal Institute’s books on Market Analysis, you know that it is time to perform Level C analyses. Look forward, not backward.
I will add items to this post as they come out. For starters, the following items are support for reducing absorption rates significantly. I am sure you will come across similar items in your research.

ADDED SEPTEMBER 18th – Mortgage rates are above 6% for the first time Since 2008. These rates are still cheap. But, people have been spoiled with the artificially low rates over the past decade. If you can’t afford a loan at 6%, you shouldn’t be buying a house anyway.

Per the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the average home purchase loan size is only increasing at a 2.1% YoY rate now versus a 12.1% YoY back in April. This is a leading indicator for home prices.

Redfin’s weekly pending home sales tally of homes under contract has tightly tracked MBA purchases this year. Through the week ended September 4, this forward-looking gauge was down -29.3% versus year ago levels. Because demand is softening, supply is likewise loosening — Redfin’s age of inventory has risen on an annual basis since mid-July. (Quill Intelligence)

Pinto now predicts that by the December holidays, average home prices will hover around 6% higher than 12 months earlier. But the first seven months of 2022 are already in the can, and they show a total gain of 10% from January through July. To register a 6% increase for the year, prices must fall 4% over the next five months. That course would mark a severe reversal from the ever-rising tide of the last few years. And the drop will be anything but consistent across America. “The declines in the West will continue to be the most severe,” says Pinto. “The high end will also continue to be hit hardest.” So far, America faces nothing resembling an outright crash. But for the average homeowner, it will hardly bring cheer that the closer they get to the holidays, the more they’ll be watching the value of their cherished ranches and colonials fade. (American Enterprise Institute)

MBA noted that in addition to mortgage application activity remaining at a 22-year low, it was seeing, “average purchase loan sizes continuing to trend lower, as purchase activity at the high end of the market is weakening.” Blasting a warning to not be premature in looking for a bottom, this report was followed by the National Association of Realtors’ July Pending Home Sales Index, which registered the lowest reading since September 2011. Because this gauge is the most leading within the residential real estate universe, the best that can be said is to expect more of the same. (Quill Intelligence)

ADDED JULY 29th – Taking the unexpected in turn, June new home sales fell 8.1% to a 590,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate; each of the prior three months were revised downward. Chalk up revisions to cancellations. Nonetheless, the -50.5% annualized decline in the six months ended June has so few precedents, you can count them on one hand: 1966 near recession, 1980 recession, 1981-82 recession, 2007-09 recession and 2010 payback from home buyer tax credit. 
 
Pending total home sales collapsed 8.6% in June to the levels consistent with the last three recessions. The near-40% annualized plunge in the six months ended June was rivaled by the 2007 housing bust, 2010’s homebuyer tax credit hangover, and the COVID-19 flash recession. (Quill Intelligence)

((One of the best services I subscribe to is Quill Intelligence by Danielle DiMartino Booth. They analyze data in unique ways. Homepage – Quill Intelligence They have a Daily Feather sub that I think is $500/year. I guaranty it will be the best $500 you spend on a subscription!))

From Joel Kan, a Mortgage Bankers Association economist. ‘After reaching a record $460,000 in March 2022, the average purchase loan size was $415,000 last week, pulled lower by the potential moderation of home-price growth and weaker purchase activity at the upper end of the market.’

“Americans are canceling deals to buy homes at the highest rate since the start of the Covid pandemic. The share of sale agreements on existing homes canceled in June was just under 15% of all homes that went under contract, according to… Redfin. That is the highest share since early 2020, when homebuying paused immediately, albeit briefly. Cancelations were at about 11% one year ago. Higher mortgage rates and surging inflation are causing many potential homebuyers to reconsider their purchases.” CNBC (Diana Olick)

((I will add that a local Realtor told me that in the past 7 years she had six purchasers walk away from their contract. In the past 2 weeks, she had 16 (!) purchasers walk away.))

On Tuesday, Zumper’s National Index for two-bedroom apartments falling 2.9% in May was all the rage in chatrooms (link above for full skinny). After the close, Black Knight dropped this bomb: “The annual home price growth rate fell by more than a full percentage point in May, the largest monthly decline at the national level since 2006.” We would remind you that May is the strongest seasonal time of the year for rent and home price gains. Both have begun to stumble. (Quill Intelligence)

All in all, about half (53) of the metros in this analysis saw more than 25% of home sellers drop their asking price in May. More than 10% of home sellers dropped their price in all 108 metros, driving the national share of price drops to a record high.  The uptick in price drops is symbolic of the slowdown in the housing market. Many buyers are backing off amid skyrocketing home prices, surging mortgage rates, high inflation and a faltering stock market.  (Redfin)

June 27 – Bloomberg (Alex Tanzi): “US cities that saw some of the biggest jumps in home prices during the pandemic now have the largest shares of price cuts, according to… Zillow… Overall, the proportion of active real estate listings with lower prices has increased in all 50 of the largest US metropolitan markets tracked by Zillow. In these cities, 11.5% of homes saw a price cut in May, on average, up from 8.2% a year earlier. The share of lower listing prices rose the fastest in real estate hotspots like Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Sacramento, California… Among the 50 metros in Zillow’s data, 32 had more than 10% of listings with a price decline.”

June 30 – Bloomberg (Prashant Gopal): “The housing slowdown is helping to solve one of the US real estate market’s most intractable problems: tight inventory. With fewer buyers competing, the number of active US listings jumped 18.7% in June from a year earlier, the largest annual increase in data going back to 2017, Realtor.com said… And new sellers entered the market at an even faster rate than before the pandemic housing rally began… Active listings more than doubled from a year earlier in metro areas including Austin, Texas; Phoenix; and Raleigh, North Carolina, the data show. They climbed 86% in Nashville, Tennessee, and 72% in the Riverside, California, region.”

June 29 – New York Times (Conor Dougherty): “For the past two years, anyone who had a home to sell could get practically any asking price. Good shape or bad, in cities and in exurbs, seemingly everything on the market had a line of eager buyers. Now, in the span of a few weeks, real estate agents have gone from managing bidding wars to watching properties sit without offers, and once-hot markets like Austin, Texas, and Boise, Idaho, are poised for big declines.”

“Despite the small gain in pending sales from the prior month, the housing market is clearly undergoing a transition,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Contract signings are down sizably from a year ago because of much higher mortgage rates.” Pending home sales have fallen 13.6% from a year ago. Economists have pointed to rapidly rising mortgage rates to explain buyers growing more cautious. The monthly payment on a median-priced single-family home, assuming a 10% down payment, has risen by about $800 since the beginning of the year due to the increase in mortgage rates. Rates have jumped by 2.5 percentage points since January.

Home buying conditions for the top third match the lowest on record. If you’re curious, that top tier is responsible for 58.7% of home sales. By extension, they account for 56.5% of furniture sales. In a weekend chat with Ivy Zelman, she said she expects home inventories to be up by 70% YoY by the time we ring in the New Year. Redfin’s latest data corroborate the downside building — the brokerage’s proprietary gauge of pending home sales fell 10% YoY to the lowest since May 2020 while requests to tour homes sunk 16% YoY, the biggest decline since April 2020 when the pandemic slammed the sector. (Quill Intelligence)

On the heels of the release, Zelman & Associates warned, “In the months ahead we expect homebuilders to respond to softening demand with increased incentives and even price cuts in an effort to stimulate activity.”
 
Excerpts from Monday’s NAHB corroborate Zelman’s concerns: 
 “Production bottlenecks, rising home building costs and high inflation are causing many builders to halt construction because the cost of land, construction and financing exceeds the market value of the home.”

“In another sign of a softening market, 13% of builders…reported reducing home prices in the past month to bolster sales and/or limit cancellations.”

“Affordability is the greatest challenge facing the housing market. Significant segments of the home buying population are priced out of the market.”

Rather than move, a growing number of investors are making their way for the exits. As reported yesterday by Bloomberg, KKR, Blackstone and Amherst are among housing investors who have “cut buying activity by more than 50%.” At least they’re not joining Starwood Capital in jettisoning portfolios of single-family rental portfolios…yet. Yes, this will leave a nasty bruise on a market overly dependent on leveraged, deep-pocketed, price-agnostic buyers. (Quill Intelligence)

((I will finish by adding this thought. With interest rates up at least 250bp since the beginning of the year, I believe it would be prudent for appraisers to look at the past sales rate for houses that were priced about 50% higher than your subject’s houses will be. My logic follows.

Your subject expects to sell houses at $400,000. Assuming a 30-year mortgage with a 5.5% interest rate, the monthly payment will be $2,271. I just assumed a 100% LTV to make the analysis shorter. We all know that people buy a monthly payment, not a price. Last year, the same $2,271 monthly payment at a 3.0% interest rate could buy a $540,000 (Rounded). Therefore, I think it would be better to look at the past absorption rate for houses in the $550,000 price range instead of the $400,000 range.

That said, we still need to look to the future. All past absorption rates still need to be adjusted downward SIGNIFICANTLY. I don’t know by how much. Personally, I would apply a 50% drop to begin with. In a few months the data may well suggest a 75%+ drop. And I wouldn’t project any rebound for at least 2+ years. My two cents.))

Shalom,

The Mann

REAL ESTATE MARKETS AND THE FUTURE

APRIL 11 -First, Happy Easter and Passover to all.

In this post I will list everything I have encountered about real estate and what participants are observing and projecting.  I hope you find this information helpful.

Nearly 1/3 of apartment renters paid no rent the first week of April.

Initially office buildings were considered a safe holding or investment due to typically long leases.  However, tenants have stopped paying rent or asked for reduced rent.  Sales of skyscrapers are reportedly falling apart.

I think the above shows a trend towards tenants simply refusing to pay rent until they can afford to.  The Cheesecake Factory and hundreds of retailers are doing the same.  Tenants are rightfully challenging landlords – are they going to kick us out and have a vacant building?  Who are they going to get to replace us?

40% of oil and natural gas producers are expected to go bankrupt if oil stays around $30 a barrel.  Remember, it went down to $20 before rebounding to the $30 area.  The four largest banks are setting up independent oil and gas companies to operate the assets they will be taking back.  Of course, they will likely hire people from the companies that go bankrupt to run these fields for them…as they say, people get promoted to their level of competency.  In this case the people that fail at business get rewarded with new jobs.

75% of debt relief requests have come from hotel and retail real estate owners.

Over $80 billion in commercial rent comes due each month.

One of the best weekly reports I have come across is put out by David Wirgler at Stan Johnson Co.  His email is dwirgler@stanjohnsonco.com    I do not know how much it costs.  But, it is an incredible source of real estate information obtained from hundreds of interviews with market participants.  If you are involved with CRE in any way, I highly recommend you checking this product out.

Developers remain active and are moving forward with projects.  Investors are slowing down though.  Not much information out there about what is happening to cap rates.  If you have seen anything, please forward to me so I can share it with everyone (GeorgeRMann@Aol.Com).

As of March 13th (early on in this crisis), 53% of respondents to a survey agreed with the statement “I will not go out to eat at restaurants as often.’  I am with them.  I can’t see eating inside a restaurant again for ages.  Just not worth the risk until we have a vaccine in place.  Remember, the expectation is that 1/3 of all restaurants nationwide will close up for good.  That will be lots of real estate needing new tenants and users.

I used to love Macy’s, but it has gone way downhill in its offerings over the past decade.  The expectation is they will not survive this downturn.  Knowing that companies are living entities that will do all they can to survive, I expect Macy’s to die a slow death like Sear’s.  The best thing that can happen to Macy’s is for Amazon to buy all of their real estate as it is great for last mile operations.  We shall see how it plays out.

In my opinion, the two best sources of residential information are John Burns Real Estate Consulting (https://www.realestateconsulting.com/) and American Enterprise Institute (https://www.aei.org/).  They both have free newsletters.  I highly recommend subscribing to both.

I forget which of them it was, but the expectation is for home prices to fall 4% to 6%.  This is the first specific decline I have seen for any real estate property types.  Also, futures on home prices are showing a 5% to 10% decline over the next year for most markets.

I will end with a summary from AEI’s April 8th email:

1. Housing market is facing numerous stress points and at accelerated speeds. As a result the recovery will likely be an elongated U, not a V shaped.

2. Ginnie- and GSE-centric solutions are appropriate given that 64% of single-family mortgage loans are held or guaranteed by these federal mortgage agencies and 100% of these are covered by the forbearance provisions of the CARES Act.

3. While Ginnie’s liquidity challenges are substantial, a well-designed Ginnie-centric solution is being put in place.

4. The GSEs liquidity challenges are also substantial, however more needs to be done to implement a GSE-centric solution.

5. Non-bank servicers face substantial financial challenges.

6. Treasury and FSOC should continue to monitor progress by Ginnie, Fannie, and Freddie, as well as any stresses developing elsewhere in the mortgage market.  The goal should be to have the needed solutions in place by the end of April.  At the same time, a coordinated consumer-education effort should be undertaken, focused on best industry practices in handling forbearance requests.

7. Canary zip codes are highly susceptible to price declines, largely areas with high concentrations of FHA loans.

The full report is at:

Challenges facing the single family housing market with focus on liquidity challenges facing Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac

I encourage you to email Mr. Pinto and get on his email list.

Lastly, I have heard of some entities essentially staying closed thru the Summer or even end of year.  I have heard a few popular singers say they don’t expect to be able to have a concert tour until the Summer of 2022.  Some companies are furloughing their employees for the 4 months that the government will be paying them the $1200 or whatever the amount is.  I didn’t know that was being given out for 4 months, but….if so, then companies are saying hey let the Fed pay you and save us this expense.  The point is many companies are not expecting to be up and running until after the Summer, if then.  Some realize they have no chance until next year.  For some industries there probably isn’t any hope until we have a vaccine.  The recovery will break records because we will be bouncing from all-time lows (and I mean all-time…that being the entire history of the USA).  But, it will likely be a staggered recovery as industries will differ in how long it takes them to get up to full speed again.

I hope everyone is safe and well and had a great Easter and Passover.

Godspeed.

The Mann

 

2015 AEI/CRN CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON, DC

November 3, 2015 – I attended the 4th annual AEI/CRN conference last week.  Instead of me trying to summarize what all of the great speakers said, you can go to the link below to see the presentations.

The speakers and people in attendance are major players in the residential real estate industry.  They recognize the appraisal process is broken and the current appraisal report is basically useless.  Major change is needed and I believe it will be these people who make it occur.

I encourage you to take the time to listen to the presenters and read their presentations.

George

The email below is from the AEI:

Thank you for your interest and participation in AEI’s recent event “Fourth annual international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications.” We wanted to share the event summary and video with you; please feel free to share these with friends or colleagues.You can also view all of the presentations from the conference.

Learn more about the Wealth Building Home Loan, Edward Pinto and Stephen Oliner’s revolutionary approach to low-income home finance, which has received rave reviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Reuters, among other outlets.

Explore more of AEI’s work on issues related to housing risk at HousingRisk.org, the website of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk, and don’t miss the November 23 briefing call with Steve Oliner and Ed Pinto to discuss this month’s release of the Mortgage Risk Index. Please contact Urbashee Paul to receive dial-in information for the conference call.

AEI is a community of scholars and supporters committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening free enterprise. To learn more about AEI, please bookmark AEI.org and visit often.

Yours cordially,

The AEI Events team

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.20036
www.aei.org