Mortgage rates increased a little from last week due to the overall positive economic sentiment. The economy is growing at a steady pace, fears of an economic downturn have diminished, and the job market is strong. Generally positive economic news leads to a slightly higher interest rates. Rates are up 5 basis points from last week and average 3.73% with .7% in fees and points for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Due to the positive economic outlook, the slight increase in rates did not deter prospective buyers from applying for a home loan. Mortgage applications increased 3.8 percent from a week earlier.
In other mortgage news, CoreLogic released their home equity report for the third quarter of this year and it shows that homeowners who owe more on their mortgages that what their homes are worth is down to just 3.7% of all mortgaged properties. To put that in perspective, at the height of the great recession ten years ago, that number was up to 25% of all mortgaged homes.
DFW Market and Economic News
The National Association of Realtors released their Housing 2020 Forecast, making predictions into what the market will look like in 2020. The forecast predicts that on a national level, home price growth will flatten, inventory will remain constrained, mortgage rates will stay under 4.0%, and that preferential treatment will be given to mid-sized markets that have more affordable products.
Here’s a crazy stat for you:
The largest population cohort in the country is those who were born in 1990. That group will turn 30 this year. Millennials will account for more than half of all mortgages next year.
Here’s where NAR’s report starts to break down for me.
They predict that sales growth in Dallas will be down 4.9% and the price growth will be down 0.5%. Now I’m not an economist and I don’t have all the data that NAR used to create their predictions. But I know what I see in the field.
I’ll start with saying that it is possible we will see fewer homes listed next year as sellers might resist listing their homes since prices aren’t growing at break-neck speed and sellers aren’t making money hand over fist. However, I think buyers would want to take advantage of low interest rates and less aggressive pricing scenarios, bringing up the demand
And for prices to go down? I just don’t see how that makes a lot of sense for what’s happening in DFW. If we look at the past as an indication of the future, we keep hearing about businesses choosing to relocate to DFW because of the corporate friendly environment we have with our tax structure and overall cost of living. We also have a good job candidate pool with multiple universities feeding into the local labor market. Just a few weeks ago we learned that Charles Schwab will move its headquarters to DFW. They’re currently building out their campus that holds 1600 employees to hold up to 6000 employees.
We have a strong multifamily housing market with an apartment occupancy of 95.5% according to the Dallas FED. Builders aren’t building enough inventory to keep up with the demand. Considering housing options are tightening while more people are coming to the area, I struggle to see why prices wouldn’t increase at all next year and why we’ll sell so fewer homes. Only time will tell whose crystal ball is correct.
If you’re a seller looking to sell a moderately-priced home in 2020, you’ll have a good amount of demand for your home. Buyers, if you’re looking for a home that’s above the affordable range, it will be a great time for you. With interest rates projecting to be below 4% and pricing to cool at the higher levels, you might have more buying power in 2020 than you would’ve in 2019.
Jennifer Shannon is a Texas real estate agent and broker, licensed since 2006.