Is this another housing bubble?

 Real Estate Market  Comments Off on Is this another housing bubble?
Nov 082018

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By G. Steven Bray

Rapidly rising home prices preceded the housing crash 10 years ago during which some homes lost more than 50% of their value. Prices bottomed out a couple years later and have been rising steadily ever since. The strength of the recovery has some folks asking if we’re entering another housing bubble. Let’s look at the data.

Home prices nationally have risen 57% since the 2011 trough and are at record highs in some markets. However, the recovery hasn’t been uniform, and some markets still haven’t fully recovered. In addition, in order to assess market frothiness, it’s important to look at not only what homes cost, but also what homebuyers can afford.

Corelogic did that through its Market Conditions Indicator, which considers both home prices and average incomes. When rising home prices outpace incomes for a metropolitan area, the index labels the area overvalued. According to this index, about one-third of US metros currently are overvalued. This includes most Texas metros, including Austin, San Antonio, DFW, and Houston.

So, what does this mean? According to Corelogic, it probably doesn’t indicate a bubble yet. Before the last crash, two-thirds of metros nationally were overvalued. Market forces could be equilibrate metros if home prices stabilize. However, if for the next couple of years we experience additional price growth, we could enter bubble territory again.

Are we heading for another housing crash?

 Real Estate Market  Comments Off on Are we heading for another housing crash?
Jun 252015

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By G. Steven Bray

The recent run-up in home prices has led some to speculate that another bubble is forming. And bubbles tend to end spectacularly, like the 2008 housing crash. What are the chances of another crash?

The biggest difference between today’s housing market and the pre-crisis market is the level of leverage. Before the crash, mortgage debt amounted to 63% of real estate value. Today, that leverage rate is down to 44%. Thus, the market today should be more insulated from a rapid decline in prices.

Much of the decline in mortgage debt is the result of the elimination of delinquent debt through foreclosures, short sales, and other mechanisms. It also appears to be the result of the elimination of most of the no-money down payment loan programs that ruled in the pre-crisis era.