How prospective first-time homebuyers can succeed in today’s real estate market
With higher mortgage rates and relentless competition for the few houses on the market, homeownership may feel more elusive than ever for young people in America.
Our latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report found that first-time homebuyers accounted for just 26% of all home purchases in the United States last year. That’s the lowest level in 41 years.
The average first-time homebuyer in America is 36 years old. That’s the oldest age recorded since the association began keeping track of such data.
Some people are waiting longer before buying, especially for more modestly priced starter homes, due to affordability and availability constraints. And a lagging supply of homes for sale is helping keep prices relatively high. In January, for example, there were just 980,000 units on the market across the United States. That’s considerably lower than the pre-pandemic monthly average of around 1.8 million from 2016 to 2019.
January data also indicates that there was a 2.9-month supply of homes for sale, given current sales trends. That’s less than half the supply historically associated with a balanced market.
Given limited supply, and interest rates that are roughly double what they were two years ago, the average annual income needed to afford a home has surged to more than $90,000–a $40,000 increase compared with figures recorded before the pandemic.
Pillars of the middle class–teachers, blue-collar workers, and the like–often can’t reach the income threshold needed to afford a home. A teacher in the Boulder, Colorado, area earning a median salary of $60,000 may be able to afford less than 10% of homes in that market.
Homeownership remains extremely attractive–not least because it serves as an important form of long-term wealth creation. A home purchase made relatively early in life can allow Americans to accumulate tens–even hundreds–of thousands of dollars more in equity.
Given the challenges inherent in today’s market, real estate professionals must be prepared to equip homebuyers, especially first-timers, with the knowledge and resources that can be the difference between owning and renting.
To prevail in today’s real estate market, first-time buyers need to be aware of the many programs that have been created specifically to help them achieve the American dream of homeownership.
For example, many state and local governments sponsor down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Federal Housing Administration loans, offered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, can allow first-time buyers to put down as little as 3.5% of a home’s purchase price.
HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher homeownership program can also help people of modest means afford a home of their own. And many lending institutions offer special grant and down payment assistance programs, particularly to those from groups that have historically been marginalized. Some programs even offer mortgages with no closing costs.
Finally, first-time buyers can find support through free, educational programs, like those offered by many state governments. Through its Housing Opportunity Program, the National Association of Realtors offers resources, grants, and training for real estate agents to help residents of their communities find affordable and comfortable residences.
In today’s market, first-time homebuyers could use a hand. Realtors are there to lend it.
Kenny Parcell is the 2023 president of the National Association of Realtors and a realtor from Spanish Fork, Utah. He is the broker-owner of Equity Real Estate Utah.
The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary pieces are solely the views of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.
Bank Crisis Could Cast Pall Over Commercial Real Estate Market – The New York Times
The market hadn’t fully rebounded from the pandemic. Some worry that another slowdown could add to fears of a recession.
The fallout from the recent banking crisis spurred by the collapse of two banks — and concerns about the health of a third — is bubbling up in the market for commercial real estate lending, as borrowers fear that banks will pull back. That could slow down construction activity and increase the likelihood of a recession, analysts and real estate experts said.
Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank imploded in the same week. First Republic Bank teetered for days before its shares partly recovered on Tuesday. Both Signature and First Republic are large lenders to builders and managers of office buildings, rental apartments, shopping complexes and other commercial properties.
First Republic has the ninth-largest loan portfolio in that market in the United States, and Signature had the 10th largest before it collapsed, according Trepp, a commercial real estate data firm.
Midsize and regional banks like Signature and First Republic not only provide the bulk of commercial real estate loans to businesses, they are also part of a far bigger market. Banks typically package the loans they make into complex financial products and sell them to investors, allowing the banks to raise more money to make new loans.
That means that a pullback in lending can also alter the behavior of investors. Commercial real estate contributed $2.3 trillion to the nation’s economy last year, according to an industry association. And because the industry hasn’t fully rebounded from the blow dealt by the pandemic, analysts worry about a fresh slowdown.
“It is a perfect storm right now,” said Varuna Bhattacharyya, a real estate lawyer in New York with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner who mainly represents banks.
“We were already in a place with a much lower rate of originations,” Ms. Bhattacharyya said, referring to new loan applications that banks process. “It’s hard not to feel a bit of panic and anxiety.”
Ms. Bhattacharyya said lenders would become even more cautious about writing loans for any new construction projects other than the highest-profile “trophy deals.”
The fear among borrowers is that banks will become more conservative about lending. And although the panic appears to have mostly stabilized for now, the specter of bank failure could haunt the decisions of regional banks for months.
For much of last year, commercial real estate lending had begun rebounding from the depths of the Covid-19 lockdowns, when new loan applications almost came to a standstill in the fourth quarter of 2020. By comparison, the annual rate of commercial real estate loan origination by dollar volume grew 18 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Trepp.
Even before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation stepped in to take over Silicon Valley and Signature, a noticeable slowdown in lending to the commercial real estate industry had begun in January.
On an annual basis, the rate of commercial real estate loan growth this year had already been cut in half compared with last year, said Matthew Anderson, a managing director at Trepp. He said some of the slowdown was the result of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, which were starting to take a bite out of commercial real estate activity.
And lending has probably tapered off further since the collapses of Silicon Valley and Signature, Mr. Anderson said. “How long and deep the impact will be remains to be seen,” he said.
The universe of commercial real estate includes loans for new construction, mortgages and loans specifically for managing multifamily apartment complexes. The so-called securitized products containing loans that banks make are called commercial mortgage-backed securities — a more than $72 billion market last year. But it’s a different story in 2023, with issuance of those bonds down 78 percent from a year ago.
Daniel Klein, president of Klein Enterprises, a commercial real estate management firm based in Maryland, had been talking to several banks recently about a construction loan for a new project. But just the other day, after the banks collapsed, one of the banks suddenly pulled a term sheet for a loan, he said.
Mr. Klein, whose family-owned business manages about 60 shopping centers, offices and apartment buildings, said that the bank had offered no explanation for its decision, and that he did not know if the trouble in the banking sector had been a cause. He said he expected loan terms from lenders to get more onerous in the coming months, as midsize banks get skittish after the Signature and Silicon Valley Bank collapses.
“Banks in general are being more conservative than they were six or nine months ago,” he said. “But we have been pretty fortunate. We have many long standing community banking relationships.”
Regional banks are a critical part of the commercial real estate ecosystem because their bankers invest a lot of time into forging relationships with real estate developers and managers, said Michael E. Lefkowitz, a real estate lawyer with Rosenberg & Estis in New York. Large banks do not tend to provide that kind of “high-level service” to middle-market real estate firms.
Some of the concerns of real estate lenders eased a bit when the F.D.I.C. announced on Sunday that it had sold substantially all of the remaining deposits at Signature Bank to a subsidiary of a peer, New York Community Bancorp, which is also a major commercial real estate lender. The banking regulator took over Signature on March 12 after business customers — including real estate firms and crypto investors — began pulling money out of the bank.
Before its collapse, Signature was one of the biggest commercial real estate lenders in the New York metropolitan area.
In buying some of Signature’s assets, New York Community Bancorp picked up about $34 billion in customer deposits, down from the $88 billion that Signature had before the bank run, an indication of just how many customers fled the bank before regulators stepped in on March 12 to stem the bleeding.
Even with the sale of banking deposits to New York Community Bancorp, there are worries about whether other banks will fill the void left by the collapse of Signature.
New York Community Bancorp acquired about $12.9 billion in loans from Signature, the F.D.I.C. said, but most were business loans to health care companies and not part of Signature’s large commercial real estate portfolio. That means the F.D.I.C. still needs to find a buyer for Signature’s core commercial real estate loan portfolio.
A spokesman for the F.D.I.C. said that the organization “has not characterize the types of loans left behind” and that they would be “disposed at a later date.”
“I think this means that Signature’s commercial real estate portfolio is still up in the air,” Mr. Anderson of Trepp said.
An indicator that Trepp uses to measure the risk of default to loans held by banks on office complexes found that those facing the most distress were in San Francisco — where First Republic is based.
Banks are likely to cut back on lending to preserve capital in order to strengthen their balance sheets in anticipation of further Federal Reserve interest rate increases and renewed calls for regulators to get more aggressive in monitoring risk taking by banks. Any pullback in new lending could affect the start of commercial developments and push the economy closer to a recession.
As bank regulators work to stabilize the financial system, they will also need to keep an eye on banks holding too many commercial real estate loans in their portfolios — something that can create its own set of problems in a slowing economy.
A report late last year by Moody’s Investors Service, the credit rating agency, found that 27 regional banks already had high concentrations of such loans on their balance sheets. The report said the issue could become problematic for banks if the economy fell into a recession.
Gisele Bundchen Reacts to Reports Linking Her to Jiu-Jitsu Teacher and Billionaire Real Estate Developer – TooFab
Of one of the men, she said, “I wouldn’t be with this guy … I mean, puh-leeze!”
Gisele Bundchen is speaking out against reports she’s dating her Jiu-Jitsu instructor Joaquim Valente or real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer following her split from Tom Brady.
In the months since filing for divorce, Bundchen has been linked romantically to both men. The supermodel has been spotted out with Valente solo and with her children on multiple occasions, while the Daily Mail recently reported she’s been seeing 55-year-old Soffer for several months.
“I think, at this point, unfortunately, because I’m divorced, I’m sure that they’re going to try to attach me to anything,” she told Vanity Fair when asked about the reports, which, at the time of the initial interview were only about Valente.
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Speaking with the publication about Joaquim and his brothers — Pedro, Gui, who are also instructors — she said she was “so grateful to know all of them, because not only have they helped me and helped my kids, but they have become great friends, and Joaquim especially.”
“He’s our teacher and, most importantly, he’s a person that I admire and that I trust,” she added.
“It’s so good to have that kind of energy, to have my kids around that type of energy.”
Gisele Bundchen Admits She Didn’t Always Have Good Relationship with Tom Brady’s Ex Bridget Moynahan
When asked about Soffer in a follow-up interview weeks later, the reporter noted she sounded “devastated” when they brought up his name. The real estate developer and billionaire is a longtime friend of her ex-husband was previously married to fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson.
Calling the report “absurd,” she said she has “zero relationship with him in any way” and hasn’t seen him in more than six months. “He’s Tom’s friend, not my friend … I wouldn’t be with his friend. I wouldn’t be with this guy,” she added, “I mean, puh-leeze.” She also said, “They were saying I’m with this guy, he’s old, because he’s got money — it’s ridiculous.”
Saying that “seeing lies being created all the time about yourself is not easy,” 42-year-old Bundchen insinuated the stories were “planted,” said VF, and said whoever did it wants “to make me look like something I’m not.” She concluded that all she wanted to do was “to go do my job and raise my children in peace.”
Tom and Gisele split in 2022 after 13 years of marriage. Announcing the news on Instagram, Bundchen wrote, “The decision to end a marriage is never easy, but we have grown apart and while it is, of course, difficult to go through something like this, I feel blessed for the time we had together and only wish the best for Tom always.”
The former couple married in 2009 and share two children, Vivian and Benjamin. Tom also shares a son, John Edward, from his previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.
Tom Brady’s Daughter Vivian Hijacks His Instagram Account
Simcoe County’s real estate market shows signs of recovery
Real estate experts paint a cautiously optimistic outlook after a year of downward market trends across the country.
Trends in Simcoe County show an increase in viewings and buyers re-entering the market after key interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada warded off many last year.
Lance Chilton, the broker of record at Re/Max Hallmark Chilton Realty, calls the local market “more or less balanced.”
“Inventory conditions are the same as they once were in 2018,” he noted.” From 2020 to 2022, prices rose to about 43 per cent, which was rather rapid.”
Chilton said key interest rate hikes eventually bottomed out the local market by about September – that’s when home prices that peaked at around $1 million dropped to about $730,000.
“Since then, it’s recovered by about five per cent,” Chilton said. “In fact, we actually saw showings increase for the first time in about six months.”
The Barrie and District Association of Realtors (BDAR) confirms that showings have picked up again, with people getting that “spring fever.”
However, the one key issue that remains is low inventory.
“We saw prices dip because of interest rates and people pulling out of the market, but we never saw that supply come back online,” said Luc Woolsey, BDAR president, adding the situation creates multi-offer bids.
“So there’s still a lot of people having to come in firm, waiving conditions and inspections because they’re having to compete.”
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