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Apartment construction is falling. It’s not because banks are pulling back from lending. Projects aren’t feasible for builders.

Housing market intelligence analyst Rick Sharga returns to discuss the real estate market. 

We discuss: real estate price movement, affordability concerns, expected mortgage rate changes, migration, price reductions, new homes vs. existing homes.

Can anyone even find a new-build $225K detached SFH today? They’re nearly extinct.

Homebuilders are still buying down mortgage rates for you into the 4%s and 5%s at

America needs more SFHs, especially at the entry-level. 

Apartment rents have declined a little. SFH rents are up about 3% year-over-year. 

Delinquency and foreclosure activity remains low. These have a strong correlation with unemployment rates.

The volume of homes sales should increase this year, but only by perhaps 10%.

A recession is still quite possible later this year and expected to be mild.

Every region of the nation is currently experiencing residential RE price growth. 

When mortgage rates fall, more new buyers than sellers are expected, pushing up property prices.

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Complete episode transcript:


Keith Weinhold (00:00:00) - Welcome to GRE. I'm your host, Keith Weinhold. Tons of new apartments were built last year, but that's abruptly going to change going forward. You'll learn why. Then a housing market intelligence analyst and I break down what's happening in the real estate market and the future direction of rents, prices, foreclosures, interest rates, and a lot more today on get Rich education. When you want the best real estate and finance info. The modern internet experience limits your free articles access, and it's replete with paywalls. And you've got pop ups and push notifications and cookies. Disclaimers are at no other time in history has it been more vital to place nice, clean, free content into your hands that actually adds no hype value to your life? See, this is the golden age of quality newsletters, and I write every word of ours myself. It's got a dash of humor and it's to the point to get the letter. It couldn't be more simple. Text GRE to 66866. And when you start the free newsletter, you'll also get my one hour fast real estate course completely free.


Keith Weinhold (00:01:16) - It's called the Don't Quit Your Day Dream letter and it wires your mind for wealth. Make sure you read it. Text GRE to 66866. Text GRE 266866.


Corey Coates (00:01:34) - You're listening to the show that has created more financial freedom than nearly any show in the world. This is get rich education.


Keith Weinhold (00:01:50) - Welcome to grow from Alexandria, Egypt, to Alexandria, Virginia, and across 188 nations worldwide. I'm Keith Weinhold, holding your inside get rich education. I'm grateful to have you here. A few weeks ago, I discussed all the apartment buildings that were constructed last year. One thing that you'll often hear out there today is that apartment construction is now falling because banks are pulling back on construction lending. But no, it's really not quite that simple. In fact, that's not even the top reason for construction delays now and going forward with apartments. The number one reason for the delays today is that the project is not economically feasible at this time. That's what the NMC tells us. All right. So what does that really mean? Well, it means that projects aren't penciling out.


Keith Weinhold (00:02:44) - In other words, apartment developers, they can't generate the returns that they need to justify the project to their capital partners, those that are funding the building. And this is, by the way, not about greedy developers, because contrary to some of the noise, it's the fact that developers do not self-fund their projects. They get the money from others. So yeah, it's the developer's job to convince investors and lenders to inject that capital. And that is just harder to do right now. Despite developer's best efforts and higher rates are obviously still contributing to the problem. It's not so much that the construction financing is not available, because for residential, it's often there. It's available. The thing is, is that apartment mortgage terms and rates are way less favorable than they were a couple of years ago, as we all know. So developers, I mean, they're paying a higher interest rate then. And you therefore need higher rent to cover that higher interest rate unless you can cut a lot of costs elsewhere and in apartments, you're also getting a lower loan to value ratio.


Keith Weinhold (00:03:55) - So that means developers, they therefore need to raise even more equity in order to cover that gap. And what's happened is a lot of the equity that's shifted away from brand new ground up apartment development, and instead it's gone over into chasing potential lease up distressed deals, properties that are already out there and are having some problems. So that's where the apartment money is moving right now. Not so much to new developers and builders also aren't building many apartments this year because construction costs remain a problem. Some materials got cheaper, others didn't. One bright spot is that construction labor that is getting easier to find. But yet the actual labor cost that really hasn't dropped. Property insurance is higher too, so these rising expenses, that means apartment projects are not penciling out for builders and then apartment rents. They're just not rising that much. That doesn't help. So it's hard for it to rise, since so many were built last year and the year before. They're in the apartment world. But obviously the long term demand is for just about all residential housing.


Keith Weinhold (00:05:11) - That demand. Is there loads of long term demand for apartments, condos, single family homes, co-ops, modular homes, mobile homes, duplexes, triplexes, fourplex container homes, row houses, farmhouses, penthouses, outhouses. I think you get the idea. The demand is there. Residential is the resilient spot, and it's all about where you want to get in. And speaking of homebuilders and finding a smart place to get in, it's important to share with you the good news that homebuilders are still buying down your interest. Right for you. Now the third year rate, it hit 8% last year. And Non-owner occupied property costs a little more. So it was nearly 9% on income property. It's come down off that as we know it's been around seven lately. But see here at GREwe work with builders that are still buying down your interest rate into the fives and sometimes still into the fours on new construction, single family homes, up to four plex and sometimes larger in Florida, Alabama and elsewhere. I mean, that is just the best deal going for you today to have an income producing new build property in the path of growth at 4 to 1, leverage to 5 to 1 leverage and.


Keith Weinhold (00:06:46) - Your mortgage in the fives or less, and we'll help you find the real deals within that. To connect with a great investment coach at great I think you'll be glad you did. Now, today, if somehow I could use a time machine to write a letter back to my 2020 self and inform myself about what's going to happen in the housing market for the next 4 or 5 years? And I had to keep this note to myself short. I would have written that everything is going to shoot way up, rents up, prices up, interest rates up, expenses up, inflation up. Well, now that nearly all of those run ups have settled into place, we can draw a clearer picture of where we think the real estate market is going to be positioned in the future. Our guest has just freshened things up and he's got the latest in the property market all updated for us. I do two with my own research. You'll like this. It's our housing intelligence analyst guests and I. Straight ahead.


Keith Weinhold (00:07:55) - I'm Keith Weinhold. You're listening to get Rich education. 


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Keith Weinhold (00:09:15) - They provided our listeners with more mortgages than anyone. It's where I get my own loans for single family rentals up to four Plex's. Start your pre-qualification and chat with President Caeli Ridge. Personally, they'll even customize a plan tailored to you for growing your portfolio. Start at Ridge Lending Ridge lending


Kristin Tate (00:09:42) - This is author Kristin Tate. Listen to get Rich education with Keith Weinhold. Don't quit your day dream.


Keith Weinhold (00:09:59) - Hey what has not been a very long goodbye. Just like last week when we discussed the economy this week we have the return of the C.J. Patrick Company's Rick Sharga, an extraordinary housing intelligence analyst, as we more specifically cover the real estate market. And if you're on video, you'll have the benefit of seeing some charts as well. Rick. Welcome back. Good to be back, Keith. Long time no see. Yeah, it hasn't been so long. What are your overall thoughts with the housing market? Last week we largely talked about a resilient economy potentially with some headwinds. Yeah we did.


Keith Weinhold (00:10:32) - And I think we're one of the things we left off on was the impact that the Federal Reserve had had on the mortgage market and the housing market. We probably start there. When you look at what's gone on, and just to show you how random all of this can feel sometimes this is a snapshot of mortgage rates from March 12th. And mortgage rates were trading at about 6.92% for a 30 year fixed rate loan.


Rick Sharga (00:10:56) - The most recent number I saw was about 7.1%. And as I mentioned to you and your listeners last time, I expect until the Federal Reserve makes its first fed funds rate cut, we're going to see mortgages trade right around 7% between 6.75 and 7.25%. This has made a big difference in the market because it has limited affordability for literally millions of prospective home buyers. That's makes for a difficult situation for people looking to buy or sell homes, but it also presents millions of rental property opportunities because these people need to live somewhere and they've voted themselves off the island temporarily. They just can't afford to buy a house.


Rick Sharga (00:11:41) - And you see that in terms of the reduction in number of mortgage applications that are being made. So if the Mortgage Bankers Association tracks the number of people that apply for loans, if you went back to December when mortgage rates dipped just a little bit, we saw a run up of loan applications, and as soon as they went back up to seven, we saw that number fall off. It's a very, very rate sensitive market. We'll talk a little bit about some of the implications of that as we move ahead, Keith. But the weak affordability, the higher interest rates, the continuing high home prices led to a very, very weak year in 2023. In terms of overall home sales, we ended the year with about 3.9 million existing homes sold. That's the lowest number of homes sold in a year in a quarter century. Yeah, even lower than we saw in the Great Recession. And December was the 28th consecutive month where we sold fewer properties than we sold the year before.


Keith Weinhold (00:12:39) - So a contraction in the number of sales, although prices appreciated last year.


Rick Sharga (00:12:44) - Yeah, we'll talk about that this year. I'd been hopeful that we'd be a little bit of a better start. January and February were both up in terms of home sales on a month over month basis, but continued this trend of lower sales on a year over year basis. We're looking at 30 consecutive months where we sold fewer properties than we sold the prior year. As a result of this.


Keith Weinhold (00:13:05) - Supply crash, that really began about four years ago.


Rick Sharga (00:13:08) - It's partly supplied as partly costs, that affordability. We really can't overestimate the impact that affordability has had. But you're right in terms of inventory and in fact, a good segue, it's almost like you'd seen this before, Keith. Inventory is up significantly from last year, about 24% higher than it was a year ago, according to some data from Altos Research. But it's still only running about half of 2019 levels. So in a normal market, we would have about a six month supply of homes available for sale in our market today, we're looking at somewhere between two and a half and three months supply.


Rick Sharga (00:13:44) - That lack of supply with some pent up demand is one of the reasons we have seen prices continue to be very healthy, and we haven't seen the the price crash that all the snake oil salesmen on YouTube comments. As of mid-March, about 513,000 homes available for sale, again, about 24% higher. Than last year when the numbers were just dismal. We normally do see more inventory coming to market this time of year. We'll not get anywhere near where we were back in, you know, years like 2019, 2020. But it wouldn't be a surprise to see a little bit more inventory coming to market.


Keith Weinhold (00:14:21) - Now, Rick, for existing properties, we have the very well documented interest rate lock in effect. I think a lot of people understand that. But as far as bringing more supply onto the market, do you see anything from the builder side? You know, costs are up for builders and builders feel this lack of affordability from the buyer market as well. So therefore that motivates them to build somewhat less.


Keith Weinhold (00:14:43) - And they're also building smaller properties, some shrinkflation with new construction property to try to help out with that affordability. So what are your thoughts with builder motivations this year and next year?


Rick Sharga (00:14:54) - All that thought is we're going to get to new homes in just a couple of minutes. So keep that right forefront in mind. But let's just kind of wrap up on existing sales. I do want to point out to your listeners that the inventory growth is actually outpacing the number of new listings. So new listings are only up about 14% year over year, whereas overall inventory is up 24%. The reason for that is it's taking longer to sell homes once they get to market. So once those properties are listed, they're staying in the inventory numbers a little bit longer than they were last year or even a few months ago. So that's one of the reasons the inventory numbers look a little bit better than they did. You talked about the rate lock effect. It's still very real. About two thirds of everybody with a mortgage has a mortgage rate of 4% or less.


Rick Sharga (00:15:43) - And this is not home sellers being picky or having a psychological problem. This is math. If you sell a property today and buy a new one for exactly the same price as the one you just sold, you've now doubled your monthly mortgage payment and most people simply can't afford to do that. So the properties being listed or by by people who feel like they need to sell, there's a death in the family or a birth in the family. There's a divorce or there's a marriage. There's a job loss or job that requires a transfer, maybe some financial difficulties where the borrowers in distress so they feel like they have to sell the home, or somebody's been retired for a long time, has a lot of equity, and just says, oh the heck with it. It's time for me to downsize. But the people who would normally be making a decision that maybe I'd like to sell, maybe I'd like to look at a move up opportunity. Those people are sitting on the sidelines and rather than seeing a price crash, which is what people are breathlessly trying to sell you on YouTube, the most likely scenario, something we've seen play out in the 80s and 90s and is likely to play out again in the 2020s, which is several years of kind of lackluster sales volume and modest price growth.


Rick Sharga (00:16:54) - And it takes a few years to reset the levels so that all those people with the Sub4 mortgages gradually, slowly work their way out of inventory and are replaced by people with mortgages that are closer to today's rates. And we've seen that happen, like I said, in the 80s and 90s, and it's a very normal occurrence when you have a sudden shift in either mortgage rates or home prices, that's much more likely to happen than a 2030 40% drop in home prices to make things affordable. And I would just ask anybody who's skeptical, if somebody approached you tomorrow and you didn't have to sell, but they said, hey, sell me your house for 40% less than market value. How interested would you be in having that conversation?


Keith Weinhold (00:17:36) - Wouldn't last long.


Rick Sharga (00:17:37) - No. And then home prices are up in every region. You mentioned this, Keith. Across the country I'm sharing for people that can see it. I'm sharing data from the Fhfa, which is the entity that controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So all of those 30 year fixed rate conventional loans and a year over year basis, we saw prices go up 6.3%.


Rick Sharga (00:17:56) - They were up in every region of the country. And that's a little different than the prior year when the Pacific region was actually down. But every region of the country is seeing price growth right now. And whichever price index you look at Case-Shiller,, Freddie Mac, the Fhfa index, National Association of Realtors, everybody showed similar numbers were every region was up. But importantly for your listeners and I emphasize this enough, local results are very different than national results. So even within markets where we're seeing prices go up, there are going to be neighborhoods where prices are going down and vice versa. So it's much more important for you to understand what's going on in your local market than to listen to a lot of these national trends. I will tell you that some of the markets that overheated during the pandemic, as people were moving out of high priced, high tax or highly congested areas, are seeing a bit of a clawback. So places like Boise, Idaho and Saint George's, Utah and Austin and Phoenix and Las Vegas, we're seeing those markets with the prices clawing back a little bit, a lot of price growth continuing the southeast.


Rick Sharga (00:19:04) - So and surprisingly now in the Midwest as well. So we are still seeing a bit of a migration from high price, high tax areas into lower priced markets. I tell folks, Keith, I have two adult kids living at home. My son's getting married in September. He's a teacher. His fiance is a lawyer, and they took me aside recently and said, hey, you follow this stuff. What states should we be looking at outside of California to move so that we can own a house?


Keith Weinhold (00:19:31) - Wow, that is really, really interesting that that would dictate their decision on where they live, if they have that much of a preference to own rather than rent. Recently, a lot of us in the industry learned that the average age of the first time homebuyer is now 36, older than ever.


Rick Sharga (00:19:48) - Yep. And these are two kids with good heads on their shoulders. They know there are benefits to homeownership, and they also know that the median price of a home sold in California last month was almost $800,000, and the First National Bank of dad ain't financing that acquisition.


Rick Sharga (00:20:02) - So I'm sure these conversations are happening in New York, in Chicago, in Miami and in San Francisco, and it's just the reality of today's marketplace. We talked about prices going up. We are seeing slightly more homes having a price reduction before they're sold. That always happens somewhere along the lines of 30 to 35% of homes listed wind up with a price reduction before they're sold. We're up to about 31% now, so we're still in the normal range, but we're a little higher than we've been in recent months.


Keith Weinhold (00:20:35) - This is interesting, a statistic we don't talk about very much, the percent of homes experiencing list price reductions.


Rick Sharga (00:20:42) - And it peaked in 2022. The highest number we've seen in quite a while was over 40%. And that was right after interest rates doubled. And so it's probably not a huge surprise. People were anticipating they were pricing based on the prior market. And I think we're seeing more rational pricing today. But again, that combination of prices just being as high as they are and interest rates being as high as they are, are creating some affordability issues.


Rick Sharga (00:21:05) - And for people that have to sell, they're taking price reductions. Now, keep in mind these price reductions are often very, very minimal. In California, for example, the average price reduction is less than a percent. So it's not a huge reduction, but it's still a reduction from what the list price was. You asked about new homes. So now I'm going to make you happy. We'll talk about new homes. New home inventory levels are increasing. We normally want to see about a six month supply of existing homes for sale. The new home inventory is usually between 7 and 8 months. And we're back to that number right now. Some of those homes available for sale are still under construction, but they are nonetheless available for sale. And we've seen that inventory improve over the last year as supply chain disruptions have minimized as builders are now more able to find laborers for construction. Those are two huge holdups they had over the last couple of years, and we've seen new home sales increase. And one of the reasons for that is they're available.


Rick Sharga (00:22:05) - So if you're a builder and you put a home in the market at the right price, you're going to sell it because there just aren't that many existing homes available for sale. And to your other point, Keith, new home prices are actually down 15% from peak. Existing home prices are up, new home prices are down. And in fact, if you look at the most recent new home pricing data put up by the Census Bureau recently, new home prices are at the lowest level since June of 2021. So they've really come down pretty significantly and are not that far away from existing home prices in many markets. So that median price of an existing home and the median price of a new home for sale are closer than they've been in years, partly because the builders are building smaller homes, partly because you're using less expensive fixtures. And the other thing that the builders have been doing, and this price is a lot of people, but it's brilliant on their part, is they're coming to closing with thousands of dollars and they're paying down mortgage rates.


Rick Sharga (00:23:01) - They're buying points and dropping the mortgage rate for their buyers. I spoke to a group in Denver recently where there was a local builder advertising mortgage rates of 4.99%. So think about that.


Keith Weinhold (00:23:13) - We have providers we work with here that are doing similar things. We're still seeing the rate buy downs happening, and that's why I've often told people, Rick, like, this is potentially a good time in the cycle when you're adding more rental property to really look at new builds or build to rent while these rate buy downs last. Now, I talked to a builder in Houston yesterday, and I learned a few interesting things. You talked about the smaller square footages. They could confirm that often times this builder offers either a bedroom or a study. You can get an extra bedroom or a study like a little office space. And more and more people are opting for the study. So they're starting to build homes more with the study in mind because more people are working from home and one less bedroom because people are having fewer children.


Rick Sharga (00:23:57) - Exactly right. It's the combination of both of those two things, either having fewer children or having them later. And many more people working from home than they were prior to the pandemic. And those studies become very, very useful., rooms to have in the house. Rick, what.


Keith Weinhold (00:24:12) - Is the lowest cost, new build, single family home that you see? I mean, is anyone even building in any parts of the nation, like a 225 K new build home? I haven't seen one.


Rick Sharga (00:24:26) - I haven't seen one. But I wouldn't be surprised if you're in a market in a state like Alabama or Mississippi and some of the more outlying areas, maybe some markets in the Midwest where home prices aren't as astronomical as they are elsewhere. But look, the builders are building judiciously. They're not overbuilding., we had a cycle in 2008 where we had a 13 month supply of homes available for sale and building Irish building. They got caught with overstock. But what they are building, they tend to build as move up homes because they're more profitable.


Rick Sharga (00:24:58) - So you're just not seeing an awful lot of entry level homes being built. And the hope is that as they build that first move up level home, some of the people with entry level homes will opt to sell and bring some of that inventory back to market. We are seeing more construction. We are seeing building permits,, going up on a year over year basis., most recent numbers are around 1.5 million permits. So the builders are bullish on the future. And housing starts were up in both January and February. Most importantly they're up most strongly in single family owner occupied homes. We're seeing housing starts to decline dramatically in terms of multifamily starts, right. But that's because there's about a million new apartment units coming online between last year and this year. And we don't need a whole lot more apartments., we need,, more single family homes. So if your listeners are seeing headlines talking about housing starts being lower, it's really because we're seeing fewer multifamily starts.


Keith Weinhold (00:25:54) - Last year was a big year for multifamily construction.


Rick Sharga (00:25:57) - All time high in terms of multifamily units under construction. And a lot of those are still coming to market this year. There are going to be some markets that are actually still oversupplied. So again, you have to be paying very close attention. When we talk a little bit about the rental market in the apartment category, we have seen apartment rents decline year over year in pretty much all categories. Whether you're looking at studio apartments, one bedroom apartments, two better apartments on a year over year basis, rents are actually in negative territory, according to and according to some data I've recently seen from RealPage. If you're looking at the actual price of rent and I know that's a little different than percentage increases or decreases, you're still seeing that rents about it's below peak. It's about 1.6% below the peak we hit in 2022,, when vacancy rates were just about nothing. But we are still below peak, and the median rent is ranging,, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,700 a year for apartments, single family homes, which I suspect more of your listeners are actually,, renting out than apartments.


Rick Sharga (00:27:03) - Yes. Are doing better. We're seeing year over year rents continue to grow. They're growing modestly. They have not gone into negative territory, and they haven't,, during this boom and bust cycle that we've seen in the housing market. And if you're looking at,, price gains, according to some recent data from CoreLogic, if you're at the higher end of the single family rental market, prices are up about 3% year over year. At the low end, they're up about 2.9%. So very little difference depending on your price tier and also very little difference depending on whether you're looking at an attached single family residence or,, detached family single family residence. All those are up right around 3% year over year. And that's a good sign. Again, you're dealing with a as your your listeners know, you're dealing with a slightly different tenant in a single family home than you are in a, an apartment. And a lot of these people who would have been buyers or opting to rent stands to reason that,, they'd rather rent a house, particularly if it's in a good school district or in a good neighborhood than an apartment, because they have needs.


Keith Weinhold (00:28:06) - Rents are extremely stable historically. They just sort of plod up slowly. What happened about two years ago, three years ago, with that 15% plus rent increase, that's an aberration.


Rick Sharga (00:28:19) - Yeah, that's a good point, Keith. If we're looking at 3% rental growth year over year right now in the single family rental market that tracks with historic normals, usually you're somewhere between 1 and 5% a year. So threes, you know, smack dab in the middle of all that. And the growth rates also vary wildly by markets., just kind of give you a range if you're looking at a single family rental property in Honolulu, in the city, year over year, you're up about 6%. If you're looking at a unit in Miami, Florida, you're down about 2.5%.


Keith Weinhold (00:28:50) - So rental growth rates.


Rick Sharga (00:28:52) - Rental growth rates. So really just depends on where you are. That's pretty much your range from a couple points down to I think Honolulu actually had the largest,, increase in the CoreLogic study. A lot of your listeners are probably interested in buying foreclosure properties.


Rick Sharga (00:29:07) - We're not seeing a lot of foreclosure activity. Still, we are starting to see a little weakness in consumers. When we met last week, we talked a little bit about the strength of consumer spending, but we also talked about increasing amounts of spending on credit cards. And we're seeing consumer delinquency rates increase in pretty much every aspect of consumer lending, whether it's a loan, whether it's a credit card debt, whether it's an auto loan, whether it's a home equity line of credit, whether it's a mortgage, a mortgage, delinquencies are up a little bit. The only category we're not seeing an increase in delinquencies right now is student loans. And my theory on that is that people have only recently had to start making payments again on student loans, and we don't have any data to show that they're going delinquent yet. But the delinquency numbers we need to take with a grain of salt, because many of them are most of them are early stage delinquency. So somebody missed a payment, but then they catch up before they get 60 or 90 days delinquent.


Rick Sharga (00:30:02) - But we are seeing trends that suggest more delinquencies. And if you have more delinquencies, that leads to more foreclosures. Mortgage delinquency rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, went up to about 3.8% in the fourth quarter, the historic average going back to the 1970s, which is as far back as the NBA goes, is about 5.25%. So we're still way below normal levels of delinquencies. As I mentioned, most of those are early stage delinquencies, and they're being resolved before they get more serious. Because of that, we don't have a lot of foreclosure activity. So this is no longer Keith government intervention. It's no longer government forbearance programs and foreclosure moratoriums. It's the fact that the economy's been so strong. Unemployment rates have a very strong correlation to mortgage delinquency rates. We got together last time I mentioned the unemployment rate was at 3.9%. I just told you that word delinquencies are at 3.8. Can't get much closer than that. And because of that, foreclosure activity is still down almost 30% from where we were in 2019 prior to the pandemic.


Rick Sharga (00:31:07) - And I should point out, the 2019 wasn't a particularly big year for foreclosures either. So I don't see us getting back to pre-pandemic levels of foreclosure activity until sometime next year. And what's important for people in this space to understand is that even though we're seeing roughly the same number of delinquencies that we saw back in 2019, fewer of those delinquent loans are going into foreclosure. Fewer of those foreclosures are getting as far as the auction, and even fewer of those are going back to the banks as REO properties or bank owned properties.


Keith Weinhold (00:31:40) - Delinquency occurs before foreclosure. We have low levels of both, and I would imagine that one substantial reason for that are these low fixed rate payments that so many people have. Minutes ago, you showed us that 90% of those with a mortgage have a rate in the fives or less. And then oftentimes when we talk about these sorts of things, we don't even consider the fact that more than 4 in 10 homeowners are free and clear. They don't have any mortgage at all. So it's difficult for people to get in trouble.


Rick Sharga (00:32:10) - Yeah. And when they do get in trouble, what's really a saving grace for a lot of these people? And I believe the reason we're seeing fewer foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions is that there's $31 trillion in homeowner equity in the market, and 90% of borrowers in foreclosure have positive equity. A huge percentage of those have at least 20% equity. So what's happening interesting is that many, many of these borrowers are protecting their equity by selling their home before the foreclosure sale. If they get to foreclosure sale, they run the risk of losing all their equity, or at least the overwhelming majority of their equity.


Keith Weinhold (00:32:48) - That's a great point with how this really works.


Rick Sharga (00:32:50) - And so if you're looking to buy a distressed property, if you're looking to buy a foreclosure property, you really need to be working directly with the homeowner in the earliest stages of foreclosure rather than waiting for the auction. And certainly rather than waiting for the bank to repossess the home and resell it. And some recent data from a friend of tracking some numbers from Adam Data.


Rick Sharga (00:33:15) - 55% of the distressed properties that were sold through from June through to September of last year were sold in that pre foreclosure period prior to the foreclosure auction. That's wildly different than we've been in in years past. So really important for anybody looking to buy distressed property, to consider moving upstream and working directly with that homeowner. And it's a win win. You can help that homeowner protect their equity, have some cash to make a fresh start with and, and typically buy a home in pretty good condition and a home that you need to be part of your rental portfolio. So just kind of recapping some of the stuff we talked about, Keith, both today and last week, I still think that from an economic standpoint, there's still at least a good possibility we might have a short, mild recession sometime later this year. I don't see unemployment going much higher than 5%. Even if we do have a recession, if we don't have a recession, we'll only see the economy slowed down a bit. It might be hard to tell the difference.


Rick Sharga (00:34:10) - I'm expecting the volume of home sales to go up. I think we bottomed out in 2023, but not by a lot. Maybe we see a 10% lift over last year, which would take us to roughly 4.4 million existing homes. I wouldn't be surprised to see 700,000 new homes sold, really just depends on how quickly builders bring inventory to market. But if I'm right and mortgage rates go down slowly over the second half of this year, we'll see more home buyers come to market more quickly than sellers. We don't see a lot of sellers come to market until we get interest rates down to about 5.5% or lower, which probably won't happen until 2025. So more buyers coming to market than sellers means the prices will continue to go up. We continue to see investors account for 25 to 30% of all residential purchases. So I think we'll continue to see a higher rate, partly because investors are active, partly because a lot of consumers are waiting for market conditions to improve, but that limited affordability in today's market conditions, I really do think means more demand for rental units.


Rick Sharga (00:35:14) - And I think foreclosure activity stays below normal levels for the rest of this year, and REO inventory bank repossessions are going to remain even lower for even longer. I don't think we see REO activity come back to more normal levels for at least a couple of years, so anybody looking to buy these properties really does need to be moving upstream in order to make those purchases.


Keith Weinhold (00:35:34) - Yeah, with low affordability, hence more demand for rentals. I've already noticed that the homeownership rate, which is somewhat of a trailing number here, has already fallen from 66% to 65.7%. And with low affordability, it seems that that homeownership rate could fall even more, meaning the rate of renters would be higher.


Rick Sharga (00:35:54) - A friend of mine always complains that the government's somehow beside behind all of these trends, one way or the other, and and wonders why, with all the government programs aimed at increasing homeownership, we haven't seen that homeownership rate increase much. And I think sometimes things said to the natural level and our homeownership rate, really for the last 30 years, has been somewhere between 64% and 66%.


Rick Sharga (00:36:19) - And that might just be what the natural level for homeownership is in the United States. Will it dip a little bit as people can't afford to buy a house? Probably. Probably will. When market conditions improve for buyers, will it go up a little bit? Probably. But we hit 70% homeownership back in 2006. And it turned out that was the bad number and that not everybody's ready financially for the kind of commitment that homeownership requires. And so I've always said that the key isn't getting everybody into a home. It's the sustainability of homeownership for people that that we do get into that house. One of the best days of your life is when you get the key to that house, and it has to be one of the worst days if you have to give it back. So I hope we all keep that in mind as we move forward.


Keith Weinhold (00:37:03) - That's right. Government incentives is in the past saying there's a $10,000 first time homebuyer tax credit. Oh, we're not in an era where we need help. On the demand side, all you're doing is driving up prices.


Keith Weinhold (00:37:14) - And I don't know that you're helping out anybody in that case. But I think with really overall, one big takeaway here, Rick, is that if you the listener, if you're waiting for prices to drop substantially sometime or for interest rates to drop substantially sometime, that might not be worth the wait. You could be waiting a long time.


Rick Sharga (00:37:32) - I do expect mortgage rates will decline. I don't really go back to the sub for rates we saw a few years ago, but they're going to decline slowly and they may not decline enough to offset rising home prices. I mean, you have to get your calculator out and and figure out how that math works for you. But you're absolutely right, Keith. And I tell people today, even with mortgage rates being where they are, if you find a house you love or you find a house that's a good investment and you pencil it out and the numbers work, don't wait because the opportunity costs can be severe and you could wind up missing out on a property that could either be a good cash flow unit for you on rental, or it could be a property that you wind up living in for the next 30 years.


Rick Sharga (00:38:13) - So don't be afraid of today's market. Just be very prudent and judicious in the way you approach it.


Keith Weinhold (00:38:19) - Well, Rick, get resuscitation of followers and the nation have been a beneficiary of your housing market intelligence expertise for quite a while now. If someone wants to engage with you in the CJ Patrick Company, who are those types of people and how could you help?


Rick Sharga (00:38:36) - I appreciate the opportunity. Most of the companies I work with or companies that provide services to lenders, anybody who has a business that's in the real estate or financial services markets, who would benefit from my coming in to share with them industry data, or has data themselves that they would like to get out into the marketplace? Anything data related really, I tend to specialize in. So market updates and market overviews and market. Analysis or things that I do on a pretty much daily basis for companies.


Keith Weinhold (00:39:07) - How can they engage with you?


Rick Sharga (00:39:08) - They can find our website, which is C.J. They can find me on Twitter. I hide there under my name, Rick, or reach out to me on LinkedIn.


Rick Sharga (00:39:17) - And if you reach out to me on on a social media channel, make sure that you mention you know me through Keith, and you're not some crazy Russian bot trying to hack into my personal information.


Keith Weinhold (00:39:27) - Well, then, Rick, it's been great having you back on the show.


Rick Sharga (00:39:30) - I'm sure we'll do it again sometime soon. Thanks for having me.


Keith Weinhold (00:39:39) - Yeah, terrific Intel there. In this episode, Rick said that to still expect a lower amount of sales going forward and expect modest property price appreciation. Every region of the nation is seeing price growth now. And by the way, you remember that late last year, I unveiled Gray's home price appreciation forecast for this year, stating that prices should rise 4% and here in Q2, I still like how that looks. There is not much distress with current homeowners, but if you're looking to scoop up a foreclosed property cheap, you better get aggressive and work directly with the homeowner in the earliest stages of foreclosure. Don't wait for that property to go to auction. Rick also said more demand for rental units is coming, and I encourage you to engage with Rick.


Keith Weinhold (00:40:30) - Let him know you heard about him through me. If you want to go deeper and engage with some of the services that he offers, perhaps you work for a real estate company or a demographic company. You can do that at C.J. But most of you, the listener is an individual investor. So check him out on X where his handle is Rick Sharga. He is Rick Sharga on LinkedIn. Big thanks to Rick Sharga today. Until next week I'm your host, Keith Wild. Don't quit your daydream.


Speaker 5 (00:41:04) - Nothing on this show should be considered specific, personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate, financial or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own. Information is not guaranteed. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. The host is operating on behalf of get Rich education LLC exclusively.


Keith Weinhold (00:41:32) - The preceding program was brought to you by your home for wealth building. Get rich

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