It is very frustrating on the lending side to continually hear from the media that the housing boom is over. There is a saying "Figures Lie and liars figure". Two people can take the same information and spin it to reflect the opposite opinion. In my industry, this is some of what we think of the market.
The latest Mortgage Bankers Association data shows that home purchase applications are down 18% year over year. The media is interpreting this as bad news for the housing market, saying the housing boom is over. But what’s really going on?
When you take a closer look, cash buyers aren’t captured in the mortgage application data because they’re not applying for a mortgage. When we figure in the big increase year over year in cash buyers, there's still a decline in the number of purchase applications, but it's not 18%, it's 9%.
Plus, there are fewer homes available for sale because inventory is down 20% from a year ago. However, the demand for homes is very strong and should continue to be strong because of very favorable demographics. It's just more challenging to buy a home because there are more people looking to buy and fewer homes available. Plus, it's even harder for builders to complete homes right now because the chip shortage is making appliances hard to deliver, too.
So, all these factors come into play when you consider what's going on in the housing market. The high demand and tight supply should continue to be supportive of home price appreciation, plus with rates still historically low, there’s still a big reward for people ready to purchase a home."