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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What to save more Money?? Buy a home!!

 

Creating Wealth Through Homeownership – The Proof

by Ken H. Johnson on January 17, 20112


Today, we are honored to have Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D. — Florida International University (FIU) and Editor of the Journal of Housing Research as our guest blogger. To view other research from FIU, visit http://realestate.fiu.edu/. - The KCM Crew
Several real estate economists have shown that the average homeowner accumulates more overall wealth than the average renter.[i] However, it is not clear how this is done. Is it that owned property usually appreciates at such a rate that, after considering leverage, returns to ownership are extraordinarily high? Said another way, might homeowners accumulate more overall wealth because ownership is a great levered equity creator through property appreciation? Or, is it that owners acquire greater wealth, on average, because they are systematically paying down a mortgage thereby creating equity thanks to loan amortization? In other words, paying off property creates wealth.
In ongoing research being conducted by Beracha and Johnson,[ii] these and other questions concerning homeownership and the accumulation of wealth are being investigated. In earlier research, Beracha and Johnson show that renting is the superior investment strategy; however, in this earlier strict horserace between buying and renting, a very bold assumption is made. Specifically, it is assumed that any rent savings (from lower rent versus mortgage payments) are reinvested without fail. Thereby, after balancing all of the costs and benefits from ownership and comparing them to renters’ portfolios from reinvesting rent savings, renting wins.
The question, however, very quickly becomes that, in a setting where Americans generally save less than 5% of their disposable income, is this assumption realistic and how might the removal of this reinvestment decision alter the outcome of the horserace between buying and renting? As part of their current research, this question is directly addressed. In particular, Beracha and Johnson find that after allowing renters to spend any rent savings on consumption (beer, cookies, healthcare, education, etc.), ownership leads to greater wealth accumulation, on average. The graph below highlights this finding.
The graph looks at the ratio of renters’ portfolio values to owners’ proceeds from sale for the entire U.S. between 1978 and 2010 both with strict reinvestment of rent savings and without reinvestment of rent savings.[iii] Clearly, numbers greater than 1 indicate that renting leads to greater wealth accumulations, while numbers less than 1 indicate that homeownership creates greater wealth, on average.
When renters are forced to reinvest (top line in the graph), the results confirm the earlier findings of Beracha and Johnson (2012). That is, in a strict horserace between buying and renting, renting wins in the vast majority of cases. However, when renters are allowed to spend rent savings on consumption (i.e. economically act like the typical American consumer), homeownership wins in virtually all instances. Notice that in the bottom line of the graph (no reinvestment), the renters’ portfolio values divided by owners’ sale proceeds is great than 1 for only four of the 32 years of the study. Thus, when renters are allowed to spend rent savings, homeownership is the clear winner in the wealth accumulation horserace.
Finally, in the same current research, Beracha and Johnson find that allowing for property appreciation rates to increase as much as 20% over their actual historic values results in virtually no change in the outcomes concerning wealth accumulation. That is, property appreciation contributes only marginally to wealth accumulation.

Implications

Without proof many have speculated about this outcome for years. However, there is now actual quantifiable evidence that homeownership is not the great levered equity creator that it has so often been touted to be. Instead, it appears that homeownership creates extra wealth mainly through its ability to force owners to save rather than through property appreciation. Thus, homeownership appears to be a self-imposed savings plan, which through time leads to greater wealth accumulation as compared to comparable renters. In short, buying a home makes Americans save.
Who says that Americans are horrible savers? Apparently, we are not. We have simply been saving through our homes rather than putting our savings in the bank.

Endnotes

[i] Homeownership is the most viable path to wealth creation for the majority of Americans. See Engelhardt (1994), Haurin, Hendershott and Wachter (1996), and Rohe, Van Zandt and McCarhty (2002), among others.
[ii] Eli Beracha and Ken H. Johnson, 2012, Beer and Cookies Impact on Homeowners’ Wealth Accumulation, ongoing research.
[iii] The research assumes 8-year holding periods. When the holding period is allowed to vary between four and twelve years, the results change only marginally. Thus, holding period has very little to do with the results.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mortgages

People Are Buying Homes AND GETTING MORTGAGES!
by THE KCM CREW on JANUARY 11, 2012


Many believe that very few houses are selling and that almost no one can get a mortgage. We want to let everyone know that neither of these assumptions is true. Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Homes Sales Report. According to the report there are, on average, 12,109 homes selling in the United States EACH and EVERY DAY! That means that approximately 12,000 houses sold yesterday, approximately 12,000 will sell today and approximately 12,000 will sell tomorrow. So the thinking that homes aren’t selling just isn’t true.

Another interesting fact in the report was that 72% of these transactions were accompanied by a mortgage. That means that approximately 8,719 people qualify for a mortgage on a daily basis in this country.

There are over 12,000 homes sold and over 8,000 mortgages granted every day. The real estate market is doing better than many believe.


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Tagged as: Home Sales, Loans

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is now the time to start BUYING???!!!!

 

When the Prophet Says Buy – BUY!

by The KCM Crew on January 9, 201
John R. Talbott, previously a Goldman Sachs investment banker, is a bestselling author and economic consultant. When it comes to the housing market he is also a prophet. When housing prices started to skyrocket in 2003, he published The Coming Crash in the Housing Market correctly warning us that a real estate bubble was forming. Then in January 2006, he called the absolute peak of home prices in the US by releasing a new book, Sell Now! The End of the Housing Bubble.
Mr. Talbott, the person who accurately predicted the housing bubble and its bust, now has a new prediction – IT IS THE TIME TO BUY A HOME! In a recent article, Homes – Buy Now!, Talbott simply explains:
“I have been waiting for more than five years to offer this advice. It is now time in most cities across the country to buy a new home or refinance your existing home with thirty-year fixed rate mortgage debt.”

He goes on to explain that his conclusion is based on four different metrics, all of which favor buying today:
  • Home Prices Relative to Peak Prices During the Bubble
  • Home Prices Relative to Construction Costs or Replacement Costs
  • Home Prices Relative to Incomes and Rents
  • Home Prices in Real Terms, Not US Dollar Terms

Bottom Line

If the person who called the real estate bubble and its bust says now is the time to buy, we believe it is time to buy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mortgage Predictions for 2012 by Dean Hartman

 

Mortgage Predictions for 2012

by Dean Hartman on January 5, 2012
It’s the time of year that we look ahead and attempt to give our best guesses about the market, the industry, and the effects they may have. So, here are my thoughts about the mortgage world:

Interest Rates Should Be Stable

With a faltering economy nationally and worldwide, including pessimistic estimates for employment, there is little chance that the Fed will risk increasing rates which would jeopardize any recovery. Couple that with a Presidential Election in November and conventional wisdom, and we’ll see rates hovering in the same neighborhood for most of 2012.

Mortgage Costs Will Increase

Quietly tucked away in those bills passed in Congress to extend the payroll tax cuts before the holidays was an increase of 10 basis points in the guarantee fees on loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That will translate into .10% higher interest rates (which would be $4000 extra on a $200,000 loan over 30 years). Interestingly enough, the additional revenue is not going to Fannie or Freddie to help with defaulted loans, but rather going to the US Treasury to make up for the payroll tax cut….go figure.

The Mortgage Interest Deduction Will Be Challenged

Look for people of a certain income level to lose their write off as a measure to increase revenue. Taking away from the wealthy as a way to raise governmental revenue is politically strategic. It is unlikely everyone will lose the deduction (political suicide), but that top 1%…watch out.

Loan Products Will Expand

Common sense lending will start creeping back. Large down payments will liberalize credit and income standards. This will likely begin with local banks who are comfortable with appraised values. I’m not calling for a return to the madness, but some loans that are low risk are not being done today. Anticipate some lenders expanding their guidelines.
Don’t be shocked by a lowering of FHA loan limits and/or an increase in the FHA Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium either. Overall, mortgages should give people more reasons to buy homes in 2012 as the economic recovery is strongly tied to housing. Given that most people vote their own personal economy rather than policy beliefs, I expect support by those who are looking to be re-elected.