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Individuals commonly allocate 20–30% of their net worth into a primary residence, which oftentimes accounts for the single largest investment in their portfolio. The market value of one’s home is impacted by variables that include, but are not limited to, supply and demand relationships, property location, borrowing rates, and tax policies. Since early 2020, median home prices have increased over 25%, benefitting homeowners and their portfolios significantly.¹ The appreciation in home prices can partially be attributed to the shortage of homes built over the past decade. Not since the 1930s, when the country’s population was roughly 40% what it is today, have so few homes been built in the United States. The problem is further exacerbated by the average age of a home in the U.S. — 40 years,² well beyond its useful life — and current labor and material shortages that have been lengthening project timelines and delaying starts.
The sudden rise in housing valuations has homeowners and investors wondering if this could be another bubble, akin to the 2008–2009 mortgage crisis. While new home starts will likely remain low in the near and medium-term, rising interest rates may serve to stymie demand. Since the end of 2021, interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage have risen nearly 200 basis points to almost 5.0%,³ adding meaningfully to the cost of buying a home and potentially pushing ownership outside the reach of prospective millennial and generation Z buyers. However, opportunity exists in any inefficiently priced market, which is why more and more institutional investors are allocating “dry powder” to the residential real estate market. Ultimately, buyers, sellers, and lenders are justified in asking whether we are on the precipice of another housing crisis or if this is the start of a new normal with additional runway for growth.
¹ Lambert, Lance. “Homeowners struck gold during the pandemic—here’s the breakdown in every state.” Fortune. 23 Dec 2021.
² Jones, David. “Ages of Houses in the US.” BuyersAsk. Last updated 4 May 2021.
³ 4.96% as of April 4, 2022
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