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September 2023 Real Estate and Mortgage Report

As the real estate landscape continues to evolve, it’s crucial for potential home buyers like you to have a clear understanding of the current market dynamics. In this month’s report, we delve into the intricate details of the real estate market as of September 2023. Drawing from expert insights and data-driven analysis, we will address the concerns and fears that have gripped consumers, provide historical context, and shed light on the most up-to-date trends. Let’s embark on this journey together and empower you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions regarding your home-buying journey. VIEW THE REPORT


  1. Introduction: Setting the Stage
  2. Home Sales: A Deep Dive
  3. Inventory Challenges: Understanding the Shortage
  4. The Lending Landscape: Rates, Nepo Buyers, and Assistance
  5. Home Prices: Debunking the Crash Myth
  6. The Power of Generational Wealth in Homeownership
  7. Conclusion: The Road Ahead



Introduction: Setting the Stage: In the ever-evolving world of real estate, it’s not uncommon for potential home buyers to find themselves amidst a whirlwind of information, often leading to confusion and uncertainty. As we step into September 2023, the market’s dynamics continue to shift, presenting both challenges and opportunities. For those considering making a move, understanding these trends is paramount.

The real estate landscape is shaped by a myriad of factors, from economic indicators to policy changes and even global events. While headlines may offer a glimpse, they often lack the depth and context needed to make informed decisions. This is where the role of a knowledgeable loan originator becomes invaluable. By breaking down the complexities and offering clarity, we aim to empower potential buyers to navigate the market confidently.

As we delve into this update, we’ll explore the intricacies of home sales, the challenges of inventory, the influence of mortgage rates, and much more. Each section is designed to provide insights, backed by data and expert opinions, ensuring that you, as a potential home buyer, are equipped with the knowledge to make the best decisions for your future.

Home Sales: A Deep Dive: The real estate market, with its ever-changing dynamics, has witnessed a notable decline in home sales. As of September 2023, the U.S. has seen a 16% drop in home sales year over year. This decline is consistent across regions, with the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West all experiencing double-digit decreases.

Two primary factors are driving this decline in sales activity: inventory availability and mortgage rates. The challenge of inventory has been persistent, even before the recent surge in mortgage rates. Historically, the average annual inventory of homes for sale has rarely hit the six-month mark, which is considered a balanced market. This shortage has been exacerbated by homeowners staying in their homes longer, with the tenure increasing from an average of six years in the pre-crash era to 9.3 years post-crash.

On the mortgage front, the recent uptick in rates has raised concerns. While higher rates can deter some potential buyers, it’s crucial to note that buyer demand remains robust. Surprisingly, even as rates approached 7%, buyers continued to show interest, with open houses still drawing crowds.

In essence, while the numbers might seem daunting, the market’s resilience is evident. Buyers are still keen, and the challenge lies in addressing the inventory shortage and navigating the mortgage landscape.

Inventory Challenges: Understanding the Shortage: The real estate market’s inventory challenges have been a focal point for discussions, especially in recent years. Historically, a balanced market is characterized by a six-month inventory. However, if we trace back to 1999, the average annual inventory of homes for sale has rarely reached this six-month mark. This shortage has been persistent and is a result of multiple intertwined factors.

Builders play a crucial role in replenishing the housing inventory. Yet, for 14 straight years leading up to the present, the number of single-family homes completed has been below the norm. This prolonged period of underproduction has significantly contributed to the current inventory deficit.

Another contributing factor is homeowners’ tenure. The post-crash era saw homeowners staying in their homes for an average of 9.3 years, a significant increase from the six-year average observed in the pre-crash era. This extended tenure means fewer homes are being listed, further exacerbating the inventory challenge.

Interestingly, August witnessed an unusual uptick in newly listed homes compared to July. This increase is a deviation from the typical trend observed over the past seven years, where inventory usually decreases from July to August. While it’s too early to determine if this is a sign of a more sustained trend, it does offer a glimmer of hope for potential buyers seeking more options in the market.

The Lending Landscape: Rates, Nepo Buyers, and Assistance: The lending landscape is a crucial component of the real estate market, influencing buying decisions and shaping the trajectory of sales. One of the most significant factors in this landscape is the relationship between inflation and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. While it’s complex to predict exact mortgage rates based on any single metric, there’s a clear correlation between inflation trends and mortgage rates. As inflation drops, we can anticipate mortgage rates to follow suit, potentially leading to higher rates in the near future.

Enter the “Nepo” home buyers – a term referring to those who have “Never Ever Purchased Once.” These first-time buyers are a vital segment of the market, and their decisions are heavily influenced by lending rates and available assistance. For many in this category, down payment assistance programs can be a game-changer. Such programs can bridge the gap, enabling these buyers to make their first home purchase. It’s essential for loan originators and real estate professionals to be well-versed in these programs, ensuring that potential buyers are aware of the assistance available to them.

Lastly, the importance of down payment assistance cannot be overstated, especially for first-time buyers. With the average equity in the country standing at $294,000, many homeowners have the potential to leverage this equity when making a move, further emphasizing the significance of understanding the lending landscape.

Home Prices: Debunking the Crash Myth: In the realm of real estate, misconceptions can be powerful, often swaying decisions and shaping perceptions. One such misconception that has gained traction is the looming threat of a housing crash. As we delve into the data, it becomes evident that such fears are largely unfounded.

In January of 2023, a survey conducted by NerdWallet revealed that a staggering 67% of respondents believed a housing crash was imminent within the next few years. Such sentiments, if left unchecked, can spiral into widespread panic, potentially destabilizing the market. However, a closer look at the numbers paints a different picture.

Appreciation rates, which had surged in the first half of the previous year, underwent a correction in its latter half. This adjustment was not indicative of a crash but rather a market recalibration. As we progressed into 2023, monthly data consistently showcased a positive appreciation trend. This pattern is further corroborated by multiple pricing indexes, each with their unique methodologies, all pointing towards stable appreciation.

Celebrating the efforts of industry professionals and experts, we’ve made significant strides in educating the public about the stability of home prices. By dispelling myths and presenting facts, we aim to instill confidence in potential buyers, ensuring they make informed decisions based on accurate market insights.

The Power of Generational Wealth in Homeownership: Homeownership has long been a cornerstone of the American Dream, and its significance extends beyond just owning a piece of property. It’s about building generational wealth and ensuring a stable financial future for oneself and the subsequent generations.

A notable trend in the current market is the role of family assistance in facilitating home buying. A recent survey highlighted that 38% of recent home buyers under the age of 30 utilized either a cash gift from a family member or an inheritance to afford their down payment. This phenomenon has led to the coining of the term “Nepo” home buyers, indicating those who received family money to make their home purchase. This assistance is not merely about financial aid; it’s about families helping their kin, often leveraging the wealth they’ve built in their homes over the years.

The long-term benefits of homeownership are manifold. Beyond the immediate equity and potential for appreciation, owning a home sets the stage for future generations. It provides a foundation, both literally and figuratively, for families to grow and prosper. Moreover, homeownership can be a significant factor in changing the financial trajectory of an entire lineage.

For first-time buyers who may not have the advantage of family assistance, there are various down payment assistance programs available. These programs can be pivotal in making homeownership attainable, ensuring that the dream is within reach for all, regardless of their familial financial background.

Conclusion: The Road Ahead: Navigating the real estate market of September 2023 has been an enlightening journey. We’ve delved deep into the intricacies of home sales, understanding the decline and the factors influencing it. The inventory challenges have been a significant concern, with historical perspectives shedding light on the persistent shortage. The lending landscape, with its interplay of rates and the emergence of “Nepo” home buyers, has provided insights into the current buying trends. We’ve also debunked myths surrounding home prices and celebrated the efforts in educating the public about the stability of these prices. The power of generational wealth in homeownership has emphasized the role of family assistance and the long-term benefits of owning a home.

As we look ahead, it’s crucial to remember that the real estate market is dynamic, influenced by a myriad of factors. Staying informed, understanding the data, and making educated decisions are paramount. It’s not just about buying a home; it’s about making an investment in one’s future and the future of subsequent generations.

For those with lingering questions or seeking clarity on specific aspects, remember that the journey doesn’t end here. Reach out, ask questions, and let’s ensure that your path to homeownership is as informed and smooth as possible.


This article was provided with content from Keeping Current Matters, Inc. The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions.

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