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4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again

With home prices rising again this year, some are concerned that we may be repeating the 2006 housing bubble that caused families so much pain when it collapsed. Today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago. There are four key metrics that explain why:

  1. Home Prices
  2. Mortgage Standards
  3. Mortgage Debt
  4. Housing Affordability

1. HOME PRICES

There is no doubt that home prices have reached 2006 levels in many markets across the country. However, after more than a decade, home prices should be much higher based on inflation alone.

Frank Nothaft is the Chief Economist for CoreLogic (which compiles some of the best data on past, current, and future home prices). Nothaft recently explained:

“Even though CoreLogic’s national home price index got to the same level it was at the prior peak in April of 2006, once you account for inflation over the ensuing 11.5 years, values are still about 18% below where they were.” (emphasis added)

2. MORTGAGE STANDARDS

Some are concerned that banks are once again easing lending standards to a level similar to the one that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.

The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI). According to the Urban Institute:

“The HCAI measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.”

The graph below reveals that standards today are much tighter on a borrower’s credit situation and have all but eliminated the riskiest loan products.

4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again | MyKCM

3. MORTGAGE DEBT

Back in 2006, many homeowners mistakenly used their homes as ATMs by withdrawing their equity and spending it with no concern for the ramifications. They overloaded themselves with mortgage debt that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) repay when prices crashed. That is not occurring today.

The best indicator of mortgage debt is the Federal Reserve Board’s household Debt Service Ratio for mortgages, which calculates mortgage debt as a percentage of disposable personal income.

At the height of the bubble market a decade ago, the ratio stood at 7.21%. That meant over 7% of disposable personal income was being spent on mortgage payments. Today, the ratio stands at 4.48% – the lowest level in 38 years!

4. HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

With both house prices and mortgage rates on the rise, there is concern that many buyers may no longer be able to afford a home. However, when we look at the Housing Affordability Index released by the National Association of Realtors, homes are more affordable now than at any other time since 1985 (except for when prices crashed after the bubble popped in 2008).

4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again | MyKCM

Bottom Line

After using four key housing metrics to compare today to 2006, we can see that the current market is not anything like the bubble market.

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About Area

Hayesville, North Carolina is a small city in the extreme southwestern mountains of North Carolina. The city itself consists of about half a square mile of land, all of it being land. Just to the north of Hayesville, the Hiawassee River flows westward into the Rocky Mountains and Tennessee. Downtown Hayesville consists of the original historic courthouse and jail, which have been converted into a museum. There are also many unique shops and restaurants, and the idyllic little town square plays hostto many different concerts, festivals, and fun events throughout the year. Some of the most popular attractions in Hayesville consist of outdoor activities, as the Good Lord saw fit to make this area of the world a beautiful and wonderful outdoor playground. Hiking and biking trails abound, as well as tubingand fishing on the river and Fires Creek. Heritage of the mountain people as well as the Cherokee people before them is celebrated and memorialized in a couple different sites. And agritourism is a popular attraction offered by many of the local farms. The landscape here is absolutely picture perfect. Tall blue mountains rise up in the distance on all sides, while much of Hayesville is level to hilly farm and pasture land. It is truly a beautiful site for a home or just to sit back and relax in perfect peace. Many people who come to this area to visit are here to unwind and escape the daily grind. If, however, you would like to make this paradise a more permanent escape, contact Best Mountain Deals today. The people of Hayesville are always ready to welcome a new neighbor, and our team of agents most definitely have the best listings currently offered.

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