Why Today’s Appleton WI Housing Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash
Monday Feb 13th, 2023
Why Today’s Appleton Wisconsin Housing Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash
67% of Americans say a housing market crash is imminent in the next three years. Many buyers and sellers that I have spoken with have also thought the same before they finished a great conversation with me. However, I can't blame any of their initial thoughts. With all the talk in the media lately about shifts in the housing market, it makes sense why so many people feel this way. But there’s good news. Once again, current data shows today’s market is nothing like it was before the housing crash in 2008.
Back Then, Mortgage Standards Were Less Strict
It was much easier to get a home loan before the lead-up to the housing crisis, much more so than it is today. Banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance an existing one.
As a result, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. This is what led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices. Purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies today!
The graph below uses data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to help tell this story. In this index, the higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage. The lower the number, the harder it is.
The graph also shows just how different things are today compared to the spike in credit availability leading up to the crash. The tighter lending standards have helped prevent a situation that could lead to a wave of foreclosures like the last time.
Foreclosure Volume Has Declined a Lot Since the Crash
The housing bubble burst of the past had a much larger number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure. The foreclosure activity has been lower since the crash, largely because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM to show the difference between last time and now:
So even as foreclosures tick up, the total number is still very low. And on top of that, most experts don’t expect foreclosures to go up drastically like they did following the crash in 2008. Bill McBride, Founder of Calculated Risk, explains the impact a large increase in foreclosures had on home prices back then – and how that’s unlikely this time.
“The bottom line is there will be an increase in foreclosures over the next year (from record level lows), but there will not be a huge wave of distressed sales as happened following the housing bubble. The distressed sales during the housing bust led to cascading price declines, and that will not happen this time.”
The Supply of Homes for Sale Today Is More Limited
For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to fall dramatically. Supply has increased since the start of this year, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available overall, primarily due to years of underbuilding homes.
The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how the months’ supply of homes available now compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just 2.7-months’ supply at the current sales pace, which is significantly lower than the last time. There just isn’t enough inventory on the market for home prices to come crashing down like they did last time, even though some overheated markets may experience slight declines.
Appleton Housing Market Bottom Line
If recent headlines have you worried we’re headed for another housing crash, the data above should help ease those fears. Expert insights and the most current data clearly show that today’s market is nothing like it was last time.
~ Steven M Vertz
Wizards of Real Estate, LLC
Call/Text (920) 209-1079 Today!!!