A prominent loan officer who has been meeting with multiple real estate agents recently told me that he has never seen so many “depressed real estate agents.”
They are depressed he says because their business is way down; their phones aren’t ringing; the clients that they do have are apprehensive about buying; the easy deals are no longer coming in; and the agents are just worried about the state of the industry in general. And – given that the mortgage industry is in much worse shape right now, it was easy to be empathetic.
BUT – here are a few reasons for optimism (for all of us):
- RATES HAVE FALLEN ABOUT 1.5% SINCE MID-OCTOBER. That translates to about $100 per month in savings per $100,000 borrowed. So – it might be a good idea for all of us (agents and lenders) to contact our clients to let them know their monthly payment just dropped by … a lot (depending on the amount they plan to borrow).
- MORE BUSINESS THAN MEETS THE EYE. At JVM, we planned to spend December putting up stockings, sitting by the fire, and sipping hot toddies (like we do every year), but alas, it was not to be this year, as we have suddenly experienced a very surprising upsurge in business. I blogged about it recently, suspecting it was due to falling rates – but either way, it is a huge surprise for this time of year.In addition, I also wrote this blog a few weeks back: The Housing Market Is Most Definitely Not Frozen – where I reminded everyone that there is always a surprisingly large amount of business in even the slowest of markets, using the early 1980s and the years after the 2008 meltdown as examples.
- IT’S LEAD SEASON. One of our managers (Danny Levitt) reminded me yesterday that this is the time of year (January more so than December) when the vast majority of the leads that turn into March and April purchases come in. Most seasoned agents know this of course, but it is a nice reminder for all of us to be on our game now to ensure “busy season” (March – June for most of us) is actually busy.
- INVESTORS STILL BUYING. This is something that has surprised me all year, as we work with several agents who focus exclusively on investors and investment properties. Those agents have been busier than ever all year, dealing with investors of every type. This has been so surprising to me that I am going to do a separate blog about it – as these investors clearly see something that much of the rest of the homebuying world does not.
- RATES WILL FALL FURTHER (IGNORE THE FED). If clients are still not happy with today’s rate environment, we might remind them that rates will very likely fall further in the first half of 2023 (no matter what the Fed says now) – allowing those clients to refi into much lower rates. I haven’t blogged about that since… yesterday and the day before.
- CORELOGIC PREDICTING APPRECIATION NEXT YEAR. In a recent blog, I cited this Business Wire article that summarized CoreLogic’s recent housing survey in which they estimated appreciation of almost 4% next year. Again, I don’t think a firm whose entire business depends on accuracy would predict appreciation if a crash was coming. Our entire team is equipped with all of this data, and we are very good at assuaging apprehensive buyers – because we all rightfully remain bullish for reasons I have set out in numerous blogs like… THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN REAL ESTATE Right Now – And How To Overcome It!; or It’s The Inventory, Stupid! (Why Values Are Not Crashing); or The 2018 Housing Crash That … Never Happened.
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