Economists still can’t wrap their heads around the housing market’s resilience. Prices of homes keep rising even as mortgage rates approach record highs. How a recession in the economy would affect the housing market is a topic of interest for many experts.
Others worry that if interest rates are raised any higher, the economy may crash even further.
There are a lot of people in the financial sector who think that real estate values will fall if the economy starts to slow down. In the next year, over 68% of economic analysts expect a recession, as reported by the Financial Times.
Maybe. Consumers are still losing ground to inflation, production in the United States is still being delayed by supply-chain hiccups due to the situation in Ukraine, and upcoming interest rate hikes will further damage aggregate demand.
Despite the nation’s persistent economic challenges, property values have risen. Housing prices in the first quarter of 2022 were 15% higher than in the first quarter of 2021. April had a record-high median house price of $407,000.
Despite 30-year fixed mortgage rates being close to 6%, the highest level since 2008, and a 2% increase since the beginning of the year.
High housing prices can be attributed in part to the imbalance between demand and supply. In the United States, there is a dearth of houses on the market. Because of this, a recession can threaten the housing market’s long-term health.
The Great Recession
The American economy showed consistent growth over several years. The stimulus to the economy faded within a few months. Millions of individuals lost their jobs and their houses when the property market crashed in 2007.
During the period between the middle of the 1990s and the middle of the 2000s, real estate appreciated significantly, hitting a peak of $314,000 in 2007. In 2000, a home cost roughly $207,000 on average.
Due to rising property prices, lenient lending standards, and an increase in subprime mortgages, the housing bubble expanded despite being economically unsustainable. In 2007, the bubble was inevitably shattered.
The housing market was devastated by foreclosures and defaults as the crisis deepened, causing a drop in the value of financial assets backed by subprime mortgages. These events had repercussions on the international financial system.
The American and international banking systems both failed. Ultimately, the government of the United States did something to lessen the damage.
The Housing Market Amidst the Great Recession
Before the recession, real estate was a popular investment choice for both domestic and foreign investors. Despite the lack of risk management, loans were made to prospective homeowners.
Rising home prices and easy financing contributed to the explosion of subprime mortgages, which in turn prompted the Great Recession.
Subprime mortgages are high-interest, short-term loans with fluctuating terms and a high degree of risk. Poor credit history, erratic or low income, and a high debt-to-income ratio all indicate a potentially risky borrower.
Second-home buyers frequently utilized subprime mortgages. Subprime lenders targeted these first-time purchasers.
Interest rates on subprime mortgages might fluctuate. The low-interest mortgages offered by subprime lenders were only accessible for a limited period, and after that, rates may have increased.
Subprime mortgage interest rates were 3.7 percentage points higher than conventional mortgage interest rates from 1998 and 2001.
How will the Recession affect the Housing Market?
The U.S. has a two-month supply of available homes, down from six months historically. The 2008 housing crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic hampered home development. Due to quarantine’s rock-bottom interest rates, many economists say there is pent-up demand for housing.
Many homebuyers are still eager despite rising rates. This raises property prices.
A recession would expedite the housing market’s reconfiguration. If no one wants to buy despite a limited supply of homes, prices will decrease or grow slowly. A recession will raise lending rates, reducing housing demand. This should reduce home prices. The housing market’s slowdown is debatable. In a recession, prices may fall. Others predict a moderate price rise until home building picks up.
A recession wouldn’t generate a buyers market for homes, though. A recession means higher mortgage rates, higher prices, and less salary mobility. While housing values may rise, buying a house during a recession is still difficult. Risks may outweigh gains.
Why a recession might freeze the market swiftly this time
While the economy is in a slump, the Federal Reserve reduces interest rates to make borrowing money cheaper and promote economic activity generally and the real estate market in particular.
Immediately following the COVID-19 recession, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates to offset the resulting surge in inflation. It will cost more to live because of the increases in the price of essentials like gas and groceries.
During a downturn, mc could decide to sell their properties to fund their job searches. An uptick in foreclosures might potentially enhance supply by bringing more homes back on the market.
As a result of rising supply and falling demand, price reductions are anticipated. It is exceedingly doubtful, however, that prices will fall by as much as they did during the Great Recession.
Some locations may see a sharp decline in prices, while others may see continued growth in demand and prices, albeit at slower rates.
The Essential Point
To encourage and sustain healthy economic expansion, the Federal Reserve chose to bring the federal funds rate to near zero. The federal funds rate is the benchmark interest rate used by financial institutions when making loans.
Capital for economic reinvestment increased as interest rates dropped. The causes of the Great Recession were discussed by the United States’ real estate and financial sectors and by the country’s politicians throughout this time.
Dodd-Frank The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed by President Obama in July of 2010. With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created (the CFPB).
The decision to drop the federal funds rate to near zero and deliberate policies were critical in helping to stabilize the economy of the United States in the years following the financial crisis by increasing housing-market critical lending, advocating for consumer interests, and establishing a new norm for financial industry accountability.