Homes are Finally Getting More Affordable; Will Apartment Downside Risk Follow?

Infographic - Home Price Growth Lowest Since 2012 - NAI Northern California Newsletter

Housing price growth has moderated and mortgage rates have declined, leading to increased housing affordability at the same time as rising consumer confidence and incomes have prompted developers to start building more quickly. What will this mean for the apartment rental market?

According to CoStar Analytics, both existing and new home sales rose in August, with new single-family home sales increasing all summer and existing home sales increasing two months in a row. And single-family housing starts increased in August for the third month in a row despite continually rising costs, delays, and lot scarcity. This has resulted in the lowest home price growth since 2012, below 4% per year. Mortgages are getting cheaper as well due to monetary policy and 10-year Treasury yield changes; CoStar reports “NAR’s housing affordability index based on fixed rate mortgages was up more than 10% in July compared to a year ago.”

However, homeownership rates have not yet increased; overall, they continued to decline over the first half of the year. But as new data becomes available for the second half of the year, multifamily investors are advised to proceed with caution.

Source: CoStar Analytics