Finance

Housing and Finance

Housing Market Predictions For 2023

Why Sacramento is One of the Best Places to Buy a Home in California

Americans’ Outlook on Retirement Darkens

Why a Federal Retiree Might Consider a Reverse Mortgage

Housing Market Predictions For 2023
(
When Will Home Prices Be Affordable Again?)

Written By Robin Rothstein, Forbes Advisor Staff.  Reviewed By Chris Jennings, editorImage provided by Getty

The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased by 18 basis points in May 2023, while pending home sales were flat and existing home sales sagged in April.  (A basis point is one-hundredth of one percentage point.)

Though the median existing-home sales price edged lower year-over-year for the third consecutive month—a promising sign for home shoppers—experts don’t expect substantial, nationwide price declines anytime soon.

Home prices remain stubbornly elevated, perpetuating affordability challenges for many, especially first-time homebuyers. For one, the nation’s housing supply remains limited—and probably will remain so for at least the near future—due, in part, to those who purchased homes in recent years at record-low interest rates staying put.

Though home prices are not as high as the record prices of June 2022, data suggest that where home prices dip or climb this year remains heavily region-specific.

Some Experts Foresee a Sluggish Housing Market Recovery
In the meantime, mortgage rates and the overall housing market continue to have their ups and downs…

“Since rates have been so volatile and for-sale inventory still scarce, we have yet to see sustained growth in purchase applications,” said Joel Kan, vice president and deputy chief economist at Mortgage Bankers Association…

Housing Starts Forecast 2023
At the same time, there are some mixed signals in the home-building realm.

Single-family construction starts rose for the third consecutive month, increasing 1.6% in April 2023, as applications for building permits ticked down 1.5% from the previous month, according to the Census Bureau and HUD.

Yet, even with building permits edging down, builder confidence continues to grow, though cautiously.

The most recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) that tracks builder sentiment jumped from 45 to 50. This is the fifth month-over-month increase following 12 consecutive months of declines, and the first time since July 2022 that the index touched 50.

Hitting the 50-point mark is a significant milestone. A reading of 50 or above means more builders see good conditions ahead for new construction…

Will There Be a Lot of Foreclosures in 2023?
In April, foreclosure filings were down 10% from March but up 8% from last year, according to ATTOM, a property data provider. Foreclosure completions were down 39% from the previous month but increased 3% from a year ago.

“Foreclosure activity continues to stabilize and even correct itself in 2023, with April showing a 10% decrease in overall activity after a 20% increase [in March],” said Rob Barber, chief executive officer at ATTOM.

When Should I Buy a Home in 2023?
Trying to predict what might happen this year is not the best home buying strategy. “Buyers sitting on the sidelines today in anticipation of lower prices tomorrow may end up disappointed,” says Neda Navab, president of the U.S. region at Compass, a real estate tech company.

“The housing market—like so many other markets—is almost impossible to time,“ says Orphe Divounguy, senior macroeconomist at Zillow Home Loans. “The best time for prospective buyers is when they find a home that they like, that meets their family’s current and foreseeable needs and that they can afford.”

 

Housing Affordability
Housing Residential Neighborhood

Why Sacramento is One of the Best Places to Purchase a Home
(in California)

If you are looking for a place to buy a home in California, you might want to consider the Sacramento area. This city is the capital of California and the sixth-largest city in the state. It has a lot to offer to home buyers, from affordability and diversity, to culture and nature. Here are some of the reasons why the Sacramento area is one of the best places to purchase a home in California.

Affordability
One of the main attractions of the Sacramento area is its affordability compared to other major cities in California. According to Realtor.com, the median list price of homes in Sacramento County was $499,900 in January 2023, which is 14% higher than the national average but much lower than the median prices in San Francisco ($1.4 million), San Jose ($1.2 million), Los Angeles ($999,000), and San Diego ($799,000). The median sale price per square foot in Sacramento was $317, which is also lower than the state and national averages.

Sacramento also offers a lower cost of living than other parts of California. According to BestPlaces.net, the overall cost of living index in Sacramento is 119.4, which is 19% higher than the national average but lower than the state average of 149.9. The housing cost index in Sacramento is 156.8, which is much lower than the state average of 239.1.  Up Mortgage has reported a consistent trend of remote workers moving from Bay Area cities to the Sacramento area.

Diversity
Another reason why Sacramento CA area is one of the best places to purchase a home in California is its diversity. Sacramento is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the country, with a population that is 34% white, 28% Hispanic, 18% Asian, 14% black, and 6% other races. Sacramento also has a large immigrant community, with 22% of its residents being foreign-born.

Sacramento’s diversity is reflected in its neighborhoods, cuisine, festivals, and arts. You can find a variety of neighborhoods to suit your preferences and budget, from historic downtown and midtown to suburban Elk Grove and Folsom. You can also enjoy a wide range of cuisines from around the world, such as Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and more. You can also celebrate different cultures and traditions at events like the Chinese New Year Parade, Cinco de Mayo Festival, Pacific Rim Street Fest, Juneteenth Celebration, and Festival of Lights.

Culture
The Sacramento area is also one of the best places to purchase a home in California because of its rich culture and history. As the capital of California, Sacramento has many landmarks and museums that showcase the state’s history and politics, such as the State Capitol Building, Sutter’s Fort, Old Sacramento Historic District, Crocker Art Museum, California State Railroad Museum, and California Museum.

Sacramento also has a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, with many venues for music, theater, comedy, and sports. You can catch live performances at places like Golden 1 Center, Memorial Auditorium, Crest Theatre, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and B Street Theatre. You can also enjoy comedy shows at Punch Line Comedy Club or Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club. You can also cheer for local sports teams like the Sacramento Kings (NBA), Sacramento Republic FC (USL), or Sacramento River Cats (MiLB).

Nature
Last but not least, the Sacramento area is one of the best places to purchase a home in California because of its proximity to nature and outdoor recreation. Sacramento is located at the confluence of two rivers: the Sacramento River and the American River. These rivers offer opportunities for boating, fishing, kayaking, rafting, and swimming. You can also enjoy scenic trails for hiking, biking, and running along the rivers or at nearby parks like William Land Park or McKinley Park.

Sacramento is also within driving distance of some of the most beautiful natural attractions in California and beyond. You can easily visit Lake Tahoe for skiing or snowboarding in winter, or swimming or boating in summer. You can also explore Yosemite National Park for its stunning waterfalls and rock formations. You can also drive to Napa Valley for wine tasting or San Francisco for sightseeing.

Conclusion
Sacramento is one of the best places to purchase a home in California for many reasons. It offers affordability and diversity that are hard to find in other parts of the state. It also offers culture and nature that are appealing to anyone who loves history, arts, or outdoor activities. If you are interested in buying a home in Sacramento CA area , you should act fast as the market is very competitive and prices are rising.

Sources:

 

Americans’ outlook on retirement darkens to an 11-year low

By Matt Egan, CNN
iStockphoto/Getty Images/FILE

CNN  — 

In the latest sign of economic pessimism, Americans are growing increasingly concerned they won’t be able to retire comfortably, according to a Gallup survey shared first with CNN on Wednesday.

Just 43% of nonretired adults think they will have enough money to live comfortably when they retire, according to Gallup. That’s the lowest level for that metric since 2012.

Americans’ retirement confidence has been noticeably shaken in recent years. The percentage of adults expecting to live comfortably in retirement is down by five percentage points over the past year and ten percentage points since 2021.

Less affluent Americans are especially concerned.

A record-low 19% of lower-income adults expect to live comfortably, according to Gallup, which began tracking these measures in 2002. A record-high 88% express worry about having enough money to retire.

‘Rather grim’
Gallup said the outlook of non-retirees tends to swing in tandem with the national economic climate.

Mohamed Younis, Gallup’s editor in chief, told CNN on Wednesday that the overall retirement numbers are “rather grim” and reflect lingering concerns about the high cost of living, the safety of money in bank accounts and the risk of a recession.

The high cost of living makes it harder for families to save for retirement.

“People are really feeling the pinch. Even as the rate of inflation has slowed down, people’s feel of the crunch of inflation hasn’t,” said Younis.

The Gallup poll, conducted from April 3 to April 25, finds that women are much more concerned about their retirement situation.

Just 36% of women expect to have enough money to retire comfortably, compared with 50% of men.

36% of middle-income adults expect to retire comfortably
Younger Americans are more optimistic about their retirement outlook, with 54% of those aged 18 to 29 saying they expect to have enough money to live comfortably. But just 38% of those aged 30 to 49 say the same and 39% of those 50 to 64.

Americans’ views on retirement vary significantly based on their income levels.

While just 19% of nonretired adults expect to have enough money to retire comfortably, Gallup said 36% of middle-income adults do and 65% of upper-income adults.

What’s interesting is that while non-retirees are worried about their retirement prospects, those who are already retired are not.

Gallup found that 77% of retirees say they currently have enough money to live comfortably, a figure that’s unchanged from last year despite the rising cost of living. Gallup said retirees have always had quite high views on living comfortably (ranging between 71% and 83%) — higher than those who await retirement.

Questions about the financial health and future of Social Security could be part of the reason for that divide.

Gallup found that while 59% of retired adults say Social Security is a major source of their retirement income, just 34% of retirees expect it will be for them. Those awaiting retirement expect to be forced to rely more on 401(k), IRA and other retirement savings accounts.

Americans give the economy poor marks
The Gallup findings on retirement are just the latest that point to the gloomy mood among consumers as they grapple with inflation, high borrowing costs and recession warnings.

Consumer sentiment remains historically low, dropping to a six-month low in May, according to the University of Michigan.

A CNN poll released Tuesday found that 76% of adults describe the economy as in poor shape, up from 71% who felt that way in March.

A Gallup poll released earlier this month found that just 35% of adults have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in President Joe Biden to do or recommend the right thing for the economy. That nearly matches the low confidence rating for presidents — 34% for former President George W. Bush in 2008.

Senior woman shopping for vegetables in grocery store
Pink piggy bank with the words "Reverse Mortgage" on its side

Why a Federal Retiree Might Consider a Reverse Mortgage

Reverse mortgages could help fund LTC care for federal retirees, according to a financial planner

July 17, 2023, 3:20 pm By Chris Clow

Reverse mortgages could present a viable option for federal retirees to fund their long-term care (LTC)…according to Edward Zurndorfer, a certified financial planner, in a column published by My Federal Retirement.

“Many federal employees and retirees bought their current homes years ago and have accumulated equity in their homes,” Zurndorfer said in his column. “They can tap into that accumulated home equity while they continue to live in their homes to pay current and future expenses including the cost of LTC.”

While most seniors tend to use a reverse mortgage to supplement their cash flow in retirement, federal retirees may have unique interests or needs that might make a reverse mortgage an appealing option, he explained.

“A federal annuitant who is receiving a CSRS or FERS annuity, Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) and Social Security retirement benefits, may need to make some major improvements to their home,” he said. “They may qualify to get a lump-sum amount of money from a reverse mortgage in order to finance these improvements.”

In the realm of LTC, a person who wishes to remain in their own home or to fund the care of a spouse may also see potential in a reverse mortgage’s product features.

“Provided that the other spouse remains living in the home, a reverse mortgage could be used to pay for the annuitant’s or spouse’s stay in the assisted living or nursing home facility,” he said. “If the homeowner is an LTC insurance policyholder, then monthly payments via the reverse mortgage can be used to help pay the LTC insurance premiums.”

If you would like more information about Reverse Mortgage options, we recommend you speak with a qualified advisor.