Amazing news!

We couldn't be more excited to announce that we are teaming up with Buying Beverly Hills agents Jon Grauman and Adam Rosenfeld to form the Bond Collective! We can't wait to grow and scale this new 50-agent team and continue to serve our clients at the highest level possible.

Major moves are happening in 2023, so stay tuned!

– James & David

Mortgage rates drop following CPI report

Source: Unsplash

‘Tis the season for mortgage rates drops. On Tuesday, after November’s CPI, a key measure of inflation, came in lower than expected, interest rates for popular 30-year fixed mortgages fell to 6.28%, the lowest rate since September.

Despite this drop, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate to a 15-year high, indicating that the fight against inflation isn't over, even with recent promising signs.

Our take

Let’s gooo! This is great news. We thought we saw peak inflation a couple months ago, and it looks like the data is backing that up. Rates increased, but not as much, and now mortgage rates are starting to level out. The market is normalizing, and that’s exactly what we need for our buyers to gain confidence in the housing market.

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Average asking rent takes record dip

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There was an eye-popping number on Zillow’s November rental report. Asking rents fell 0.4% from October to November, the largest one-month decline in the report’s seven-year history.

Here are the key takeaways from the report:

  • Typical asking rents now stand at $2,008 nationally, or 8.4% more than this time last year.

  • Rents are falling fastest month-over-month in Raleigh, Austin, Seattle, San Jose, and New York City.

  • Rents are still rising on a monthly basis in Louisville, Memphis, Buffalo, Birmingham, and Miami.

Our take

With housing prices declining, this was the next logical step, and it’s a good one. We need rents to stabilize, so people can save to buy homes. Prices were out of control. Each market is unique right now, and whether rents are rising or falling in your city, this data is crucial to share with clients. We always think buying is better than renting because, as we say, there’s no better investment you can make than owning a home.

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Pandemic buyers' equity looks good

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Redfin reported that just 3 in 100 pandemic homebuyers would fall underwater with 2023's projected 4% home-value decline. The average home bought since 2020 will have gained $27,000 in value, even if prices fall 4% next year. Prices would need to drop by 12% next year for the typical pandemic home purchase to lose value.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • A foreclosure crisis is unlikely, but middle-class homeowners stand to lose a bigger chunk of wealth with declining home values

  • Homeowners in popular pandemic destinations and expensive West Coast cities are at higher risk of falling underwater

Our take

Jason Oppenheim said it best on our most recent podcast: if you buy a home in the US, in 30 years, you will be rich! A one-year decline shouldn’t be a concern for your buyers, and if it is, it’s worth being honest with them about why they are buying a home in the first place. There’s plenty of data out there that shows there is no housing crisis, so plan with your clients about what it takes to pay a mortgage and find them the perfect home.

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The news that just missed the cut

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Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

This week we wanted to share some advice on proactive client outreach and lead generation. Here are 3 concrete actions new and seasoned agents can take to make 2023 your best year ever:

  • Check in with 5 past clients. Former clients are an amazing resource for referrals, so don't let these relationships fade over time! Call or email past clients just to ask how they're doing and check-in. It's okay to ask if they know anyone looking to buy or list a home, but don't be too salesy. It's all about nurturing existing relationships.

  • Speak with 6 prospective buyers. This is your time to shine as an agent! Share your knowledge of the comps and neighborhood, tell them more about the buying process, and put them in touch with a lender. Your goal is to move people from just wanting to buy a home to being able to buy.

  • Talk to 7 different homeowners. These owners might be people you met at an open house you hosted or attended, or maybe you met them while door-knocking. The important thing is to be in touch with these warm leads and let them know you're still interested in working with them. This keeps your name at the front of their minds as a go-to agent when they need one!

Want to hear more client outreach recommendations? Check out the whole episode here → Apple | Spotify 

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

That’s it for this edition of The Blueprint!

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you on Tuesday!

– James and David

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