Dr. Steve Sjuggerud from Daily Wealth points out some keen insights about the fundamentals of the current housing market. He suggests that supply hasn't been this low is a long time, and yet housing is very affordable. These are some of the reasons that real estate could be one of the best places to put your money right now. Continue reading to learn more.
That's about what the median home in San Francisco sold for at the height of the boom three years ago. Then the bust came, and prices fell 45%, according to the Case-Shiller home price index.
But a funny thing has been happening lately... something people haven't really noticed...
Home prices in San Francisco actually bottomed in March. According to the Case-Shiller Index, they've been up every month since... up nearly 4% in the latest month.
On my side of the country in Florida, the same thing is happening. Again, people are almost refusing to notice... But for 11 consecutive months, home sales in Florida have INCREASED over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, homes in Florida are now ridiculously affordable.
The median home price in Florida is now $147,600. That's a mortgage payment of about $650 a month (at current mortgage rates with 20% down). The median household income in Florida is about $50,000, roughly $4,000 a month before tax. That's about 16% of your household income – way below any rules of thumb about how much to put toward a house.
From coast to coast, housing affordability is better than it's ever been, getting a big boost from two things: the housing bust and super-low mortgage interest rates. The pile of government incentives has helped, too.
As an investor, I'm seeing what I love... It's an ideal situation that's rare, but incredibly important if you can recognize it. It's when people's emotional opinions are clearly at odds with the reality of the numbers.
The numbers for housing are really great right now. But after three years of losses, people are sour on housing. Perfect!
Three years ago, we had the opposite situation... The numbers for housing were terrible. Housing was completely unaffordable, and builders were building at a frantic rate. But people were incredibly enthusiastic.
Today, the value is there. What will cause prices to climb again? When the supply of homes available for sale shrinks. It's Economics 101. And guess what? We're there...
Right now, fewer homes are available for sale than at any time in the last 40 years (adjusting the supply for the growth in the U.S. population). If I hadn't crunched the numbers myself, I wouldn't believe it. Take a look:
Economics 101: When the Supply Is Low, Prices Go Up
Even better, when you do the simplest, dumbest comparison – the price of homes versus the supply of homes – you get exactly what you'd expect: When the supply of homes gets low, home prices rise.
David Dreman agrees... In 1980, he literally wrote the book. It's called Contrarian Investment Strategies. In it, he recommended going heavily into stocks. In the current issue of Forbes magazine, Dreman recommends U.S. residential real estate:
If inflation hits hard, the chief culprit of the bear market – real estate – is likely to be one of the best investments in the years ahead. Buy a home if you don't already have one or a second home if you can afford one.
Time to buy a house. (Or two!)
This post has been republished from Daily Wealth, a contrarian investment analysis and advice site.