Over the last few weeks, I’ve had tough conversations with a few clients.
With unprecedented rate hikes over the last few months, borrowing power and affordability for clients has declined sharply.
The housing market is softening, but not enough for the clients who need a correction the most. I had a conversation this week with one of my favourite appraisers. He said that from April to the end of June he saw a sharp correction and that he feels prices are starting to normalize now.
I feel like the housing and mortgage worlds are a bit topsy turvy right now.
One interesting (and I’m not sure that is the right word) thing that I’ve seen happen three times over the last month is backyard developers walking away from properties they wrote offers on in the first quarter of the year.
By backyard developers I mean people that have been buying up properties zoned for multi-family development on spec, hoping to flip them down the road as land assemblies or even pull together financing themselves to develop these properties.
Early in the year these people wrote subject-free offers with long closing dates (ie: September/October) in the frenzy of the spring market.
One couple accepted an offer on a home they owned with a long closing and wrote an offer to purchase another home intending to tear it down and build a fourplex on the property. Two weeks before closing their purchaser backed out and left them without the funds to complete their purchase.
They in turn looked at the decrease in value of the home (over $300,000 based on the current appraisal) they were supposed to purchase and decided they no longer wanted to move forward. They walked away from the contract.
I’m not sure of the chain reaction this caused, but most people I work with enter into these contracts in good faith. I was floored by the callous nature of these clients that choose not to move forward and am curious to see if they will be sued by the sellers.
Another challenge I’m coming across is clients who signed purchase agreements on pre-builds a year or more ago who are no longer qualifying for the financing they need because rates have increased so dramatically over the last few months.
I have four on the go that are all set to complete over the next few months. I have lost a bit of sleep over these lately. I am, however, very pleased with how the lenders have gone to bat for these clients to help make their financing work.
If you have a pre-approval or rate hold in place, or are coming to completion on a new build, I urge you to reach out to your mortgage person to confirm that your numbers still work, and that your price point hasn’t changed.
That all felt a little dark, but I really want to make sure that potential buyers know how the increased rates might affect their purchasing power. On a brighter note, I am starting to see things pick up again with more homes selling, and feel like we are moving to a more balanced market than we’ve seen over the last few years.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.