Home Prices Will Fall. But Affordability? Don’t Count on It

What’ll this market do in 2023? Economists envision home prices dropping throughout the year. A report from the research firm Capital Economics predicts an 8% drop, which is in the range others are predicting, too.

Then, its forecast shows property values rising back up again — by 2.5% in late 2024.

Morgan Stanley analysts believe prices will fall 7% by December 2023 from their June 2022 highs. Moody’s Analytics expects a 10% drop by mid-2024 — and drops much bigger than that in the markets that went red-hot. Consider Austin, Texas, where prices are up 60% since the pandemic began. As high as that figure is, it’s sliding. Since summer 2022, Austin property values are already down more than 8%.

Overall, this seems like a reprieve for hopeful buyers. But will it bring what we really need: many affordable homes for sale?  

Here’s what current forecasts show.

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Is Home Swapping a Thing?

Most of us know home sharing platforms are a thing — but how about home swapping platforms? Yes, they exist. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for subscriptions, across the country and worldwide, so they can immerse themselves in each other’s surroundings for a few days or weeks at a time. Some look forward to the experience as the holidays draw near.

And these platforms keep reinventing themselves. Here’s how the home swap concept works, and some of the latest twists on the idea.

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Real Estate Apps: What’s Trending Out There?

Plenty of tech innovators are coming up with interesting options to support home buyers, agents, and window shoppers. Many have multiple useful features, and some are pretty fun concepts, too. Here are some of the standouts.

Note: We’re not advertising here or getting paid by anyone connected to the app world. This overview is simply meant to bring our readers a sampling of what’s out there. We can’t guarantee any of the apps, although we love to follow the progress tech is making in real estate. It’s a good practice to check out reviews from multiple sources before choosing an app, just as it is when choosing a real estate agent!

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FTX Scandal: What Just Happened to Cryptocurrency, and Does It Affect Blockchain?

In March 2022, the White House formally accepted blockchain and crypto as valid innovations with strong use cases, important for U.S. technological progress. But any commercial innovation has to be balanced with consumer protection. And it can’t come soon enough.

A (formerly) $32 billion cryptocurrency company just plunged into bankruptcy, its founder now being questioned by law enforcement officers in the growing crypto haven in the Bahamas.

Here, we take stock of what we know about the FTX implosion (details are emerging), how it affects the market, and whether or not any part of this mess changes the game for blockchain.

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Noticed Internationally: A Tale of Two Detroit Women, a Deed, and a Title

We regularly explore racial fairness issues in real estate. So it’s gratifying to find the topic noted in the international press.

In addition to what this story tells us about Detroit home buyers’ struggles, it also points out why your name on a deed is not the same as your name on a title.

In most cases, the conveyance of a deed does represent a valid transfer of title. But not always. Let’s take a look at the story.

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The Housing Market “Reset” Is Coming. Here Are 5 Tips to Protect Your Equity

The chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, wants to “reset” the U.S. housing market. By hiking interest rates, Powell claims to be forming a more “balanced” market between buyers and sellers.

In other words, home values could be set to drop. The Federal Reserve has, in fact, admitted that a sharp drop in home prices could be coming.

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Using a Quitclaim Deed: What Are the Drawbacks?

A quitclaim deed is a simple form that transfers a piece of real estate from one person to another. Any homeowner can fill out a quitclaim deed with their name and the name of the recipient, and the property’s existing legal description, sign it in front of a notary and record the document. That effectively and quickly passes a property on. No wonder these forms mistakenly get called “quick claim” deeds.

Yet quitclaims are not a good pick for most property conveyances. Read on to learn more.

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How Wall Street Real Estate Firms Get Richer—and Get Tax Breaks

After the 2007-09 financial crisis, a string of companies bought up foreclosed houses and flipped them into rental homes. Sometimes, they rented to the very same people whose homes were foreclosed and bought out.

Ever since then, these firms have profited handsomely from rising real estate values — and the existence of a growing class of renters.

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About That Mortgage Interest Deduction

Approaching the Finish Line in 2022

If you’re a mortgage borrower, you pay interest on your loan every month. As the end of the calendar year approaches, you’ve probably paid quite a lot of interest on your loan. The silver lining is your ability to add it all up for your mortgage interest deduction.

The deduction means you can cut your taxable income by the total mortgage interest amount you paid this year.

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How Does the IRS Check Primary Residence Status?

Got Multiple Properties?

When you buy a home, it can be a primary residence, a second home, or investment real estate that you plan to rent out to others. Most individual home buyers are purchasing homes they want to live in — primary residences.

But what if you have more than one property? Getting your primary residence status right is critical. Lenders care about this information, because homes are collateral. Lenders know buyers tend to keep personal homes well maintained. And if you have multiple properties, the IRS wants to be sure you claim your primary residence correctly.

Occupancy fraud occurs when homeowners knowingly misrepresent their intended use of a residence. Since Covid 19 struck, it’s on the rise. The government is looking for signs of fraud. Here’s what you need to know. 

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