Black Knight: Despite Rising Interest Rates, Annual Home Price Growth Hits All-Time High of 19.6% in February, Driving Affordability to Lowest Level in 15 Years

Apr 4th, 2022 9:00 EST

–  According to the Black Knight HPI, home prices rose 1.84% in February – nearly four times the 25-year average for the month – and the 14th month of the pandemic to see greater than 1% monthly growth

–  The average home has now increased in value by more than 34% since February 2020, with appreciation continuing to reaccelerate after a brief slowdown last fall

–  Each of the 100 largest U.S. markets experienced double-digit annual home price growth in February 2022, with three-quarters of those markets seeing continued acceleration of appreciation

–  Home price growth is reaccelerating even as interest rates continue to climb, with rates rising nearly one-third of a percent in February and more than 1.25% since the start of the year through late March

–  As a result, affordability is now at its lowest point on record outside of 2004-2007, with the monthly principal and interest (P&I) payment for the average-priced home purchase up $329 (+24%) year-to-date

–  It now takes 29.1% of the median household income to make that P&I payment, up from 19.3% just 15 months ago and a full 4 percentage points more than the 1995-2003 long-term average

–  82 of the 100 largest U.S. markets are now less affordable than their long-term benchmarks, up from six at the start of the pandemic

–  In recent years, a payment-to-income ratio above 21% has worked to cool the housing market, but record-low inventory continues to fuel growth even in the face of the tightest affordability in 15 years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Data & Analytics division of Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) released its latest Mortgage Monitor Report, based upon the company’s industry-leading mortgage, real estate and public records datasets. This month’s report examines the continuation of record-breaking home price growth – even with interest rates rising sharply – and the mounting affordability pressures resulting from these competing dynamics. According to Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske, February 2022 saw the largest annual home price gains on record

“Home prices grew by 1.84% in February – nearly four times the 25-year average for the month – and they did so while interest rates continued to climb throughout the month,” said Graboske. “The month’s 19.6% year-over-year growth marked the highest annual rate of appreciation on record, with the average home having now increased in value by more than 34% since February 2020, just prior to the pandemic. After a brief cooling last fall, appreciation has been reaccelerating for the last four months. Indeed, a full three-quarters of the 100 largest U.S. markets – all 100 of which registered double-digit annual appreciation in February, it should be noted – are seeing reacceleration of home price growth. And that is all while interest rates climbed nearly one-third of a percent in February and are now up more than 1.25% since the start of the year.

“This combination of accelerating growth and sharply rising interest rates has resulted in the tightest affordability in 15 years. In fact, outside of the skewed 2004-2007 market, the 29.1% of median income now required to make the P&I payment on the average-priced home bought with 20% down is the highest share in 25 years. Entering the year, a prospective homebuyer who could budget a $1,700 monthly P&I payment – roughly the amount required to buy the average home today, excluding taxes and insurance – could afford a $497,000 house. With Freddie Mac reporting the average 30-year rate at 4.42% on March 24, that same borrower can now afford less than $425,000. The average P&I payment has increased 24%, or approximately $329 per month, while at the same time, the average homebuyer’s buying power has dropped by 15%. In the recent past, a payment-to-income ratio above 21% has worked to cool the housing market and regulate prices, but today’s record-low inventory continues to fuel significant growth even in the face of the tightest affordability in 15 years.”

As the current inventory crisis is key to these unprecedented housing market conditions, this month’s Mortgage Monitor also looks at what many had thought might serve as a release valve to the current shortage – namely potentially hundreds of thousands of homeowners coming out of forbearance listing their homes for sale as a resolution. The report finds that, of the 8.1 million homeowners who had been in forbearance at some point during the pandemic, there have been 2.3 million (28%) liquidations thus far. Of these, 925,000 have paid off their loans in full through the sale of their home. While this has worked out to an average of 40,000 such sales per month during the pandemic, it has not filled the inventory gap and has been trending downward in recent months. Less than 750,000 loans remain in active forbearance, with another 400,000 that are no longer in forbearance but still involved in active loss mitigation efforts. Recent post-forbearance liquidations have leaned more heavily toward cash-out refinances, with homeowners perhaps seeking to reset themselves financially.

About the Mortgage MonitorThe Data & Analytics division of Black Knight manages the nation’s leading repository of loan-level residential mortgage data and performance information covering the majority of the overall market, including tens of millions of loans across the spectrum of credit products and more than 160 million historical records. The combined insight of the Black Knight HPI and Collateral Analytics’ home price and real estate data provides one of the most complete, accurate and timely measures of home prices available, covering 95% of U.S. residential properties down to the ZIP-code level. In addition, the company maintains one of the most robust public property records databases available, covering 99.9% of the U.S. population and households from more than 3,100 counties.

Black Knight’s research experts carefully analyze this data to produce a summary supplemented by dozens of charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations for the monthly Mortgage Monitor Report. To review the full report, visit: https://www.blackknightinc.com/data-reports/

About Black KnightBlack Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) is an award-winning software, data and analytics company that drives innovation in the mortgage lending and servicing and real estate industries, as well as the capital and secondary markets. Businesses leverage our robust, integrated solutions across the entire homeownership life cycle to help retain existing customers, gain new customers, mitigate risk and operate more effectively.

Our clients rely on our proven, comprehensive, scalable products and our unwavering commitment to delivering superior client support to achieve their strategic goals and better serving their customers. For more information on Black Knight, please visit www.blackknightinc.com/.

For more information:

Michelle Kersch

Mitch Cohen

904.854.5043

704.890.8158

[email protected]

[email protected]

SOURCE Black Knight, Inc.

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