Why Today’s Market Is Different from the 2008 Housing Crisis

Today’s housing market is very different from the 2008 housing crisis. At the NAR Real Estate Forecast Summit, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun highlighted the four key reasons why home prices are expected to remain steady in 2023.

Job Market
During the last recession, 8 million jobs were lost in just one year. However, in the current labor market, there hasn’t been a lot of job losses. While layoffs in the technology and mortgage industries have been making headlines, there has not been enough of an accumulation to form a net job loss, according to Yun.

Subprime Mortgages
Back in 2008, subprime loans were quite common. The abundance of subprime loans—loans offered to buyers with poor credit—contributed to the housing bust. Yet in today’s market, subprime loans are nearly nonexistent.

Nationwide Housing Shortage
In today’s market, only 4.6 million new homes are being constructed. For the past decade, the housing market has experienced a severe lack of inventory, due in part to underproduction in the new-home sector. Low inventory levels have led to increases in home prices, a trend that is expected to continue.

During the last housing crash, many homeowners had to walk away from their loans as home prices collapsed. In today’s housing market, the percentage of homes in foreclosure remains at historical lows—around 0.6%. What’s more, Yun predicts foreclosures to remain near these historical lows for the remainder of 2023.

Though recent home sales have been slowing, the current housing market is quite different from that of 2008. Home prices remain elevated and inventory is low. As a result, according to Yun, “The chance of a price crash is very small due to the lack of supply.”