Housing Market Has Made ‘Good Enough’ Progress to Buy Now, Analyst Says

Housing Market Has Made ‘Good Enough’ Progress to Buy Now, Analyst Says
The CEO of the largest single private homeowner in the U.S. said that buying a home now is a "good investment" and that the recent gains the housing market has made are "good enough" for a buyer to invest in a home during a recent interview with CNBC. Speaking from the Milken Institute Conference in Los Angeles, Blackstone Mortgage Trust CEO Steve Schwarzman told CNBC on Monday that the housing market has been "coming back for quite some time" even though inventory is low and prices have not increased as much. For example, Black Knight Financial Services reported earlier this week a year-over-year median price gain of 4.6 percent for single-family homes in February.

"We're finding that that market continues to go up for the value of houses, although not at the same rate as it did, obviously, off the bottom," Schwarzman said.

Blackstone is the largest single private owner of residential homes in the U.S. with approximately 47,000 homes and about $90 billion in real estate assets. Schwarzman said his company is putting money into the housing market, although not as much as it was during the height of the financial crisis.

"We're only building about half of the houses we did at the top of the last cycle," Schwarzman said. "People need to be in houses as immigration continues in the United States."

Schwarzman's assessment of the housing market was similar to that of Tim Rood, chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based business advisory firm The Collingwood Group, who said in a recent interview on Westwood One Radio Network that now was a good time to invest in a home because of low interest rates and anticipated home value appreciation.

"The leveraged return if you put down 10 percent on a house, the trajectory of appreciation lately is you’re going to get your money back inside of a year and then after that 5 to 10 percent appreciation rates," Rood said. "It's phenomenal."

The topic of the housing market and whether or not now is a good time to buy will be covered more in depth at the 2015 Five Star Conference and Expo, which will be September 16 through 18 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.

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