Real Estate and Design Tips
There’s an old adage in real estate: location, location, location. But ever since the Federal Reserve began its series of inflation-fighting interest rate hikes last year, a new mantra has emerged: mortgage rates, mortgage rates, mortgage rates.
Higher rates had the immediate impact of dampening homebuyer affordability and demand. But this year, we’re seeing further repercussions. While analysts expected listing inventory to swell as sales declined, instead, homeowners have been pushing off plans to sell because they feel beholden to their existing, lower mortgage rates.
So what impact is this reduced demand and low supply environment having on home values? And what can we expect from the real estate market in the coming months and years? Here are several key indicators that help to paint a picture of the current market and where it’s likely headed.
HOME SALES ARE EXPECTED TO PICK UP BY EARLY NEXT YEAR
The weather isn’t the only thing that heats up in the spring and summer. Nationally, it tends to be the busiest time in real estate. But this year, the peak season got off to a slow start, with sales declines in both March and April.1,2 Existing home sales in April were down 3.4% from the previous month—and 23.2% from a year earlier.2
What’s causing this market slowdown? Industry experts attribute it to several factors, including near-record home prices, high mortgage rates, and low inventory.
According to National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, “Home sales are trying to recover and are highly sensitive to changes in mortgage rates. Yet, at the same time, multiple offers on starter homes are quite common, implying more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. It's a unique housing market.”1
However, some industry experts believe the market is poised for a comeback. Forecasters at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) predict that home sales will continue to fall through Q3 before rising in Q4 and throughout next year.3 Analysts at Fannie Mae expect the recovery to take a bit longer, picking up in early 2024.
Meanwhile, home builder confidence is already up, as purchases of new single-family homes surged in March and April to a 13-month high.5 Builder incentives are helping to boost sales: According to the National Association of Home Builders, in May, 54% reported using them to win over budget-conscious buyers.6
What does it mean for you? A slower pace of sales has given buyers some breathing room. If you hated the frenzy of the pandemic-era real estate market, now might be a better time for you to shop for a home. We can help you evaluate your options and make an informed purchase.
If you plan to sell your home, prepare yourself for less foot traffic and a longer sales timeline than you may have found a year ago. It will also be crucial to enlist the help of a skilled agent who knows how to draw in buyers. Reach out for a copy of our multi-step Property Marketing Plan.
gina t graham
Real Estate and Remodeling Blog
"Sometimes excellent is not a good enough word. I recommend Gina to everyone who is selling their home and for setting up the next home they buy." -Kit, staging client.