The housing market has gone through a lot of change recently, and much of that was a result of how quickly mortgage rates rose last year.
Now, as we move through 2023, there are signs things are finally going to turn around. Home price appreciation is slowing from the recent frenzy, mortgage rates are coming down, inflation is easing, and overall market activity is starting to pick up. All of that's great news for the housing market this year. Here's what experts are saying.
The current state of the housing market is that it is certainly in transition.
Housing is going to ease up. I think 2023 will be a turnaround year.
Mortgage rates have fallen in the recent past weeks, so I'm very hopeful that the worst in home sales is probably coming to an end.
. . . it appears a turning point for housing lies ahead. In the coming quarters, single-family home building will rise off of cycle lows as mortgage rates are expected to trend lower and boost housing affordability.
If you're thinking about making a move this year, a turnaround in the housing market could be exactly what you've been waiting for. Let's connect to talk about the latest trends in our area.
Many of today's homeowners bought or refinanced their homes during the pandemic when mortgage rates were at history-making lows. Since rates doubled in 2022, some of those homeowners put their plans to move on hold, not wanting to lose the low mortgage rate they have on their current house. And while today's rates have started coming down from last year's peak, they're still higher than they were a couple of years ago.
Today, 93% of outstanding mortgages have a rate at or below 6%. That means a strong majority of homeowners with mortgages have a rate below what they'd get if they moved right now. But if you're a homeowner in that position, remember that mortgage rates aren't the only thing to consider when making a move. Your mortgage rate is important, but there are plenty of reasons you may still need or want to move. RealTrends explains:
Sellers who don't have to move won't be moving. The most common sellers will be: Homeowners downsizing . . . people moving to get more space, [households] looking for better schools…etc.
So, if you're on the fence about selling your house, consider the other reasons homeowners are choosing to make a move. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) breaks down why homeowners have decided to sell over the past year:
As the visual shows, the most commonly cited reasons for selling were the desire to move closer to loved ones, followed by moving due to retirement, and their neighborhood becoming less desirable. Additionally, the need for more space factored in, as did a change in household structure.
If you also find yourself wanting a change in location or needing space your current house just can't provide, it may be time to sell.
What you want and need in a home can be reason enough to move. To find out what's right for you, work with a trusted real estate professional who will offer advice and expert guidance throughout the process. They'll be able to lay out all your options – giving you what you need to make a confident decision.
When deciding whether or not to move, you have a lot to consider. There are plenty of non-financial reasons to factor in. Let's connect today to weigh the benefits of selling your house.
As mortgage rates rose last year, activity in the housing market slowed down. And as a result, homes started seeing fewer offers and stayed on the market longer. That meant some homeowners decided to press pause on selling.
Now, however, rates are beginning to come down—and buyers are starting to reenter the market. In fact, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows mortgage applications increased last week by 7% compared to the week before.
So, if you've been planning to sell your house but you're unsure if there will be anyone to buy it, this shift in the market could be your chance. Here's what experts are saying about buyers returning to the market as we approach spring.
Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since September 2022, and about a percentage point below the peak mortgage rate last fall. As we enter the beginning of the spring buying season, lower mortgage rates and more homes on the market will help affordability for first-time homebuyers.
The upcoming months should see a return of buyers, as mortgage rates appear to have already peaked and have been coming down since mid-November.
“We expect the labor market to remain robust, wages to continue to rise—maybe not at the pace that they did during the pandemic, but that will open up some opportunity for folks to enter homeownership as interest rates stabilize a bit.”
Homebuyers are waiting for rates to decrease more significantly, and when they do, a strong job market and a large demographic tailwind of Millennial renters will provide support to the purchase market.
If you've been thinking about making a move, now's the time to get your house ready to sell. Let's connect so you can learn about buyer demand in our area the best time to put your house on the market.
If you've been following the housing market over the last couple of years, you've likely heard about growing affordability challenges. But according to experts, the key factors that determine housing affordability are projected to improve this year. Selma Hepp, Executive, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, shares:
. . . with slowly improving affordability and a more optimistic economic outlook than previously believed, the housing market could show resilience in 2023.
The three measures used to establish home affordability are home prices, mortgage rates, and wages. Here's a closer look at each one.
Mortgage rates shot up to over 7% last year, causing many buyers to put their plans on hold. But things are looking different today as rates are starting to come down. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, explains:
Let's celebrate some good news. . . . mortgage rates are down. With inflation showing a tangible slowdown, I do expect mortgage rates to follow suit in the months ahead.
Even a small change in rates can impact your purchasing power. Nadia Evangelou, Director of Forecasting for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), gives this context:
With a 6% rate instead of 7%, buyers pay about $2,700 less every year on their mortgage. As a result, owning a home becomes affordable to about 1.4 million more renters and 4.3 million more homeowners.
If 7% rates paused your homebuying plans last year, this could be the opportunity you need to get back in the game. Be sure to work with a team of experts who know the latest on mortgage rates and can give you the best advice for the current market.
The second factor at play is home prices. Home prices have made headlines over the past few years because they skyrocketed during the pandemic. When discussing home prices in 2023, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, says:
After a big boom over the past two years, there will essentially be no change nationally . . . Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines.
So, while prices will likely be flat this year in some markets, others could see small gains or slight declines. It all depends on your local area. For insight into what's happening in your market and how prices are impacting affordability, reach out to a trusted real estate professional.
The final component in the affordability equation is wages. The graph below uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to show how wages have increased over time:
When you think about affordability, remember the full picture includes more than just mortgage rates and prices. Wages need to be factored in as well. Because wages have been rising, many buyers have renewed opportunity in the market.
While affordability hurdles are not completely going away this year, based on current trends and projections, 2023 should bring some sense of relief to homebuyers who have faced growing challenges. As Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), says:
Rates are expected to move lower for the year, and home price growth is expected to cool, both of which will help affordability challenges.
If you have questions, let's connect. You'll also want to make sure you have a trusted lender so you can explore your financing options. You may be closer to owning a home than you think.
Last year, the Federal Reserve took action to try to bring down inflation. In response to those efforts, mortgage rates jumped up rapidly from the record lows we saw in 2021, peaking at just over 7% last October. Hopeful buyers experienced a hit to their purchasing power as a result, and some decided to press pause on their plans.
Today, the rate of inflation is starting to drop. And as a result, mortgage rates have dipped below last year's peak. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, shares:
While mortgage market activity has significantly shrunk over the last year, inflationary pressures are easing and should lead to lower mortgage rates in 2023.
That's potentially great news if you're a buyer aiming to jump back into the housing market. Any drop in mortgage rates helps boost your purchasing power by bringing down your expected monthly mortgage payment. This means the lower mortgage rates experts forecast this year could be just what you need to reignite your homebuying goals.
While this opens up a window of opportunity for you, remember: you shouldn't expect rates to drop back down to record lows like we saw in 2021. Experts agree that's not the range buyers should bank on. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, explains:
I think we could be surprised at how much mortgage rates pull back this year. But we're not going back to 3 percent anytime soon, because inflation is not going back to 2 percent anytime soon.
It's important to have a realistic vision for what you can expect this year, and that's where the advice of expert real estate advisors is critical. You may be surprised by the impact even a mild drop in mortgage rates has on your budget. If you're ready to buy a home now, today's market presents the opportunity to get a more affordable mortgage rate, find your dream home, and face less competition from other buyers.
The recent pullback in mortgage rates is great news – but if you're ready to buy now, holding out for 3% is a mistake. Work with a local lender to learn how today's rates impact your goals, and let's connect to explore your options in our area.
It doesn't matter if you're someone who closely follows the economy or not, chances are you've heard whispers of an upcoming recession. Economic conditions are determined by a broad range of factors, so rather than explaining them each in depth, let's lean on the experts and what history tells us to see what could lie ahead. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, says:
Two-in-three economists are forecasting a recession in 2023 . . .
As talk about a potential recession grows, you may be wondering what a recession could mean for the housing market. Here's a look at the historical data to show what happened in real estate during previous recessions to help prove why you shouldn't be afraid of what a recession could mean for the housing market today.
To show that home prices don't fall every time there's a recession, it helps to turn to historical data. As the graph below illustrates, looking at recessions going all the way back to 1980, home prices appreciated in four of the last six of them. So historically, when the economy slows down, it doesn't mean home values will always fall.
Most people remember the housing crisis in 2008 (the larger of the two red bars in the graph above) and think another recession would be a repeat of what happened to housing then. But today's housing market isn't about to crash because the fundamentals of the market are different than they were in 2008. According to experts, home prices will vary by market and may go up or down depending on the local area. But the average of their 2023 forecasts shows prices will net neutral nationwide, not fall drastically like they did in 2008.
Research also helps paint the picture of how a recession could impact the cost of financing a home. As the graph below shows, historically, each time the economy slowed down, mortgage rates decreased.
Fortune explains mortgage rates typically fall during an economic slowdown:
Over the past five recessions, mortgage rates have fallen an average of 1.8 percentage points from the peak seen during the recession to the trough. And in many cases, they continued to fall after the fact as it takes some time to turn things around even when the recession is technically over.
In 2023, market experts say mortgage rates will likely stabilize below the peak we saw last year. That's because mortgage rates tend to respond to inflation. And early signs show inflation is starting to cool. If inflation continues to ease, rates may fall a bit more, but the days of 3% are likely behind us.
The big takeaway is you don't need to fear the word recession when it comes to housing. In fact, experts say a recession would be mild and housing would play a key role in a quick economic rebound. As the 2022 CEO Outlook from KPMG, says:
Global CEOs see a ‘mild and short' recession, yet optimistic about global economy over 3-year horizon . . .
More than 8 out of 10 anticipate a recession over the next 12 months, with more than half expecting it to be mild and short.
While history doesn't always repeat itself, we can learn from the past. According to historical data, in most recessions, home values have appreciated and mortgage rates have declined.
If you're thinking about buying or selling a home this year, let's connect so you have expert advice on what's happening in the housing market and what that means for your homeownership goals.
If you're thinking about buying or selling a home soon, you probably want to know what you can expect from the housing market this year. In 2022, the market underwent a major shift as economic uncertainty and higher mortgage rates reduced buyer demand, slowed the pace of home sales, and moderated home prices. But what about 2023?
An article from HousingWire offers this perspective:
The red-hot housing market of the past 2 ½ years was characterized by sub-three percent mortgage rates, fast-paced bidding wars and record-low inventory. But more recently, market conditions have done an about-face. . . . now is the opportunity for everyone to become re-educated about what a ‘typical' housing market looks like.
This year, experts agree we may see the return of greater stability and predictability in the housing market if inflation continues to ease and mortgage rates stabilize. Here's what they have to say.
The 2023 forecast from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:
While 2022 may be remembered as a year of housing volatility, 2023 likely will become a year of long-lost normalcy returning to the market, . . . mortgage rates are expected to stabilize while home sales and prices moderate after recent highs, . . .
Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, adds:
. . . buyers will not face the extreme competition that was commonplace over the past few years.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains home prices will vary by local area, but will net neutral nationwide as the market continues to adjust:
After a big boom over the past two years, there will essentially be no change nationally . . . Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines.
Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says:
The housing market, once adjusted to the new normal of higher mortgage rates, will benefit from continued strong demographic-driven demand relative to an overall, long-run shortage of supply.
If you're looking to buy or sell a home this year, the best way to ensure you're up to date on the latest market insights is to partner with a trusted real estate advisor. Let's connect.
A new year brings with it the opportunity for new experiences. If that resonates with you because you're considering making a move, you're likely juggling a mix of excitement over your next home and a sense of attachment to your current one.
A great way to ease some of those emotions and ensure you're feeling confident in your decision is to keep these three best practices in mind.
The housing market shifted in 2022 as mortgage rates rose, buyer demand eased, and the number of homes for sale grew. As a seller, you'll want to recognize things are different now and price your house appropriately based on where the market is today. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, explains:
Price your home realistically. This isn't the housing market of April or May, so buyer traffic will be substantially slower, but appropriately priced homes are still selling quickly.
If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you're leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be.
Today, homeowners are living in their houses longer. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 5 to 10 years (see graph below):
This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it's the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and it's hard to detach from the sentimental value.
For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate and separate the emotional value of the house from fair market price. That's why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations along the way.
While you may love your decor and how you've customized your home over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That's why it's so important to make sure you focus on your home's first impression so it appeals to as many buyers as possible. As NAR says:
Staging is the art of preparing a home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers in your market. The right arrangements can move you into a higher price-point and help buyers fall in love the moment they walk through the door.
Buyers want to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it could be their own. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your house ready to sell.
If you're considering selling your house, let's connect so you have the help you need to navigate through the process while prioritizing these best practices.
If you're getting ready to buy your first home, you're likely focused on saving up for everything that purchase involves. One cost that's likely top of mind is your down payment. But don’t let a common misconception about how much you need to save make the process harder than it could be.
Freddie Mac explains:
. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home. This myth remains one of the largest perceived barriers to achieving homeownership.
Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it's typically not required to put 20% down. This means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn't been over 20% since 2005. In fact, the median down payment today is only 14%. And it's even lower for first-time homebuyers at just 6% (see graph below):
If saving for a down payment still feels like a challenge, know that there's help available. A real estate professional and trusted lender can show you options that could help you get closer to your down payment goal. According to latest Homeownership Program Index from Down Payment Resource, there are over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., and the majority are intended to help with down payments.
Plus there are even loan types, like FHA loans, with down payments as low as 3.5%, as well as options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.
To understand your options, be sure to do your homework. If you're interested in learning more about down payment assistance programs, information is available through sites like Down Payment Resource. Then, partner with a trusted lender to learn what you qualify for on your homebuying journey.
Remember, a 20% down payment isn't always required. If you want to purchase a home this year, let's connect. You'll also want to make sure you have a trusted lender so you can explore your down payment options.
While it's exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating after you've applied for your mortgage, there are some key things to keep in mind before you close. Here's a list of things you may not realize you need to avoid after applying for your home loan.
Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn't easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.
It's not just home-related purchases that could disqualify you from your loan. Any large purchases can be red flags for lenders. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios (how much debt you have compared to your monthly income). Since higher ratios make for riskier loans, borrowers may no longer qualify for their mortgage. Resist the temptation to make any large purchases, even for furniture or appliances.
When you cosign for a loan, you're making yourself accountable for that loan's success and repayment. With that obligation comes higher debt-to-income ratios as well. Even if you promise you won't be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payments against you.
Lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is much easier when there's consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.
It doesn't matter whether it's a new credit card or a new car, when you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), it will have an impact on your FICO® score. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and possibly even your eligibility for approval.
Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. This isn't true. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those aspects of your score.
Be upfront about any changes that occur or you're expecting to occur when talking with your lender. Blips in income, assets or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. Ultimately, it's best to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.
You want your home purchase to go as smoothly as possible. Remember, before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make major life changes, be sure to consult your lender – someone who's qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.