As we dive into a new year, one cannot help but wonder what the housing market will do amid this fickle economy. Currently, mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed are sitting at approximately 6.63%, inflation is roughly 7.1%, and home sales on previously owned homes dropped 7.7% in November 2022, which is the slowest pace we have seen in the last decade.
Are we nearing the peak for mortgage rates?
Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Real Estate Research for the National Association of Realtors, is predicting one of the following three scenarios:
As stated in this recent article, we anticipate rate hikes to continue. 15-year and 30-year mortgages should peak in early 2023 at approximately 8% and 7.25%. Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President of Market Intelligence for ATTOM Data Solutions, predicts “[rates will] gradually come down over the course of the year somewhat to hang in the range of 6.0% and 5.25%, respectively. This is entirely dependent on the Federal Reserve’s ability to get inflation under control and ease up on its aggressive rate increases.”
Will home prices decline in the new year?
On the national level, home prices should decline slightly in 2023. However, this prediction depends on the market; assuming more expensive housing markets will see higher declines. Unfortunately, the anticipated decrease in home prices in 2023 will not offset higher mortgage interest rates caused by inflation.
Yet, one thing that will help sellers is the limited inventory of homes for sale. Eager buyers, especially first-time home buyers, might set aside interest rate concerns, especially if they have an all-cash offer or high credit scores.
Will fewer people purchase homes in 2023?
With increased mortgage rates and reduced home sales for the 4th quarter of 2022, home sales are expected to continue to slow, as much as 10-15%, in 2023.
The average number of days a home is on the market will all increase back to historical “normal levels.” Dennis Shirshikov, Professor of Economics at the University of New York, and a Strategist for Awning.com, predicts that “the average days on the market will increase somewhere between two and three times the current levels.”
Are we approaching a buyer’s market in 2023?
Since home sales are slowing, it is natural to assume we are moving from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. However, with high interest rates, you can expect a more balanced market.
Yet, inventory should remain low as people will be extremely hesitant to trade in their 3% mortgage for a 7% mortgage. Home builders have also scaled back on new spec home construction over the last few months, which will lead to a smaller supply of new construction soon.
However, over the last few years, people have rushed to smaller or suburban markets as they need more space due to distance learning and remote work. As our economy is restored to a pre-pandemic lifestyle, more people are back in the office. We may see an increase in home sales in larger, urban markets.
What can you do to prepare?
There are many things you can do to help prepare yourself for a fickle market.
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