The real estate market has changed drastically over the last few years. The pandemic brought a surge in demand for houses, followed by a freeze in the market as inflation and interest rates rose. That begs the question, what should we expect from the following year?
Most experts believe 2023 will bring a new semblance of normalcy. That means the market will settle down and return to more normal levels. Inflation should reduce or at least balance out, while interest rates will slow down. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect this year.
Experts are quick to weigh in with their opinion on housing prices and values. Unfortunately, not all experts agree on this. For example, Realtor.com believes that housing prices will increase by another 5.4%, while Zelman believes the value will decrease by 5.1%. Ideally, these two extreme estimates will land in the middle, providing us with a stable market.
In other words, if we balance out the expert opinions on prices, it indicates little change. This means we’ll see a flat or neutral appreciation in 2023. This is good for sellers and buyers, as the market will not change drastically.
Rate Lock-In Phenomenon
Mortgage rates hit a record low a couple of years ago, countering the current higher rates we’re seeing. This results in homeowners with a low rate (below 6% in most cases and below 4% in exceptional circumstances). That’s great for those homeowners, but they will unlikely consider selling their homes with an average mortgage above 6%.
Homeowners are unwilling to give up their low mortgage rate in exchange for a higher interest rate. Some homeowners will sell regardless, either because of need or desire. But a large percentage will stay at their current home to wait out this shift.
Ironically, this is going to affect another market. Homeowners that wait out this shift may choose to work on home improvement projects. This will ultimately encourage a stronger contract market and increase home values – if done carefully.
Reduction in Building
There will likely be a reduction in the number of homes built over the next year or two. Specifically, experts believe that builders will cut back on the number of new single-family homes they are constructing. Likewise, building permits will likely decline as homeowners settle in and wait for rates to change.