If you’re following the news, chances are you’ve seen or heard some headlines about the housing market that don’t give the full picture. The real estate market is shifting, and when that happens, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. They can help debunk the headlines so you can really understand today’s market and what it means for you.
Here are three common housing market myths you might be hearing, along with the expert analysis that provides better context.
Myth 1: Home Prices Are Going To Fall
One piece of fiction many buyers may have seen or heard is that home prices are going to crash. That’s because headlines often use similar, but different, terms to describe what’s happening with prices. A few you might be seeing right now include:
- Appreciation, or an increase in home prices.
- Depreciation, or a decrease in home prices.
- And deceleration, which is an increase in home prices, but at a slower pace.
The fact is, experts aren’t calling for a decrease in prices. Instead, they forecast appreciation will continue, just at a decelerated pace. That means home prices will continue rising and won’t fall. Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains:
“. . . higher mortgage rates coupled with more inventory will lead to slower home price growth but unlikely declines in home prices.”
Myth 2: The Housing Market Is in a Correction
Another common myth is that the housing market is in a correction. Again, that’s not the case. Here’s why. According to Forbes:
“A correction is a sustained decline in the value of a market index or the price of an individual asset. A correction is generally agreed to be a 10% to 20% drop in value from a recent peak.”
As mentioned above, home prices are still appreciating, and experts project that will continue, just at a slower pace. That means the housing market isn’t in a correction because prices aren’t falling. It’s just moderating compared to the last two years, which were record-breaking in nearly every way.
Myth 3: The Housing Market Is Going To Crash
Some headlines are generating worry that the housing market is a bubble ready to burst. But experts say today is nothing like 2008. One of the reasons why is because lending standards are very different today. Logan Mohtashami, Lead Analyst for HousingWire, explains:
“As recession talk becomes more prevalent, some people are concerned that mortgage credit lending will get much tighter. This typically happens in a recession, however, the notion that credit lending in America will collapse as it did from 2005 to 2008 couldn’t be more incorrect, as we haven’t had a credit boom in the period between 2008-2022.”
During the last housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. Since then, lending standards have tightened significantly, and purchasers who acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified than they were in the years leading up to the crash.
No matter what you’re hearing about the housing market, trust the experts and partner with a local real estate professional. When you do, you’ll have a knowledgeable authority on your side that knows the ins and outs of the market, including current trends, historical context, and so much more.
There are more homes for sale today than at any time last year. So, if you tried to buy a home last year and were outbid or out priced, now may be your opportunity. The number of homes for sale in the U.S. has been growing over the past four months as rising mortgage rates help slow the frenzy the housing market saw during the pandemic.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains why the shifting market creates a window of opportunity for you:
“This is an opportunity for people with a secure job to jump into the market, when other people are a little hesitant because of a possible recession. . . They’ll have fewer buyers to compete with.”
Two Reasons There Are More Homes for Sale
The first reason the market is seeing more homes available for sale is the number of sales happening each month has decreased. This slowdown has been caused by rising mortgage rates and rising home prices, leading many to postpone or put off buying. The graph below uses data from realtor.com to show how active real estate listings have risen over the past four months as a result.
The second reason the market is seeing more homes available for sale is because the number of people selling their homes is also rising. The graph below outlines new monthly listings coming onto the market compared to last year. As the graph shows, for the past three months, more people have put their homes on the market than the previous year.
The number of homes for sale across the country is growing, and that means more options for those thinking about buying a home. This is the opportunity many have been waiting for who were outbid or out priced last year.
Mortgage rates are much higher today than they were at the beginning of the year, and that’s had a clear impact on the housing market. As a result, the market is seeing a shift back toward the range of pre-pandemic levels for buyer demand and home sales.
But the transition back toward pre-pandemic levels isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the years leading up to the pandemic were some of the best the housing market has seen. That’s why, as the market undergoes this shift, it’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal years to show how the current housing market is still strong.
Higher Mortgage Rates Are Moderating the Housing Market
The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s also a good indication of buyer demand over time. Here’s a look at their data going back to 2017 (see graph below):
Here’s a breakdown of the story this data tells:
- The 2017 through early 2020 numbers (shown in gray) give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand. The steady up and down trends seen in each of these years show typical seasonality in the market.
- The blue on the graph represents the pandemic years. The height of those blue bars indicates home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic.
- The most recent data (shown in green), indicates buyer demand is moderating back toward more pre-pandemic levels.
This shows that buyer demand is coming down from levels seen over the past two years, and the frenzy in real estate is easing because of higher mortgage rates. For you, that means buying your next home should be less challenging than it would’ve been during the pandemic because there is more inventory available.
Higher Mortgage Rates Slow the Once Frenzied Pace of Home Sales
As mortgage rates started to rise this year, other shifts began to occur too. One additional example is the slowing pace of home sales. Using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), here’s a look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2017. Much like the previous graph, a similar trend emerges (see graph below):
Again, the data paints a picture of the shift:
- The pre-pandemic years (shown in gray) establish a baseline of the number of existing home sales in more typical years.
- The pandemic years (shown in blue) exceeded the level of sales seen in previous years. That’s largely because low mortgage rates during that time spurred buyer demand and home sales to new heights.
- This year (shown in green), the market is feeling the impact of higher mortgage rates and that’s moderating buyer demand (and by extension home sales). That’s why the expectation for home sales this year is closer to what the market saw in 2018-2019.
Why Is All of This Good News for You?
Both of those factors have opened up a window of opportunity for homeowners looking to move and for buyers looking to purchase a home. As demand moderates and the pace of home sales slows, housing inventory is able to grow – and that gives you more options for your home search.
So don’t let the headlines about the market cooling or moderating scare you. The housing market is still strong; it’s just easing off from the unsustainable frenzy it saw during the height of the pandemic – and that’s a good thing. It opens up new opportunities for you to find a home that meets your needs.
The housing market is undergoing a shift because of higher mortgage rates, but the market is still strong. If you’ve been looking to buy a home over the last couple of years and it felt impossible to do, now may be your opportunity. Buying a home right now isn’t easy, but there is more opportunity for those who are looking.
If you’re thinking about making a move, you probably want to know what’s going to happen to home prices for the rest of the year. While experts say price growth will moderate due to the shifting market, ongoing appreciation is expected. That means home prices won’t fall. Here’s a look at two key reasons experts forecast continued price growth: supply and demand.
While Growing, Housing Supply Is Still Low
Even though inventory is increasing this year as the market moderates, supply is still low. The graph below helps tell the story of why there still aren’t enough homes on the market today. It uses data from the Census to show the number of single-family homes that were built in this country going all the way back to the 1970s.
The blue bars represent the years leading up to the housing crisis in 2008. As the graph shows, right before the crash, homebuilding increased significantly. That’s because buyer demand was so high due to loose lending standards that enabled more people to qualify for a home loan.
The resulting oversupply of homes for sale led to prices dropping during the crash and some builders leaving the industry or closing their businesses – and that led to a long period of underbuilding of new homes. And even as more new homes are constructed this year and in the years ahead, this isn’t something that can be resolved overnight. It’ll take time to build enough homes to meet the deficit of underbuilding that took place over the past 14 years.
Millennials Will Create Sustained Buyer Demand Moving Forward
The frenzy the market saw during the pandemic is because there was more demand than homes for sale. That drove home prices up as buyers competed with one another for available homes. And while buyer demand has moderated today in response to higher mortgage rates, data tells us demand will continue to be driven by the large generation of millennials aging into their peak homebuying years (see graph below):
Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains:
“. . . millennials continue to transition to their prime home-buying age and will remain the driving force in potential homeownership demand in the years ahead.”
That combination of millennial demand and low housing supply continues to put upward pressure on home prices. As Bankrate says:
“After all, supplies of homes for sale remain near record lows. And while a jump in mortgage rates has dampened demand somewhat, demand still outpaces supply, thanks to a combination of little new construction and strong household formation by large numbers of millennials.”
What This Means for Home Prices
If you’re worried home values will fall, rest assured that experts forecast ongoing home price appreciation thanks to the lingering imbalance of supply and demand. That means home prices won’t decline.
Based on today’s factors driving supply and demand, experts project home price appreciation will continue. It’ll just happen at a more moderate pace as the housing market continues its shift back toward pre-pandemic levels.