The housing market’s been going through a lot of change lately, and there’s been uncertainty surrounding what will happen this spring. You may be wondering if more homes will go on the market, what’s next with home prices and mortgage rates, or what the best advice is for someone in your position right now.
Here’s what industry experts are saying right now about the spring housing market and what it means for you:
“We see more competition among buyers . . . Housing supply also tends to grow during the spring months. And this is also the time of year when relatively more migration happens, as people graduate and move elsewhere looking for jobs.”
“I don’t expect big moves in prices in the span of a month, but like the flower buds of spring, the housing market is showing signs of improvement. A pick up in activity with inventory still low does bode well for home prices.”
“If you can find a home you love and can afford at today’s prices, don’t wait. Home prices in most of the country are unlikely to crash, and mortgage rates will only come down very gradually if they decline at all this year.”
“The market is still much friendlier this spring for buyers who can overcome affordability hurdles, but buyers are going to see more competition than they might expect because there are not many homes on the market to go around. New listings are increasing, which they almost always do this time of year, but not nearly as quickly as usual.”
If you’re thinking about selling your house, this spring’s a great time to do so while inventory is still so low. And if you’re in a good position to buy, lean on your team of expert advisors for the best advice. Whatever your plans, let’s connect to make sure you’re able to navigate the spring housing market with confidence.
As the housing market continues to change, you may be wondering where it’ll go from here. One factor you’re probably thinking about is home prices, which have come down a bit since they peaked last June. And you’ve likely heard something in the news or on social media about a price crash on the horizon. As a result, you may be holding off on buying a home until prices drop significantly. But that’s not the best strategy.
A recent survey from Zonda shows 53% of millennials are still renting right now because they’re waiting for home prices to come down. But here’s the thing: the most recent data shows that home prices appear to have bottomed out and are now on the rise again. Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, reports:
“U.S. home prices rose by 0.8% in February . . . indicating that prices in most markets have already bottomed out.”
And the latest data from Black Knight shows the same shift. The graph below compares home price trends in November to those in February:
So, should you keep waiting to buy a home until prices come down? If you factor in what the experts are saying, you probably shouldn’t. The data shows prices are increasing in much of the country, not decreasing. And the latest data from the Home Price Expectation Survey indicates that experts project home prices will rise steadily and return to more normal levels of appreciation after 2023. The best way to understand what home values are doing in your area is to work with a local real estate professional who can give you the latest insights and expert advice.
The spring season appears to be warming up in housing as more and more buyers enter the market. And after rising mortgage rates sidelined so many buyers last year, that’s a good sign for sellers. Realtor.comhas the latest:
“Spring is officially here, and like green shoots emerging from the bleak winter, new data suggests that more buyers are back in the market, although more subdued compared to a year ago.”
We know buyer activity is trending up because of mortgage purchase application data. According to Investopedia:
“A mortgage application is a document submitted to a lender when you apply for a mortgage to purchase real estate.”
That means the number of mortgage applications shows how many buyers are applying for mortgages. Put another way, an increase in mortgage applications means an increase in buyer demand – and as Joel Kan, VP and Deputy Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains, application activity started ramping up as mortgage rates fell steadily in March:
“Application activity increased as mortgage rates declined . . . recent increases, along with data from other sources showing an uptick in home sales, is a welcome development.”
In fact, we can see how mortgage rates have a direct impact on applications over time. As rates rose dramatically last year, applications fell in response (see graph below):
The recent uptick in mortgage applications, as well as the decline in mortgage rates, is good news for sellers because it means more buyers are actively looking for homes.
What This Means for You
Buyers are coming this spring, which is typically the busiest time of the year in real estate. And as Realtor.comtells us, if you’re a seller, you need to prepare:
“If homeowners are planning to sell in 2023, now is the time to get ready.”
The means working with a local real estate agent to maximize your home’s appeal and get it listed at the ideal price for your area.
Over the past year, home prices have been a widely debated topic. Some have said we’ll see a massive drop in prices and that this could be a repeat of 2008 – which hasn’t happened. Others have forecasted a real estate market that could see slight appreciation or depreciation depending on the area of the country. And as we get closer to the spring real estate market, experts are continuing to forecast what they believe will happen with home prices this year and beyond.
“While 2023 kicked off on a more optimistic note for the U.S. housing market, recent mortgage rate volatility highlights how much uncertainty remains. Nevertheless, the continued shortage of for-sale homes is likely to keep price declines modest, which are projected to top out at 3% peak to trough.”
Additionally, every quarter, Pulsenomicssurveys a panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts regarding their five-year expectations for future home prices in the United States. Here’s what they said most recently:
So, given this information and what experts are saying about home prices, the question you might be asking is: should I buy a home this spring? Here are three reasons you should consider making a move:
Buying a home helps you escape the cycle of rising rents. Over the past several decades, the median price of rent has risen consistently. The bottom line is, rent is going up.
Homeownership is a hedge against inflation. A key advantage of homeownership is that it’s one of the best hedges against inflation. When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you secure your housing payment, so it won’t go up like it would if you rent.
Homeownership is a powerful wealth-building tool. The average net worth of a homeowner is $255,000 compared to $6,300 for a renter.
Experts are projecting slight price depreciation in the housing market this year, followed by steady appreciation. Given that, you may be wondering if you should move ahead with buying a home this spring. The decision to purchase a home is best made when you do it knowing all the facts and have an expert on your side.
The recent changes in home prices are top of mind for many as the housing market begins gearing up for spring. It can be hard to navigate misleading headlines and confusing data, so here’s what you should know about today’s home prices.
Local price trends still vary by market. But looking at national data, Nataliya Polkovnichenko, Ph.D., Supervisory Economist at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), explains:
“U.S. house prices were largely unchanged in the last four months and remained near the peak levels reached over the summer of 2022. While higher mortgage rates have suppressed demand, low inventories of homes for sale have helped maintain relatively flat house prices.”
Month-over-month home price changes can be seen in the chart below. The data also shows that price depreciation peaked around August. Since then, any depreciation has been even milder. In other words, today’s home prices aren’t in a freefall.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you currently own your house, you may be concerned about even the smallest decline in prices. But keep in mind how much home values grew over the last few years. Compared to that growth, any declines we’re seeing nationally are likely to be minimal. Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, shares:
“. . . while prices continued to fall from November, the rate of decline was lower than that seen in the summer and still adds up to only a 3% cumulative drop in prices since last spring’s peak.”
It’s also important to remember that every local market is different. That’s why it’s essential to lean on an expert for the latest information on the home prices in your area if you’re planning to make a move this spring.