Is the 2022 housing market cooling off? Are mortgage rates starting to slip? Could overall sales be ready for a slowdown? Everybody has an opinion on all this and more. Nobody has a crystal ball, but arguably, there are signs pointing to all three—if we’re talking housing market prices in late 2022. The current real estate market still seems inflated as prices remain high. The average home gained at least $50,000 in value over the last few years—and it now costs $450,000, forcing many hopeful homeowners out of the housing market entirely. Read on to learn more about this and our thoughts on the current real estate market and what it means for you.
According to June 2022 real estate market data from Realtor.com, home prices were up nearly 17% from June 2021, though overall sales were down 16%, perhaps due to less inventory availability. Prices climbed 31% in the two years from June 2020! Mortgage rates were up 2.5% from June 2021, averaging 5.5%. As mentioned, the median home’s selling price had risen to $450,000. Also, as of June 2022, a slight majority of homes (54%) were selling below their list price. We’re noticing an ever-so-slight slowdown in the rocket ship that was the recent housing market. This doesn’t necessarily mean a course correction, but perhaps the stratospheric rise of the last several years is simply accelerating a little more slowly.
Even as mortgage rates tick upward and supply increases, the surge in home prices is one of a few housing market trends that seem poised to remain relatively stable for a while. This is bad news for first-time homebuyers, who are more likely to be shut out of an unattainable housing market. Still, this trend may reverse as construction rebounds and demand increases. If you were lucky enough to get into your first home recently, consider what Cinch Home Services can do for you.
At the end of June, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications for home mortgages dipped to their lowest level in 22 years. As the average home nears half a million bucks, many potential homeowners choose to rent instead. The economy is sending mixed signals, however, as gross domestic product has declined for a couple of years. This fact hints at a recession, but it contrasts with a hot job market and strong consumer spending. With inflation at a 40-year high, wages failed to match its growth, so there are mixed signals out there.
It’s fairly typical for housing markets to cool off in the heat of the summer months after spiking in spring. Of course, the opposite happened in 2020 because the pandemic outbreak kept demand for home purchases high as many people fled cities for rural enclaves. Still, things are generally thought to be cooling off, mostly due to recession fears, climbing interest rates, and prices that still seem unattainable for the average homebuyer. Prices may come down as demand declines, though the back-to-school season often brings a renewed surge in interest.
Inventory of homes for sale, up more than 3% between June 2021 and June 2022, continues to rise as construction slowly rebounds. As more houses become available, prices should lower accordingly. This could nudge the market toward a more egalitarian reset for the buyer-seller relationship, erasing some of the more pronounced advantages sellers have enjoyed of late. Still, this reset is unlikely to diminish the primary challenge first-time homebuyers face when striving to enter the market: finding affordable, entry-level housing that they intend to live in, not flip.
Take your time, be patient, research the market, inform yourself about the area you’re considering, get serious about what you can afford, and decide on a budget and stick to it. Find a REALTOR and an inspector you can trust. If you’ve done all that, you should be in good shape. Beyond those essentials, you must also trust your gut feeling about a home; something intangible about the decision is impossible to quantify. Once you’re able to buy, look into all the benefits a protection plan from Cinch can offer you.
Find an experienced agent with a stellar reputation who knows the area well and how to determine a listing price competitively. Your agent will answer all your and the buyer’s tough questions. Make your home look and feel like one you’d like to buy. A little curb appeal can go a long way toward convincing others. Clutter is not your friend, and landscaping is an investment worth making.
While some financial analysts predict that interest rates will level off and even dip a bit before the end of the year, the consensus is they’re unlikely to reach the historic lows of early 2022. As inflation dials back with increased consumer spending, mortgages should slip a bit lower. Either way, don’t expect 30-year rates to drop below 5% anytime soon. It’s what’s often called a period of uncertainty, so a lot depends on your situation. With the volatility of the economy sure to continue due to fluctuating gas prices, foreign wars and the ongoing pandemic, it's tough to decide whether to buy or to wait.
The bidding wars that made headlines earlier in the year diminished in frequency, and competition dwindled due to more buyers deciding to wait. Construction inched its way up, expanding available housing inventory along with it. These are positive signs, but overall, housing market trends still point to this market favoring sellers over buyers in the near term. Evening the playing field for buyers will take some time, including more inventory and lower rates. Thanks for reading our piece on the 2022 housing market. While you’re here, check out our answers to homeowners’ frequently asked questions.
The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.