In light of all of chaos and headlines, it is imperative to focus on what is going on right now. As difficult as it might be to avoid predictions, that is what is necessary. The market is shifting quickly and it is dangerous to make assumptions. The best way to service today’s home buyers and sellers is to guide them through our current market.
The market is indeed softening, locally no doubt, nationally – it is just becoming visible. The AZ market had a four-week head start. The pressure on affordability hit nationally last week when we saw purchase mortgage applications decline by 17% year over year. 2014 was the last year total housing inventory increased (this is true both locally and nationally). Currently, inventory is up 19% in a month.
All eyes are on interest rates right now. Nothing moves as quickly as interest rates, right now they are fluctuating wildly. We haven’t seen interest rates move this fast and go this high since the 1980s. Rising rates create more challenges for owner-occupied buyers and not the cash buyers who are usually investors. The higher rates hurt the demand of the people who need to get a loan in order to buy. Owner-occupied purchases declined slightly from Q4 2021 (64.2%) to Q1 2022 (64%). The majority of owner-occupied buyers purchased between $500,000 and $1,000,000.
After reading my update from last week, a friend and client said she was confused. While the market is softening, as discussed, her listings are still selling immediately, above asking, and with multiple offers. That is just it. These things are all still happening. Houses are actually selling faster than they were last year. The…
The newness of the market frenzy has worn off. Buyers are exhausted and sellers hesitate to list, unsure where they will go. While we know that this market will not last forever, no market ever does, we do not need to wait for the other shoe to drop. Real estate moves slowly and as long as we watch it closely and carefully, we should have a general idea of what to expect.
Demand is stable. Do not let the headlines fool you, demand is not crazy high right now, it is stable. It seems that demand is so high because of the extremely low inventory. Remind sellers on the fence that it will not last forever. Demand may further weaken, or inventory could rise; both of which limit the strength of the seller’s market.
In Greater Phoenix, demand has been declining slowly since early January when demand was 23% above normal. Yesterday’s demand was about 15% above normal. Because inventory is 75% below normal (about 4,000 available single family homes in Greater Phoenix), the decline in demand is nearly unnoticeable. Listings may now only receive 10 offers instead of 20. Despite the decline in demand those remaining buyers still want to buy that property which usually only goes to the highest bidder.
At 7.5%, inflation is at its highest rate in 40 years, the sanctions against Russia will lead to more inflation, combined with rising interest rates, rising (home) prices, low inventory, and solid demand; today’s home buyers face a lot of hurdles. We remind the buyers that real estate ownership is the number one wealth creator.…
Prices are increasing slightly faster than they were at the end of 2021 but not as quickly as they were in the first half of 2021. Currently prices are increasing at a 1.8% month over month, up from 1.6% just last month. We may see this go up but unlikely to go up to the 4-5% we saw last year. Definitely be faster than 1.1% from last year.
Sensationalism in the news media hurts consumer sentiment. Consumer sentiment has the greatest impact on the market and the economy as a whole. As much as we value our individualism and our ability to think for ourselves, we are heavily influenced by the decisions and actions of others.
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