Overall, active supply is up 92.4% year over year and at the same time listings under contract is down 15.9% year over year. Buyers are seeing inventory rise after two years of rejection. Now is the time to prepare your sellers for what is happening right now. Today’s market is very different from the market of only a few months ago.
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.
The relationship between supply and demand establishes pricing whether it is for toothpaste, a mani/pedi, Bitcoin, or a house. Demand moves based on consumer sentiment. This is true for Wall Street and Main Street and that is the extent of the similarities between the two.
While the company that we love to hate is struggling, we are all left on the sidelines guessing what will happen next. This is not the end of iBuying, nor is it the end of Zillow, and this certainly does not mean the market is crashing (the price reductions are only bringing the asking price down to market value). It may mean that Wall Street investors decided profitability is important and it is time to stop buying high and selling low.
Do you have clients still worrying about when the housing market will crash? The intensity of late 2020 and early 2021 felt like the market frenzy of 2005. As the market normalizes it may feel weird or uncomfortable as we pivot again. While those emotions are important and we have to have emotion to make decisions, we have to look at the facts. And the facts point towards stabilization and continued appreciation, just at a slower rate.
Looking at housing, things look good and the market is attempting to normalize, but we do not see the whole picture. Wall Street, federal policy, a worldwide pandemic, labor and supply chain shortages also impact housing. But there is still more to consider: the intense and seemingly ever-increasing battle between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Long before residential real estate pulled us out of the shortest recession in history, Wall Street and Silicon Valley were plotting ways to infiltrate housing. While big money and new technology provide powerful incentives, it is very difficult to replace a well-informed, well-connected, local real estate professional.
Residential real estate continues moving at breakneck speeds. In April, nearly 75% of offers written by Redfin agents were for listings with multiple offers, nationwide. In greater Phoenix, it was 80.5%. Last week Tina Tamboer with the Cromford Report told us that 57.1% homes that closed in greater Phoenix in April, closed over asking. These exciting times of economic growth and massive home-price appreciation are being dampened by fear, not just of a bubble – which we are not in – but also by the threat of inflation. One of the ways the government is able to slow inflation, is by increasing rates (not mortgage), which then usually puts pressure on mortgage rates which would increase affordability challenges thus weakening homebuyer demand.
Despite movement towards normal, sales prices continue to grow. While yes, inventory has increased, locally it remains over 77% below normal and demand has decreased, it is still over 8% above normal. This supply/demand imbalance is so severe, it will take years to correct, and is why sales prices continue increasing at an appreciation rate of nearly 22%, year over year.
Despite our fear of change, humans are quite resilient and are far more flexible than we realize. Quite often, change is good. Demand is declining and seasonality is beginning to emerge in the market. I am hearing stories about an FHA buyer who finally had a contract accepted and a seller who agreed to a few concessions. This is good news for our exhausted buyers; they need some wins too. This is how the machine is supposed to work.