Lately, the housing market is definitely making noise and grabbing everyone’s attention, and not in a good way. However, we won’t actually know how it plays out until it’s over. As the idiom says “hindsight is 20/20.” Nevertheless, if you’re currently in the market to sell or buy a home, pay attention to current local housing market conditions as they are critical to your decision making.
Here we go…
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index (spglobal.com) reported in a June 28 press release that average April 2022 home prices increased 20.4 percent from April 2021. Tampa, Miami, and Phoenix led metro areas with 35.8 percent, 33.3 percent and 31.3 percent gains respectively.
We won’t really know if rising interest rates have any effect on home prices for several months. Home pricing and sales data is reported in hindsight (data is reported three to four months behind). The Case-Shiller release points out that mortgage rates just began to increase when these stats were being compiled (April). However, the recent S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index is already showing home price moderation (even before rising mortgage rates). The Year-to Date S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the US only shows an increase of 7.95 percent, while the 3-month index increased 6.66 percent and 1-month only increased 2.08 percent.
Rising mortgage interest rates is only part of the economic story that is developing. It was likely that home prices were already moderating as a reaction to the year and a half of sharp increases. As I wrote last week, we are in the beginning of the shifting housing cycle. Mixing in other economic factors, such as mortgage rates etc., can either make the housing market more sever or temperate. And as I mentioned, we won’t know for sure until it has happened.
If you’re currently in the market to buy and/or sell a home, focus on the short-term local trends. Speculation of future national home prices and home sales may be interesting, however is meaningless in the here and now. You should hire a seasoned professional to help understand your neighborhood’s trend, as well as being informed about your potential competition and the local housing market inventory.
If you’re buying a home, work with a seasoned real estate agent who can provide valid comps and analysis before you make an offer. Also, consider having a thorough home inspection. In the last year and half, home buyers felt forced to forgo the inspection to make their offer competitive. However, in the changing market, home inspections will return.
If you’re selling a home, be aware that home pricing strategies that were lucrative last year won’t work to your advantage this year. It’s nice to think that your home could sell for a peak price much like other neighborhood homes that sold twelve to twenty-four months ago. However, in a changing market, overpricing your home sale could be counterproductive, driving potential home buyers to competing homes.
By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2022
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.