Is the housing market in a pause, going into a slowdown, or worse – headed for a collapse? Looking back to an article I wrote an article in the summer of 2018 asking the same question, we were at a similar point then and asking the same questions. Just like today, the summer of 2018 saw decreasing home sales after a sellers’ and sharply rising home sale prices. Instead of being in full swing, the housing market of the summer of 2018 was cooling down.
During that time, it was common place to hear about the impending doom and gloom in a housing collapse from the media. In hindsight, what occurred that summer was a normal reaction to an overheated market where stressed home buyers basically took a break. Even with the short pause, the housing remained an active and viable aspect of the US economy.
Housing, like other facets of the economy, go through cycles of boom and bust. Most are familiar with the extreme boom and bust cycles, such as what occurred during 2005-2007. However, many are unfamiliar with the concept of the mini-cycle. The mini cycle is a period of short-term growth and slowdown, modulating to maintain a relative balance. Instead going through a protracted cycle of expansion, hyper-supply, and recession, the housing market could be correcting itself via mini cycles.
Prior to the lockdowns of 2020, the housing market was in the process of correcting itself from sharp home price increases during a hot 2017-2018 market. At that time, home sale inventory was already at historic lows (which began in 2013). As you can understand, the lockdowns further exacerbated the home sale inventory shortage and pushing the housing market and home buyers into an unprecedented situation. The double-digit multiple offers and six-figure escalations pushed home buyers to the edge, exhausting and discouraging many.
After a year and a half of sensational activity and home price gains, it’s not unthinkable that home sales would correct itself. As reported in the June 21st National Association of Realtors press release (https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-fell-3-4-in-may-median-sales-price-surpasses-400000-for-the-first-time), May 2022 home sales decreased 3.4 percent from April, and decreased 8.6 percent from May 2021. Home sale inventory continues to increase, and was reported to be about 2.6 months of supply, which gives home buyers more opportunities.
Home prices, on the other hand, continue to increase. As reported in the NAR press release, median home prices are 14.8 percent higher than a year ago! The $407,600 median home sale price is the first time the median sale price exceeded $400,000.
Of course, housing is also affected by outside economic factors, which are concerning to everyone. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, look at the facts and make decisions that make sense for your situation. Finally, work with a seasoned professional to assist you to understand and navigate your local market.
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.