The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed real estate shopping and purchasing decisions in the United States. It also changed the housing market forecast for the immediate future. The demand for 3D virtual tours increased by 89 to 2,327% from February to March 2020 for single-family vs. multi-family properties, respectively.
On the flipside, new listings fell by 40% and homes for sale dropped by 17% in April 2020 compared to April 2019. Residents also departed states like New Jersey, Illinois, and New York for states like Idaho, Arizona, and Oregon.
These and other factors led industry experts and consumers alike to wonder about the future housing market. What will inventory look like? Will home price increases slow to pre-COVID levels? Keep reading for our own housing market forecast and more.
Housing Inventory Predictions
Housing inventory in 2022 will produce mixed results, based on inputs from varying perspectives. From one angle, experts anticipate the currently limited supply of homes will increase based on where Americans are moving from and to. Nashville, Raleigh, and Phoenix are expected to experience greater housing demand, with coastal cities and urban areas anticipating greater housing supply.
The housing market forecast for 2022 may also include investors selling properties to take advantage of current high prices. Trends like these will generate significant short-term cash flow and free up dozens of properties to be newly listed.
Unfortunately, homes for sale inventory is expected to remain low for the next two to three years. Real estate consumer experts share that Baby Boomers–3.2 million of whom retired in 2020–aren’t moving as frequently as they used to. This will keep the available number of homes in relative deadlock.
Housing Price Predictions
If you were looking for the best time to sell a house (or buy one) in the US throughout 2021, you’re familiar with the meteoric rise in prices. Home sale prices rose by 18% or more between September 2020 and September 2021, which was the largest annual price gain since 1976. To put this in perspective, home values usually increase by 3.5 to 3.8% year-over-year (YoY).
Part of this was caused by COVID-related shutdowns that led to supply chain issues and a shortage of home building materials. Another part of it was caused by fewer people moving during COVID because it’s much harder to sell when the pool of buying opportunities is temporarily restricted.
Given the smaller number of people selling their homes and the larger number of those looking to buy, our housing market forecast includes the fact that prices will remain high for a few years. Home price increases in 2022 may slowly drop to lower double digits, such as 12 or 13%.
The availability of homes also affects pricing. The more housing becomes available, the lower prices go. This may lead to more bidding wars, but it may not, as buyers take more time now than they used to. If you haven’t done a comparative market analysis before, now is a good time to start.
Home availability will depend on how effectively home builders attract workers in 2022, as well. Fewer workers means fewer homes are built, and at a slower rate. Fewer homes on the market means demand will keep prices pretty high.
Housing Interest Rate Predictions
Interest rates are challenging to predict in a housing market forecast because so many factors influence them. Throughout most of 2020, mortgage interest rates hovered around 2.93%–some of the lowest in 30 years. We’ve witnessed rising mortgage rates again during 2021, based on inflation and Americans returning to work or gaining employment.
In 2022, mortgage experts predict an average interest rate of 3.6%. Rates often rise in conjunction with higher yields of 10-year Treasury notes. The interest rate on Treasury notes increases the more often loans are requested, as the government must collect more money in order to loan more of it out.
Since Treasury notes offer guaranteed repayment but at lower interest rates, banks set mortgage interest rates a little bit higher. This attracts investors more often because they will get a higher return and usually in less time. Slightly higher interest rates are also useful for banks, because they can offer loans to more home buyers.
Even with increased economic activity and more loans issued, our housing market forecast anticipates low rates ahead. Mortgage rates have been falling steadily since 1981, when they were a staggering 18.44%. Despite recessions and pandemics, US homebuyers likely won’t see interest rates higher than 3-5% any time soon.