Having an experienced Realtor in your corner is more important than ever as we face fluctuations in the housing market. We interviewed two real estate professionals to learn about the home buying and selling landscape.
What to Expect
“As we enter 2023 after a couple of red-hot years for the housing market, indicators point to a correction underway – but it has been slow going,” says Realtor Tracy Halverson of the Tracy Halverson Group | Realty ONE Group. “Mortgage rates continue to hover around double what they were a year ago, and home prices are decreasing with longer days on market.”
According to Halverson, as rates go up, home buyers and sellers need to consider several things. There may be fewer interested buyers. Higher rates mean more buyers could be priced out of the current market. It could take longer for offers to roll in on your home and you may have to wait a while for it to sell.
“The market slowdown in home sales that we saw in the second half of 2022 will continue into 2023,” says Halverson. “Listings may no longer go at a lightning-fast pace, and inventory is expected to tighten in 2023 with fewer homeowners willing to sell.”
Simply put, most sellers don’t want to sell their home only to purchase their next one at a much higher interest rate than what they have currently. So will buyers be more inclined to lease/rent a home? “Many different variables come into play with this question,” Halverson explains. “If you've saved the needed down payment and are able to qualify for a purchase amount that will provide you the home and the location you desire without causing extreme financial stress and anxiety, then buying makes more sense than renting.”
We also asked Halverson if people will continue to invest in rental properties or vacation homes. “There are some areas where home price growth is declining which will provide investors with more affordable investment opportunities,” she explains. “Higher interest rates could eat into cash flow, but less competition for homes makes 2023 a great time to buy.”
A Hands-on View
“I’m in the trenches with my clients as we navigate a changing market,” says Carol Knott Tefft, a top-producing Realtor with The Hometown Team at RE/MAX Integrity in Spring. “Both luxury and non-luxury homes are experiencing odd fluctuations right now. We’re seeing above asking price and bidding wars on some properties, while others receive little attention.”
Part of the challenge is that some sellers still have expectations that their homes will go quickly while getting hit-or-miss results as buyers weigh their options. With interest rates doubling, it’s less of a seller’s market. Tefft observes that homebuyers have grabbed the steering wheel. “They are on a more equal footing in price negotiations. We’re not seeing as many appraisal waivers or no option periods.”
We can look forward to the market stabilizing in 2023 and 2024, and as for today’s interest rates, Tefft believes we will eventually experience a level of “normal.” Some of us are old enough to remember when 7% interest rates were typical back in the 1970s and early ‘80s, and again in 2002.
“Interest rates reduce the ability to afford as much," says Tefft. "It does factor in as buyers weigh wants vs. needs. But any house, to some degree, is a compromise. The bottom line is that paying a mortgage is still better than paying rent to a landlord, especially for those who work remotely and spend more time at home.”
Learn more about the services that Carol Knott Tefft and her team provide to buyers and sellers at TheHometownTeam.com.
Visit Texas REALTORS® to see market research for buyers, sellers, and renters at texasrealestate.com/market-research.