Homeowners wishing to maximize their profits by selling in 2022 may alrseady have missed the boat, as peak home prices for the year seem to be in the rear-view mirror.
But that doesn’t mean buyers suddenly have all the power in the transactional relationship.
“If you hear individuals proclaiming the housing-industry sky is falling, smile and move on. This is very much a sellers’-market balance,” noted the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors’ mid-year housing forecast, compiled in conjunction with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.
Add up the pluses and minuses of local times, and the analysts remain “very upbeat” that the Washington region will roll through the coming year without the price corrections that some are now expecting in other areas of the country.
The new forecast attempts to gauge decidedly complex and at times contradictory economic information, and generally concludes that the traditional seasonal highs and lows of the real-estate market in the local area are back after having been upended during the early days of the COVID pandemic.
The update arrived later than most years, as the analysts were attempting to recalibrate forecast modeling and get their “collective heads around” the roller-coaster ride of recent months, which have included conflicting national economic data (low unemployment and higher wages but a stagnant economy and spiking inflation) as well as complexities of the local homes market, which is finally seeing more inventory on the market as some prospective buyers have been scared away by higher mortgage-interest rates coupled with prices that have not shown signs of contracting.
The wild ride of interest rates – exceptionally low to start the year, then ramping upward to 6 percent before falling back and then rising again – also has caused some to move to the sidelines of the homes market. But that came only after a last-minute flurry of activity.
“In some housing segments, peak sales activities occurred in early spring, as buyers closed [transactions] in time to keep mortgage rates that had been locked in earlier in the year,” the analysts noted.
More on the forecast and methodology can be found at cra.gmu.edu and nvar.com/stats.