(YORKSHIRE ANALYSIS) — The housing market in 2023 presents a complex landscape for both buyers and sellers. In the wake of rising mortgage rates and soaring home prices, prospective homeowners are seeking insights into future affordability.
Let’s delve into the critical factors influencing the market and what to expect in the coming months.
Rising Mortgage Rates & its Impact
The average 30-year mortgage rate hit a 23-year high of 7.49% in early October, marking a significant shift in the financing landscape.
This surge in rates has led to a year-over-year decline of 0.7% in existing home sales for three consecutive months.
WATCH: Rising Mortgage Rates
With the Federal Reserve signaling a potential additional rate hike before year-end, experts anticipate continued pressure on the market.
Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy
The Federal Reserve’s tightening of monetary policy, reflected in the benchmark federal funds rate, currently stands at 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest in 22 years.
Projections hint at a further increase, reaching 5.6% by the end of 2023.
This signals a sustained period of elevated rates, impacting mortgage affordability for the foreseeable future.
Factors Driving Affordability Concerns
For a true housing market recovery, multiple conditions must align. Chief among them is a substantial increase in available housing inventory.
This surge in supply would alleviate the upward pressure on home prices, contributing to a more balanced market.
Simultaneously, gradual and measured reductions in interest rates are preferable, preventing a demand surge that could lead to further price inflation.
Mortgage Originations & Affordability
While the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has exceeded 7%, mortgage originations saw an upturn in the second quarter of 2023, reaching $463 billion, up from $333 billion in the first quarter.
Nonetheless, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) anticipates a slowdown in originations through the end of 2023 and into early 2024.
The current mortgage spread of around 300 basis points, well above historical norms, may limit entry into the market.
Housing Inventory & Market Outlook
Housing inventory remains a critical challenge, with levels approximately 46% below historical averages.
Existing-home stock dipped 0.9% in August, with unsold inventory hovering at a meager 3.3-month supply.
The shortage is further pronounced in entry-level supply. New home construction, previously offering a reprieve, has recently receded.
Sales Trends & New Construction
Both existing and new home sales have experienced declines. Existing-home sales were down 0.7% in August and 15.3% year-over-year.
New home sales fell 8.7% in August, largely attributed to a shortage in available inventory.
The housing market is further strained by challenges faced by builders, including labor shortages and credit tightening.
Affordability Struggles for First-Time Buyers
First-time buyers face mounting challenges, as starter home costs continue their upward trajectory.
Affordability for this segment has eroded, with a typical starter home hitting an all-time high of $243,000 in June.
The preliminary second-quarter reading of the First-Time Homebuyer Affordability Index dipped to 61.4, highlighting the significant gap between income levels and housing costs.
Foreclosures in 2023
While foreclosure rates have seen a slight uptick, the likelihood of a foreclosure wave remains low.
Approximately 49% of mortgage-owned residential properties in the U.S. exhibit positive equity, providing a buffer against foreclosure risk.
Will the Housing Market Crash in 2023?
Despite rising rates and home prices, the probability of a market crash remains low.
Homeowners today possess a stronger financial foundation compared to those emerging from the 2008 financial crisis.
When to Buy in 2023
Timing the market is notoriously challenging. Prospective buyers should focus on finding a suitable home that aligns with their financial capabilities and long-term needs, rather than waiting for uncertain future conditions.
Pro Tips for Buying & Selling in the Current Market
For buyers, securing financing, staying informed about market conditions, and acting decisively are crucial. Sellers benefit from accurate pricing, enhancing property appeal, and leveraging virtual tour technology to attract potential buyers.
WATCH: Top Home Buying Tips
Finally, we can predict that the 2023 housing market presents a multifaceted scenario with affordability challenges, rising rates, and constrained inventory.
Navigating this landscape requires a strategic approach, emphasizing informed decision-making and careful consideration of individual financial circumstances.