It’s a Tough Market for Buyers – Many Don’t Care

woman showing buyers a house

MAY 12, 2023

By Kerry Smith

Survey: Most would-be buyers (55%) know it’s a really tough market right now, but a majority (54%) still plan to maintain current goals or speed up the buying process.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Many hopeful homebuyers – especially those in their 40s and younger – are forging ahead with plans to buy homes despite believing the market favors sellers, according to Bank of America’s 2023 Homebuyer Insights Report.

More than half of prospective homebuyers surveyed (55%) believe the market is more competitive than last year – but just as many (54%) plan to either speed up their home purchases or buy when they originally planned.

The percentage is even greater for younger generations: 62% of Gen Z and 55% of millennials.

However, not all want-to-be buyers plan to stay in the market, at least not now. Two in five (39%) believe it’s a seller’s market, while 18% say it’s a buyer’s market and 31% say it’s neither.

Current challenges cited by buyers

  • High prices and interest rates (51%)
  • A lack of cash reserves for down payments (37%)
  • A low credit score (37%)

Still, nearly 40% of those prospective homebuyers said they feel more confident in their ability to buy a home today versus last year, compared to 26% who are less confident and 28% who feel about the same.

“The market is less frenzied as rates have moderated, and that may be impacting perception,” says Matt Vernon, head of retail lending at Bank of America. “And low inventory is still creating a highly competitive environment. Homebuyers are doing the right thing by taking time to understand the market, weigh their priorities and determine what fits into their budgets.”

The motivation for many buyers? Financial security. Homeownership has historically helped families build long term-wealth.

A majority (56%) of Gen Z and the same percentage of millennial homebuyers plan to purchase in the next two years – nearly on par with Gen X (58%).

Nearly half (47%) of all prospective buyers say they’d buy a home in the current housing market because they’re tired of renting and of rent increases; 28% want to start building equity.

Inactive homebuyers still curious

Even hopeful buyers waiting for the housing market to cool are forging ahead in their own way, according to the study: More than two-thirds (67%) still actively look at homes for sale, either scrolling through a real estate app (52%) and/or visiting open houses (31%).

Those scanning for homes find it to be an enjoyable pastime (41%), a way to dream about their future home (37%) and a window into how others have decorated their spaces (32%).

Beyond simply looking for inspiration, two-thirds (65%) of those who scroll through listings are interested in what their current budget would get them if they were to buy today.

© 2023 Florida Realtors®


Mid-Income Americans’ Equity Up $120K in 10 Years

Small paper house with coins stacked up beside it

Phawat Topaisan / EyeEm / Getty Images

APRIL 18, 2023 By Kerry Smith

NAR report cites Port St. Lucie for its homeownership rate of 83% for mid-income residents, and Ocala and Palm Bay for a Black ownership rate higher than 60%.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new housing report by the National Association of Realtors® finds that middle-income homeowners accumulated $122,100 in wealth as their homes appreciated by 68% in the last 10 years.

The report, Wealth Gains by Income and Racial/Ethnic Group, speaks to the value agents and Realtors® bring to consumers when helping buy and sell homes that build generational wealth. NAR released the report during its 2023 Realtor Broker Summit.

Variations by income and race

The data found substantial variations in homeownership rates across different income and racial and ethnic groups. For instance, low-income homeowners were able to build $98,900 in wealth in the last decade from home price appreciation only, while upper-income households saw an increase of $150,800.

“This analysis shows how homeownership is a catalyst for building wealth for people from all walks of life,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “A monthly mortgage payment is often considered a forced savings account that helps homeowners build a net worth about 40 times higher than that of a renter.”

Although Black homeowners experienced the smallest wealth gains among any other racial or ethnic group, Black homeowners accumulated over $115,000 in wealth in the last decade.

For the first time, NAR also identified the top 10 U.S. metros in which Black homeowners saw the largest wealth gains and homeownership rates over the last 10 years. They include:

  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Ocala, Florida
  • Palm Bay, Florida
  • Modesto, California
  • Greeley, Colorado
  • Charleston, South Carolina

In each metro, more than 60% of Black households own their home, and those owners accumulated more than $125,000 in wealth over the last decade.

Along with the wealth gains accumulated in the last decade, homeowners also saw their debt drop by 21%. Many homeowners were able to refinance and secure a rate lower than 4% in the months following the onset of COVID-19, Yun noted.

Homeowners generally gained more equity in areas with high-cost homes. No matter the income level, owners in expensive areas saw the largest wealth gains. In the San Jose metro, for example, low-income owners accumulated nearly $630,000 in the last decade, and middle-income owners gained $643,000. All of the top 10 areas with the largest wealth gains for low-income owners – surpassing $290,000 – were located in California.

In the top 10 areas with the highest homeownership rates for middle-income households, owners gained $110,000 in wealth on average in the last 10 years. In Ogden, Utah, for example, 85% of middle-income households own their home, and they’ve built nearly $220,000 in wealth in the last decade.

Some significant areas to note include Port St. Lucie, Florida, where the homeownership rate for middle-income households was 83%, and middle-income owners gained nearly $200,000 in wealth. The cities of Barnstable Town, Massachusetts and Palm Bay, Florida, were other areas where most middle-income households both owned their home and accumulated a substantial amount of wealth – over $170,000 – in the last decade.

In the areas with the highest homeownership rates for low-income households, wealth gains were $140,000 on average. NAR includes a number of Florida cities in its list of high equity gains for lower-income households. In Prescott, Arizona, more than 2 out of 3 low-income households (68%) own their own home, and owners have built more than $200,000 in wealth in the last decade.

Barnstable Town, Massachusetts, as well as the Florida cities of North PortPort St. LuciePalm Bay and Deltona were other areas where most low-income households owned their home and accumulated a substantial amount of wealth – over $120,000 – in the last decade.

© 2023 Florida Realtors®


Existing-Home Sales Surged 14.5% in February, Ending 12-Month Streak of Declines

Largest monthly percentage increase since July 2020

March 21, 2023 Media Contact:  Troy Green 202-383-1042
Read full NAR article

Key Highlights

  • Existing-home sales jumped 14.5% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.58 million, snapping a 12-month slide and representing the largest monthly percentage increase since July 2020 (+22.4%). Compared to one year ago, however, sales retreated 22.6%.
  • The median existing-home sales price decreased 0.2% from the previous year to $363,000.
  • The inventory of unsold existing homes was unchanged from the prior month at 980,000 at the end of February, or the equivalent of 2.6 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace.

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2023) – Existing-home sales reversed a 12-month slide in February, registering the largest monthly percentage increase since July 2020, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Month-over-month sales rose in all four major U.S. regions. All regions posted year-over-year declines.

Total existing-home sales,1 https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – vaulted 14.5% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.58 million in February. Year-over-year, sales fell 22.6% (down from 5.92 million in February 2022).

“Conscious of changing mortgage rates, home buyers are taking advantage of any rate declines,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Moreover, we’re seeing stronger sales gains in areas where home prices are decreasing and the local economies are adding jobs.”

Total housing inventory2 registered at the end of February was 980,000 units, identical to January and up 15.3% from one year ago (850,000). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down 10.3% from January but up from 1.7 months in February 2022.

“Inventory levels are still at historic lows,” Yun added. “Consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties.”

The median existing-home price3 for all housing types in February was $363,000, a decline of 0.2% from February 2022 ($363,700), as prices climbed in the Midwest and South yet waned in the Northeast and West. This ends a streak of 131 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest on record.

Properties typically remained on the market for 34 days in February, up from 33 days in January and 18 days in February 2022. Fifty-seven percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 27% of sales in February, down from 31% in January and 29% in February 2022. NAR’s 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in November 20224 – found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.

All-cash sales accounted for 28% of transactions in February, down from 29% in January but up from 25% in February 2022.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 18% of homes in February, up from 16% in January but down from 19% in February 2022.

Distressed sales5 – foreclosures and short sales – represented 2% of sales in February, nearly identical to last month and one year ago.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage(link is external) averaged 6.60% as of March 16. That’s down from 6.73% from the previous week but up from 4.16% one year ago.

Read full NAR article


Week of March 10th Weekly Real Estate Update

Key Findings:

  • The median listing price grew by 6.3% over last year. Growth in the typical asking price of for-sale homes moved lower after a slight uptick last week’s pace, once again hitting a new low since June 2020, when the housing market was beginning to bounce back from the initial pandemic shock. While the housing market had shown some signs of stabilizing, a renewed climb in mortgage rates could undermine the recovery. With the Fed signaling that higher rates for longer may be necessary to tame inflation, all eyes are focused on their March statement and clues on how their view of the future has evolved. 
  • New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were again down, this week by 26% from one year ago. For 35 weeks now, fewer homeowners put their homes on the market for sale than at this time one year ago. Until this week, the gap was slightly smaller than we saw in the last quarter of 2022. In February, attitudes toward housing worsened among both potential buyers and potential sellers as mortgage rates began to climb again and respondents reported lower job security. These attitudes could mean ongoing weakness in the number of homeowners deciding to sell. 
  • Active inventory growth continued to climb with for-sale homes up 61% above one year ago. Inventories of for-sale homes rose again, but the gain was the lowest we’ve seen since December. With new listings lagging behind year-ago pace, the growing number of homes for sale reflects longer time on market rather than an influx of sellers. It’s also important to remember that this year over year comparison is relative to early 2022, when active listings were at or near long-term lows. Even after these huge year over year gains, February data show that nationwide there are only just more than half as many homes for sale as were available pre-pandemic (-47%). 
  • Homes spent 18 extra days on the market compared to this time last year. For 31 weeks, homes on the market have been for-sale longer than was typical one year ago. After rising steadily from summer 2022, the gap surged early in 2023, surpassing the 3 week mark in mid-February. This week, however, marks the third week that the gap has shrunk even as new listings remain scarce, suggesting that buyers are active in the market, even if they are not as numerous as this time last year. Our February Housing Trends Report helps put these changes into context. Even though the median home listing was on the market for 67 days, 23 days longer than this time last year, this still trailed the pre-pandemic average for February by a nearly equal amount (20 days). In other words, using time on market as a guide, today’s housing market is halfway between its most frenetic period one year ago and what was typical before the pandemic-era frenzy. This means that the market has room to adjust in either direction, and mortgage rates will likely play a strong role in determining whether the market slows further or picks up speed.

NAR: ‘Home Sales Are Bottoming Out’

February 21, 2023 By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey

Spring is around the corner, and the signs are pointing to a pick-up in sales on the horizon. Read more from NAR’s latest housing report.

saleswoman greeting female customers while standing outside house

Existing-home sales continued to ease in January, marking a yearlong stretch of declines coming off pandemic-fueled highs. But median home prices still are rising.

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops—decreased 0.7% in January compared to December 2022, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Tuesday. Home sales are down nearly 37% compared to a year earlier (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4 million in January).

But as mortgage rates begin to stabilize, economists are hopeful for a turnaround in sales activity for the housing market heading into spring.

“Home sales are bottoming out,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Prices vary depending on a market’s affordability, with lower-priced regions witnessing modest growth and more expensive regions experiencing declines.”

Overall, the median existing-home sales price nationwide rose 1.3% compared to a year ago, reaching $359,000, NAR reports. Home prices climbed in three out of the four major regions of the U.S., only falling in the West last month.  

The supply of homes for sale continues to be tight in most markets across the country, helping to keep home prices higher. Still, total housing inventory rose 2.1% in January month-over-month and is up by 15.3% compared to a year ago. Unsold inventory, remains, at a brisk, 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace.

“Inventory remains low, but buyers are beginning to have better negotiating power,” Yun says. “Homes sitting on the market for more than 60 days can be purchased for around 10% less than the original list price.”

Here’s a closer look at other key indicators from NAR’s latest housing report:
Days on the market: Fifty-four percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month in January. On average, properties remained on the market for 33 days in January, up from 26 days in December and 19 days a year earlier.
First-time home buyers: As competition lessens, first-time home buyers are re-emerging. First-time buyers accounted for 31% of sales in January, up from 27% a year earlier.
All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 29% of sales in January, up from 27% in January 2022. Individual investors and second-home buyers tend to make up the biggest bulk of all-cash sales. They purchased 16% of homes in January, down from 22% a year earlier.
Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales continue to make up a very small share of sales. Distressed sales accounted for 1% of sales in January, matching levels from a year earlier.
 
Regional Snapshot
Here’s how existing-home sales fared across the country in January:

  • Northeast: Existing-home sales fell 3.8% from December, reaching an annual rate of 500,000 in January. Sales were down nearly 36% from a year earlier. Median price: $383,000, up 0.3% from January 2022
  • Midwest: Sales decreased 5% compared to the previous month, reaching an annual rate of 960,000 in January. Sales were down 33.3% from one year ago. Median price: $252,300, up 2.7% from January 2022
  • South: Sales rose 1.1% in January compared to December, reaching an annual rate of 1.82 million. Sales are down nearly 37% from the prior year. Median price: $332,500, an increase of 3.4% from one year ago
  • West: Existing-home sales increased 2.9% in January, reaching an annual rate of 720,000, but still down 42.4% from the previous year. Median price: $525,200, down 4.6% from January 2022

3 wooden homes, a pile of money and an FHA loan sign

Andrii Yalanskyi, Getty Images

DECEMBER 2, 2022

FHA Announces 2023 Loan Floors and Ceilings

By Kerry Smith

Loans for single units range from $472,030, the floor, to $1,089,300, the ceiling. For four units, it’s $907,000 to over $2M – and in some non-Fla. areas, over $3M.

WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced new loan limits for calendar year 2023 for its Single Family Title II forward and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) insurance programs.

For most of the country, loan limits will increase next year due to house price appreciation during the first half of 2022, which is factored into calculations FHA uses to determine the limits each year. The yearly increase calculations for FHA loans and those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are written into law.

“The loan limits announced today reflect steep increases in home prices throughout much of the country and will ensure continued access to FHA-insured mortgage financing despite those increases,” said Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Julia Gordon.

Forward mortgage loan limits

Range of prices for 2023 FHA loans based on location and number of units

Mortgage limits for the special exception areas of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are adjusted by FHA to account for higher costs of construction.

In 2023 the maximum loan limits for FHA forward mortgages will rise in 3,222 counties. In 12 counties, FHA’s loan limits will remain unchanged. By statute, the median home price for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is based on the county within the MSA that has the highest median price.

HECM loan limits

The HECM maximum claim amount will increase from $970,800 this year to $1,089,300 for FHA case numbers assigned on or after Jan. 1, 2023. This maximum claim amount is applicable to all areas, including the special exception areas of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To find a complete list of FHA loan limits, areas at the FHA ceiling, and areas between the floor and the ceiling, visit FHA’s Loan Limits Page.

© 2022 Florida Realtors®


NAR: 3Q Home Prices Up in 98% of Metros

By Kerry Smith -NOVEMBER 11, 2022

Home prices rose 8.6% in 3Q, with 46% of metros seeing double-digit price growth – a drop from 80% in 2Q. Of the top 10 high-price-increase metros, 7 are in Fla.

WASHINGTON – An overwhelming majority of metro markets saw home price gains in the third quarter of 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). That increase was in spite of rising mortgage rates that approached 7% and declining sales.

Of the 185 metros NAR tracks, 46% had double-digit price increases, though that’s down from 80% in the second quarter.

The national median single-family existing-home price climbed 8.6% year-to-year to $398,500. While still a notable price increase, it’s down from the 14.2% recorded in the previous quarter.

“Much lower buying capacity has slowed home price growth and the trend will continue until mortgage rates stop rising,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The median income needed to buy a typical home has risen to $88,300 – that’s almost $40,000 more than it was prior to the start of the pandemic back in 2019.”

Among the major U.S. regions, the South registered the largest share of single-family existing-home sales (44%) and the greatest year-over-year price appreciation (11.9%) in the third quarter. Prices were up 8.2% in the Northeast, 7.4% in the West, and 6.6% in the Midwest.

Fla. has 7 of top 10 metros for price growth

  1. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton – 23.8%
  2. Lakeland-Winter Haven – 21.2%
  3. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C. – 21.1%
  4. Panama City – 20.5%
  5. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach – 19.6%
  6. Port St. Lucie – 19.4%
  7. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, S.C. – 18.9%
  8. Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va. – 18.8%
  9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – 18.8%
  10. Ocala (18.8%

10 most expensive markets in the U.S.

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. – $1,688,000; 2.3%
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. – $1,300,000; -3.7%
  3. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. – $1,200,000; 9.1%
  4. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii – $1,127,400; 7.6%
  5. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. – $900,000; 5.9%
  6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. – $893,200; 3.8%
  7. Boulder, Colo. – $826,900; 7.5%
  8. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island – $746,600; 16.7%
  9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. – $741,300; 4.6%
  10. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. – $698,900; 6.2%

“The more expensive markets on the West Coast will likely experience some price declines following this rapid price appreciation, which is the result of many years of limited home building,” Yun says. “The Midwest, with relatively affordable home prices, will likely continue to see price gains as incomes and rents both rise.”

Higher cost for monthly payments

In the third quarter of 2022, stubbornly high home prices and increasing mortgage rates reduced housing affordability. The monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment was $1,840. That’s a marginal increase from the second quarter ($1,837) but a significant year-to-year jump of $614 – or 50%.

Families typically spent 25% of their income on mortgage payments, down from 25.3% in the prior quarter, but up from 17.2% one year ago.

“A return to a normal spread between the government borrowing rate and the home purchase borrowing rate will bring the 30-year mortgage rates down to around 6%,” Yun says. “The usual spread between the 10-year Treasury yield and the 30-year mortgage rate is between 150 to 200 basis points, rather than the current spread of 300 basis points.”

First-time buyer challenges

First-time buyers looking to purchase a typical home during the third quarter of 2022 continued to feel the impact of housing’s growing unaffordability. For a typical starter home valued at $338,700 with a 10% down payment loan, the monthly mortgage payment rose to $1,808 – nearly identical to the previous quarter ($1,807) but an increase of almost $600 (49%), from one year ago ($1,210).

First-time buyers typically spent 37.8% of their family income on mortgage payments, up from 36.8% in the previous quarter. A mortgage is considered unaffordable if the monthly payment (principal and interest) amounts to more than 25% of the family’s income.

A family needed a qualifying income of at least $100,000 to afford a 10% down payment mortgage in 59 markets, up from 53 in the prior quarter. Yet, a family needed a qualifying income of less than $50,000 to afford a home in 17 markets, down from 23 in the previous quarter.

© 2022 Florida Realtors®


Real Estates Current Market Silver Lining

For those looking for the good news about today’s real estate market. A bit of a deep dive, about 60 minutes worth but excellently delivered. Three main facts tell us it’s not all doom and gloom. Combine them with the time of year and the general fear that has most buyers/sellers on the sidelines, spells opportunity. (40:00). We can help should you decide to take advantage of today’s market.

  • Historical trends, what happens after quantitative tightening (12:00)
  • Demographics, there’s a lot of millennials (24:50)
  • Inventory levels, yes they are still historically low (22:00)


First-time Buyers Back Despite Challenges

They now make up 45% of all homebuyers, up from 37% last year, even as affordability issues persist. Repeat buyers may have pulled back due to rising interest rates.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – First-time home buyers have returned to the housing market, and those who can afford a home are finding success after years of setbacks. The share of buyers purchasing a home for the first time has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

First-time buyers now represent 45% of all buyers, up from 37% of buyers surveyed last year, according to Zillow’s 2022 Consumer Housing Trends Report. If they can overcome affordability challenges, first-time buyers could be well positioned to continue increasing their share in today’s shifting market, with more options and time to decide on the right home.

The share of first-time buyers plummeted during the pandemic amid rapidly rising home values and tough competition, even with high demand coming from the large millennial generation. Zillow research found younger, likely first-time shoppers were losing out to older, repeat buyers who were able to tap the equity in their existing homes and use cash to make a stronger offer. A Zillow survey found younger buyers were more likely to report losing to an all-cash buyer at least once, as was the case for 45% of Gen Z and 38% of millennial buyers, compared to 30% of all buyers.

“First-time buyers now appear to be making relative gains as high mortgage interest rates disproportionately encourage current homeowners to stay put,” said Zillow population scientist Manny Garcia. “The flow of homes into the market is slowing, suggesting homeowners are likely comparing their current low mortgage rate to today’s rates and deciding not to move. While rising mortgage rates are hurting affordability for all buyers, first-time buyers may be less deterred by higher rates because they’re comparing a monthly mortgage payment to what they’re paying in rent.”

First-time buyers are making up a larger share of a smaller pie. Newly pending home sales were down 29% in August, compared to a year prior, as buyers struggle to keep up with higher home prices and interest rates. Home values remain 14.1% higher than last year, even after two consecutive month-over-month declines. When combined with rising mortgage interest rates, the typical monthly payment on a home is nearly 60% higher today than it was a year ago.

Recent Zillow research finds those affordability challenges have driven up demand for the lowest-priced homes in each market. While there are fewer buyers overall, first-time buyers may find more competition for starter homes.

The silver lining is that today’s much-needed market rebalancing has the potential to especially benefit first-time buyers, who have the flexibility to shop without trying to time the purchase of their new home with the sale of an existing home. Listings typically lingered 16 days on the market in August before going under contract, compared to eight days in June, meaning buyers have twice as much time to decide on a home compared to this time last year.

First-time buyers may also have more bargaining power as a growing number of sellers drop their prices. The share of listings with a price cut grew to roughly 28% in August, according to Zillow’s latest monthly market report.

As the market changes, aspiring first-time buyers may need to change their approach. These five tips are a good starting point:

  • Understand what’s affordable. As mortgage interest rates fluctuate, aspiring buyers can start with a mortgage calculator to understand what they can realistically afford on a monthly basis. Take into account some of the hidden costs of homeownership, such as property tax, insurance and HOA dues, which can add up to more than $750 per month. But it’s always best to leave some wiggle room in the budget for unexpected maintenance projects and emergency repairs. First-time shoppers should also explore down payment assistance programs they may qualify for.
  • Finance first. First-time buyers can gain a competitive edge by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A Zillow survey finds 86% of sellers prefer a buyer who has been pre-approved, as opposed to pre-qualified, for a mortgage. This financial check gives sellers more certainty that a buyer will close on time, and it allows buyers to make a stronger, faster offer the minute the right home hits the market. Buyers can start the pre-approval process online. Don’t hesitate to try, try, try again. Nearly half of all first-time buyers (47%) are denied a mortgage at least once before ultimately getting approved.
  • Hire the right agent. An experienced agent will have a finger on the pulse of their local market and know all the changes happening in it, and they can help buyers make strategic decisions to win. They’ll know when to come in with an offer under list price or when to expect a bidding war. Buyers should plan on interviewing their top candidates and asking the right questions.
  • Shop smarter with tech. New real estate technology can help first-time buyers make faster, smarter decisions. Virtual 3D Home tours and interactive floor plans give shoppers a more authentic experience of a home, allowing them to quickly narrow down their options and tour fewer homes in person.
  • Keep the contingencies. With less competition, first-time buyers should have the leverage to include important contingencies in their offers that could potentially save them a lot of money in the long run. An inspection contingency can identify major structural, mechanical or safety issues that could be extremely costly to repair and cause buyer’s remorse. A financing or appraisal contingency will ensure a buyer can walk away with their earnest money if a home fails to be appraised for the offer price or if their financing falls through.

Copyright © 2022 BridgeTower Media and © 2022, The Mecklenburg Times (Charlotte, NC). All rights reserved.


Weekly Market Report: Week Ending Oct. 16

Access this weekly report for real-time data on residential market activity across the Bright MLS footprint.
October 17,  2022 Lisa Sturtevant, PhD

Here are the highlights for the week ending October 16, 2022:

  • Inventory continues to increase throughout the Bright footprint. The average number of active listings during the week ending October 16 was up 17.5% compared to the same week a year ago. Active listings edged up 0.9% compared to last week, which is the second weekly increase in a row. Despite these increases, overall supply across the region remains very low.
  • Market activity is still below 2019 levels as buyers and sellers continue to remain on the sidelines. On the buyer side, both closed sales and new purchase contracts were down significantly compared to last year at this time and were even lower than before the pandemic. Closed sales this week were about 14% lower than the same week during 2019, while the number of new purchase contracts tracked 22% lower than during the same week in 2019.
  • There was a slight uptick in both new purchase activity and new listings compared to a week ago. Typically, both the number of new purchase contracts and new listings decline during the second week of October. This year, however, there were slight increases, with new purchase contracts 2.1% higher than a week ago and new listings up 3.0% week-to-week. These weekly increases could indicate some buyers and sellers are starting to act in anticipation of higher mortgage rates later this fall.
  • Homes are still selling relatively quickly. The median days on market was 15 during the week ending October 16, which is up four days compared to last year and is one day longer than a week ago. The median days on market is still much lower than 2019, when homes typically took 25 days to sell.