Published by REALTOR.com | March 3, 2023
We might be floundering in this strange new netherworld for a while.
Today’s housing market has been in some deep doldrums by many standards, but the latest real estate statistics suggest something more serious might be ahead—that the market might be careening toward some sort of rock bottom.
“Taken as a whole, this week’s data lines up with other indicators that are pointing to a potential bottom in housing market activity at a fairly low level.”
—Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale
The only upside we can think of is that there’s typically nowhere to go from there but up. So, does that mean the worst days of real estate will soon be over? Not quite, since the big four harbingers of housing—home prices, inventory, days on the market, and mortgage rates—show few signs of a rebound yet.
“They don’t yet offer a strong indication of how long the market will bounce along the bottom,” Hale explains.
In other words, we might be floundering in this strange new netherworld for a while.
The depths of winter actually saw some signals that homebuyers were feeling optimistic. The National Association of Home Builders reported recently that more people were out touring new construction with an eye to buy—for the second month in a row. Also, a measure of pending home contract signings jumped in January. This suggests that sales will be higher in coming months, since buyers and sellers sign a contract and then close on the deal several weeks later.
But with mortgage rates surging higher, that burst of enthusiasm might be short-lived.