Finding Clarity Amid Mixed Signals in the Housing Market

Are you confused about the real estate market? If you are, it’s no wonder. The housing market has sent so many mixed signals lately. Even real estate forecasters can’t agree on what comes next for home prices.

It really is an interesting time in the real estate market. We see home prices falling in some areas and rising in others. Most agree that the direction of the market largely depends on interest rates. Of course, when you factor in the low supply of inventory and pent up demand, many believe that prices will not fall, at least not by much.

According to Zillow, home prices will rise. Zillow’s Home Value Index predicts prices rising .5% from January 2023 to January 2024. Their prediction is largely based on the lack of inventory. Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s chief economist, told a reporter at Insider recently that the lack of inventory makes it difficult to anticipate price declines. I couldn’t agree more.

The National Association of Realtors predicts home prices will rise, too. In March, the NAR forecasted that existing home prices will see a 1.3% climb in the first quarter of 2024.

Of course, not everyone agrees that prices will increase. According to economists at Moody’s Analytics,  prices will fall by approximately 4% this year. They cite increased unemployment and a US recession later this year as reasons for more pressure on sales and prices.

And, then there is CoreLogic, a corporation that provides analytics, and financial and property information.  CoreLogic predicts that prices will increase by over 3% by February 2024.

If you google housing predictions for 2023, you’ll read everything from drastic price reductions to stabilizing markets to price appreciation to market crashes.

So, how do you make sense of it all? How do you make decisions when there is so much chatter, confusion, and conflicting information?

Following are a few tips to help you get clarity and perhaps regain your sanity 🙂

1. Dial Things Down

Begin by dialing things down. Way down. I’ve said it before and I’ll  say it again, “All real estate is local.”  Yes, become informed about national trends and statistics because a broad picture is helpful, but highly specific, local market details matter. A lot. You’ll find clarity when you get specific information about your neighborhood and your local market from a local market expert. Period.

2. Take Your Time

One of the biggest mistakes people make is rushing to make major decisions. Take.Your.Time. Ask yourself what it is you hope to achieve. Start with your “why” and then take time to think and reflect. It’s vital for you to create some space where you can relax and feel comfortable. Whether you’re making real estate decisions or other life decisions, being unhurried, relaxed, and peaceful will help you to tune out the noise and to tune into what is important to you.

Most of us have a lot of clarity around what we don’t want, but not much around what we do want. What do you really want in life? In a home? How do you envision your future? These are thought-provoking questions, but answering them will give you some clarity as to your priorities when it comes to your real estate and your life decisions. When you take time to reflect on your hopes and dreams, you’ll feel more confident about your options and your choices.

3. Let Go

What do I mean by “Let go?” Your preconceived notions can cloud your vision and keep you from action. Preconceived notions can act as hindrances and block your vision.  Many times, we go into situations or things with a set mindset or opinion. We look for things that are in line with what we have in our mind. This sometimes prevents us from paying attention to the right things or causes us to miss out on opportunities. Granted, our past experiences shape our beliefs and outlooks. Think about your last real estate transaction. You’ll likely bring that experience into your new experience, but it is wise to approach today’s market and processes devoid of any prior belief or opinion. You might be surprised to find out how much an open mind and a listening ear can open you up to new possibilities.

4. Re-Think Your Never

As soon as you think, “I could never do that” or “I could never go without this,” you limit yourself and your possibilities. What if your “never” turns out to be exactly what you want or need? Be open-minded about your housing choices. You may be surprised to find that the house you never envisioned turns out to be your happily ever after home.

5. Final Thoughts

When you learn to re-think your never and to let go of preconceived notions, you’ll be more prepared and ready to make your housing decisions. Take your time and dial things down. Get specific by removing excess noise. When you listen to your local market experts — and your own inner voice — you’ll make the best choice for you. You’ll have clarity.

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