Housing experts across the country are reporting that the market is normalizing after an unprecedented year for home sales, but Realtor.com suggests that even as the market slows, prices will remain high, prolonging the year-long woes of would-be homebuyers bogged down by limited supply and a lack of affordability.
First-time buyers will likely have the most trouble in a seller’s market with fast-moving homes and heated competition, but economists expect prices to grow at a much slower rate of just 2.9% in 2022 compared with an estimated 12% rise throughout 2021. High demand from buyers will continue to put pressure on a market with a shortage of properties for sale, sustaining high prices for months into the new year.
Unfortunately, for frustrated buyers who have had trouble finding the right homes in the right locations at the right price, there isn’t expected to be a rush of homes hitting the market.
Realtor.com economists predict the number of homes for sale, which is hovering around record lows, will tick up only 0.3%. That’s partly due to builders having a tough time ramping up construction as they contend with shortages in workers and materials, compounded by the global supply chain backups. (Single-family housing starts, which is when builders start construction, is expected to rise only 5% next year.)
There are plenty of investors snapping up single-family homes and turning them into rentals. And there is no tidal wave of foreclosures expected to hit now that the government moratoriums are expiring.
There are also more homebuyers today than there are abodes for sale.