Jan 4 2022 38376 1

Dated: January 4 2022

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Experts Predict What the Housing Market Will Look Like In 2022

The pandemic ignited a home-buying frenzy as the decade-long housing shortage converged with historically-low mortgage rates, shifting workplace dynamics and new opportunities for young buyers to pursue their first homes. As we near the end of 2021, here’s a look at the expectations of real estate experts for 2022.

We expect a whirlwind 2022 for the housing market. Home sales are expected to increase another 6.6% and home prices to rise another 2.9% on top of 2021 highs. A gradual uptick in mortgage rates will make affordability a top consideration for home buyers, especially the 45 million Millennials aged 26 to 35 who are at prime first-time home buyer age. Demand from these young households will keep the market competitive and fast-paced despite a small uptick in housing inventory as builders continue to ramp up production, increasing single-family starts by 5% in 2022.

Although affordability challenges will come from rising prices and mortgage rates, rising rents, which are projected to increase 7.1% will be a strong motivator for many hopeful first-time buyers. On top of this, all home shoppers will have some advantages that stem from a competitive jobs market. Incomes are projected to increase by 3.3% and with many employers looking to attract and retain talent without impacting costs, we expect workplace flexibility will continue. This should free-up potential home buyers to broaden their search parameters to include the suburbs and in some cases even completely new, less pricey metro areas.

This means we expect the suburbs and markets that offer good real estate value to continue to attract an outsized share of attention. While this has reduced the relative affordability of many such areas, they still offer a lower price per square foot and thus opportunity for buyers. On the whole, the housing market will remain competitive, but buyers will have new ways to confront these challenges.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for theNational Association of Realtors: Mortgage rates will drift higher as the Fed scales back the purchase of the mortgage-backed securities and raises short-term interest rates, which are likely to hit 3.7% by the year-end 2022 on a 30-year rate after hovering at 3% for most of 2021.

Home sales will notch lower by 2% in 2022, principally because of higher mortgage rates. Home sales will not crash thanks to job gains, investor demand and the work-from-home reshuffle in residential location choice.

Inventory will finally increase due to more home construction, the ending of the mortgage forbearance program and the rise in Covid-related deaths among the elderly. Softer housing demand with more supply will calm the home price growth. Home prices will only rise 3% to 5% nationally.

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