And just like that January is in the books!  Amazing how fast time flys.  Anyway, let’s take a look ahead to what you can expect from the rest of 2022 as it relates to the real estate market here at the beach.

From what I hear, see, and feel it seems like we are about to start the crazy roller coaster ride that is a correcting real estate market.  Know what I mean? Doesn’t it feel like we’ve been patiently waiting in line forever for our turn to ride the ride? And now – finally – it’s about to start.

Do you remember that nervous feeling you get as you settle into that little roller coaster train car, when you pull that metal “safety” bar down and lock it in place… hopeful but not entirely sure that it’s going to keep you from flying out when the car drops fast or makes those sharp turns?  If you’ve ever been on a roller coaster before you know what I’m talking about.  Well, reading the news, listening to people talk, and just the overall energy here at the beach and around the country for that matter… it feels like the ride we’ve been waiting for… is finally about to start.

What to expect going forward?

I believe that throughout the first half and perhaps into the third quarter of this year our real estate market will continue to climb (price appreciation) just like the train of cars on a roller coaster climbs… steadily up, herky jerky for sure but always climbing higher.  As it does, be ready to find yourself looking out and thinking, “Holy cow (prices) are pretty high” as you check that metal safety bar in your head… again. Here’s the thing, those herky jerky starts and stops you’re going to feel (interest rates, the Fed, the economy… now Ukraine?) will come more often as prices make even steeper jumps and continue to climb even higher.   Over the coming months, with each pause in the market you will look out and notice that the market is… really high.  You may even start to feel some butterflies in your stomach…the nerves kicking in… because you are well aware of what goes up… well, you know what follows. Let’s take a quick look at what we know:

Inventory is tight right now.

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, “There’s nothing to buy!” I could afford to buy two of what there is actually available to buy.  Here’s the reality:  Looking in the MLS it shows that there are currently 1,028 Homes For Sale in all of our MLS.  For reference – for the same time period last year there were 1,377 homes for sale and in 2020 there were 2,510 or more than double today’s listings. Condos For Sale show the same erosion of inventory. Currently there are 459 Condos For Sale, last year at this same time there were 794 condos for sale and in 2020 there were 1,312 – almost three times as many as today.

What does that mean?  It means – right now – sellers can demand and get high prices for their houses and condos.  After all, where else are buyer’s going to buy?

The Cost of Money

“What’s going to happen with interest rates?” This is another question that keeps popping up and it certainly is relevant to how our real estate market will move throughout the year.  I just saw this on the Bankrate.com site, they are reporting that for “Tuesday, February 1, 2022, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.78%, an increase of 10 basis points over the last week. The national 30-year fixed refinance rate is 3.76%, an increase of 9 basis points since the same time last week. Meanwhile, the national 15-year fixed refinance rate is 3.16%, an increase of 16 basis points from a week ago.”

This falls in line with what other sources are saying as well.  Forbes put out, “mortgage rates consumer price index (CPI), which indicates the rate of inflation by looking at the cost of consumer goods and services, rose 6.8% for the previous 12-months ending in November, the highest jump for a one-year period since June 1982.”

Add to this this Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are tightening their loan requirements for condos which will push buyers to hard money lenders or banks that will do portfolio loans and hold the paper inhouse.  These types of loans generally are harder for buyers to get and more expensive so look for fewer buyers being able to come up with the funds required to keep prices appreciating.

What does this mean?  It means money is getting more expensive and with every increase in the mortgage rate the number of buyers who are able to qualify for loans goes down.  Of course, that is if buyers can even find a loan, with Freddie and Fannie stepping back that will have its own impact on buyers and sellers as well.  Either way, it will put a lot of pressure on sellers trying to capture high sales prices.

 

Nervous Predictions – “When’s the market going to turn?” This is the third question I get asked all the time and I suppose this is the one that can have the most impact on what buyers and sellers decide to do.  Recently, I had the following conversation with a banker friend of mine,

“When is the market going to turn and prices start to drop?” I asked.

He quickly replied, “When supply exceeds demand, and I don’t see that happening here for a long time.”

“Fair enough.” I said, “Anything else out there that could cause things to turn?”

He thought for a minute and added, “If interest rates get high enough, or if home prices get so high buyers simply get priced of the market, that might do it.”

“Yeah, I wonder when that will be?” I asked.

Without missing a beat, he said, “A lot of people I’m talking to are looking at the third quarter or more likely the first quarter of 2023, but it’s really hard to time the market.”

“Yep, it really is.”

So, what do you do?

We believe in operating from this solid fundamental position –

Short Term Owner (Five years or less): If you plan on owning your property for five years or less, we recommend that you list and sell it now.  This allows you to lock in a really high sales price and mitigate all risk of price of price drops, tax code changes, and any other scenario that would have a negative impact on your profits.  Remember, you can’t go broke taking profits.

Long Term Owner (Longer than five years): If you plan on owning the property longer that five years, we recommend that you simply sit back and enjoy the ride.  This is because you have time to ride out the crazy ups and downs so they should not have much impact on you.

We do suggest though that you look at your rental income and make sure you’re maxing that out.  If you would like to get a FREE, No Obligation rental projection for your property we recommend you contact Beach Stays Vacations (beachstaysvacations.com)

Multiple Property Owner:  If you own multiple properties, we suggest that you sell and take one or more off the table and protect the equity you’ve built up. Keep your best properties and consider adding new ones when prices drop.

Long Term Buyer (Going to own five years or longer): If you plan on buying a property that you will own for five years or longer, we recommend that you buy now… and hold it – longer the better.  This will allow you to lock in s historically low interest rate and take advantage of high rental incomes. In addition, if you hold the property over time prices will go back up.  If you do buy, we suggest that you max out your rental income.  If you would like to get a FREE, No Obligation rental projection for your property we recommend you contact Beach Stays Vacations (beachstaysvacations.com)

Short Term Buyer (Going to buy and flip): If you plan is to buy and flip the property, we simply say – be careful.  Operating on a short time frame escalates the risk of missing the market – for sure, but we do have people who are doing this and making big money.

Bottom Line

We are wealth builders, so our goal (whether you are buying or selling) is to get you the best deal possible – based on your financial goals and the current market conditions – call us today and lets talk about how you can max out your position as a buyer, a seller or as an owner to continue building your family’s wealth well into the future.

Committed to your success,

John Moran – CEO

The Smart Beach Investor | Keller Williams Realty AT THE BEACH TEAM 

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