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Neighborhood Expert: 2023 real estate predictions

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or Laura@GuidingYourMove.com.

Happy New Year!

I woke up to an email this morning from the WSJ beating the drum that a recession is coming. Do you know what a recession is good for? Lowering interest rates.

Historically, a recession has resulted in falling interest rates to help spur economic growth. I have a Masters in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins, so I love following the market trends over time to help me form an opinion on what is coming.

As a 15 year real estate veteran, I started during the 2008 recession and I have seen the market come full circle after the insanity of the last 2.5 years. I posted a prediction on the 2022 market and all of it came true, albeit I didn’t see the rates hitting 7% that fast, but I knew rates would go up.

So here are my predictions for 2023:

Interest Rates Will Decline

We’ve already seen rates hit 7% and come back down in the past few months. I think the rates will continue to decline, hopefully hitting 5% by the middle of Q3 of 2023. But remember this — as rates get lower, homes become more affordable for more people and that will spur more action in the market

Activity Will be Strong, Especially Towards the End of the Year

Activity began to pick up towards the end of 2022 as interest rates got better, and I think activity will continue to be good during the first half of the year. That said, I think the second half of the year will be even stronger than the first, mostly dictated by what rates are doing

Inventory will continue to be a problem. While the fear of covid is likely no longer keeping sellers from entering the market, I think you have some remorse from sellers who “missed” the craze of the pandemic, and a lot of people won’t want to give up their 3% mortgage rate, even if they hate their house.

Prices Will be Stable

Prices will continue to be stable, but pricing your home is #1 and #2 and #3 of how you will sell your home. Buyers are smart, they’re educated, and they’re tired. If a home is overpriced, it will NOT sell. If it’s overpriced and has any other strike against it, it will not sell. You *must* be strategic on your pricing. 

If a house is “pretty,” which means updated and staged AND priced correctly, I still think we’ll see multiple offers potentially. Inventory is still low, so if it’s a desirable home, it’ll still sell.

Rent Will Rise

There have been so many news articles about rising rents. I think we’ll continue to see that in 2023 until big buildings start to see a slow down. If rates come down, and buyers can buy, why would they spend an extra $500 per month on rent? 

If you are a first time buyer AND you make less than $129,600 (for 2 people or less), you can qualify for down payment assistance programs from the state to buy your first home (must be a principal residence). If you are renting and think you may qualify, read here for more information. There are all sorts of credits available if you do some research!

If you’re thinking of moving this year, it’s never too early to have a conversation to put a plan in place. 

Photo via Tierra Mallorca/Unsplash

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