The pandemic has largely been a seller’s market in real estate.
So when is the best time to sell a home in 2022?
History offers a guide, Realtor.com says, so if you’re a homeowner looking to make a springtime sale, or a homebuyer looking to time the market, there are some things you have to know.
It all comes down to when inventory is lowest and demand is highest.
Housing has been a strong market for home sellers so far in 2022, with low inventory and high demand combining to send prices soaring.
Spring season tends to be when demand for housing reaches red-hot levels, as warmer weather and the end of the school year draws buyers and sellers alike to jump into the market.
“Traditionally, the springtime is known as the time when tax return money has come in, and the desire to get a home before the summer is high,” Michael Rehm, a real estate agent in Sacramento, told Realtor.com.
But while the number of buyers looking for a new home in springtime tends to be high in any given year, the inventory for new homes usually rebounds in tandem with demand. And 2022’s wild year for real estate means that the number of new homes for sale will stay at historic lows.
Here’s why one particular week will be key to watch in 2022.
The best week to sell in 2022
Realtor.com expects the low inventory and high demand to reach their apexes in the week between April 10 and 16.
Based on historical data, this week will be when inventory is lowest and demand is highest. The report observed 12.9% fewer active listings during this period than an average week in 2021, and the average home received 29% more viewings per listing than any other time during the year.
Homes listed during this seven-day period in 2021 also sold quickly. Homes in 2021 and 2022 have sold for much faster than the pre-pandemic normal, but this special week for sellers is an outlier of an outlying year. Homes listed during this week sold six days faster than the 2021 average, and 27 days faster than they would have in 2019.
For successful sellers this week, Realtor.com predicts that the low inventory and high demand for new homes could drive asking prices up more than 10% relative to initial asking prices in January, around $39,000 more.
Predictions that housing inventories would grow in the spring season have been dashed by ongoing supply-chain troubles and runaway inflation that has raised the prices of materials and homebuilding logistics. Instead of rising as expected, housing inventory has actually fallen further. Active listings this month are 24% lower than they were last year, and 50% lower than in March 2020.
Early forecasts for the 2022 housing market predicted that it would be less brutal for buyers, but so far, each of these has been resoundingly proved wrong. Now the outlook is more pain for homebuyers in 2022, with a potential cooling-off of the housing market in the early months of 2023. Predictions indicate an 11.2% rise in housing prices for the rest of 2022, but only a 4.3% increase next year, as higher mortgage rates and impossibly high prices will force the market to readjust.
But more so now than any other time in the wild real estate world of the past few years, housing in the U.S. is still a seller’s market.
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