January 2022 saw record home sale prices set as we started the year out with a bang. Median home sale prices rose to $413,500 from $327,250 last year. That is a whopping 26.4% increase over last year. Average home sale prices rose to $574,393 from $489,738 last year. That is a 17.3% increase.
We did notice a drop in average sale price from December. Last December averages sale prices were $605,784. We do not get too hung up on average sales because a few large sales can skew the average. Therefore, median is most used. For instance, the Ellis Team closed one for about $3.8 million in December that would skew the numbers up on the average.
Inflation and Housing Prices
What effect will rising rates and inflation have on housing prices? That is what we are going to watch. Typically, the Fed raises rates to slow down the economy. An overheated economy leads to inflation which hurts the most vulnerable among our population. The Fed is determined to stop rising inflation with a series of rate hikes and elimination of the bond buying program that has infused so much into our economy. This will take money out of the money supply which will serve to slow down the economy and also make rates rise.
Where it gets tricky is the global economy. In the old days the US would raise rates and that would be that. Today we no longer live in a bubble and have to look at how the dollar stacks up against foreign currencies and economies. It could be that foreign governments choose to invest in US Treasuries which would pull rates back down. Keep in mind there is an inverse relationship with prices and yield, so as the price goes up the yield goes down. It will be interesting to watch how much interest rates will go up.
Price of Oil
The other wild card is the price of oil. Rising oil prices can be inflationary. We have a graph that shows key moments in history where when oil reached a certain point it led to recession. We are no super economist, and you know what they say about economists. It just feels like to me if oil were to hit $115/barrel or so it would not be good for our economy. As I write this article West Texas Intermediate crude oil is just above $94. We will be watching this number closely along with the price of the 10-year treasury yield.
Many sellers are holding out for higher prices, and their hunch to this point has been good. Nobody knows how much longer prices will increase. We also do not know how fast or how much interest rates will increase. We would say the cost of borrowing is set to go up. Rates have risen in the last year, and we expect more of that. If your home does not fit your needs, making a move today may be in your best interests. Waiting to make the move when borrowing costs are higher can cost you in two ways.
If you are getting a mortgage on the next house, your borrowing costs will be higher by waiting. Secondly, all the buyers looking at your home will now qualify for less home when rates rise. For every 1% rise in rates takes away 11% purchasing power from borrowers. This means the pool of buyers for the home you are selling could shrink as well.
The good news is today we have more buyers than sellers. It is always more fun to sell in this environment. In the future we may not have quite the imbalance, which wouldn’t be as fun. Waiting can be a gamble.
If you’d like to discuss your options, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500. We can consult and give you answers to your questions. Or visit www.SWFLHomevalues.com to get your home’s value instantly.
Let us know how we can help. We are easy to talk to, so we look forward to hearing from you.