Current homeowners watching interest rates are contemplating whether to make a move in this market. Potential sellers are worried about where they would move to. They are also worried about financing their next home and how much more it might cost if they wait.

Homeowners Watching Interest Rates


We’ve talked a lot recently about how rising interest rates can dampen future prices. Rising rates not only hurt first-time buyers, but they also hurt move-up buyers.  Lateral and move-down buyers are hurt too if they are obtaining a mortgage.

The advice we give is look at your current situation. Do you love your home? Does your current home meet your future needs? If you love your current home and it meets your future needs, moving isn’t necessary. If your current home needs some expensive repair items like roof, air conditioner, water heater, etc. are you prepared mentally and financially to make that investment? Insurance companies are requiring these improvements, so they will not be optional.

6% Rates

Interest rates could increase another 2% or more this year. Waiting might seal your fate in your current home, so asking yourself these important questions are crucial right now. As agents, we are not here to sell you anything or convince you to do anything. These are questions you should ask yourself and answer yourself.

We are here to answer your real estate questions. When a homeowner comes to us with an idea, we help structure a plan to make that idea a reality. Or we point out potential deficiencies in the plan. There is nothing worse than starting a plan and not having it thought through.  We have talked some people out of selling because the back end of the plan didn’t have a realistic end game and we did not want to make the homeowner homeless.

On the other hand, we have helped some sellers devise a plan to accomplish their end goal in ways they didn’t know were possible. For instance, we have some lenders that will lend money at today’s current rates and allow the seller time to sell their existing home, all while only paying one mortgage payment.

Other times we have negotiated lease-back terms favorable to the seller to give them time to make their next move. The point is, there are options current homeowners may not have considered.

We Can Talk

If you are trapped in a home that doesn’t work for you, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500. We can sit down and talk about your situation.  We’ve helped many homeowners in the past because we listen to your situation and provide answers.  Sande and Brett have built their reputation on giving sound advice and not selling outcomes just because we want more sales. When you start with the consumer in mind first, everything just seems to work out the way it should.

Homeowners also like our home valuation website because it gives an instant value of your home. It is fun to track the value each month as the system gives you a new number over time, because the market changes. Many homeowners are not aware of how much their home is worth.

Do not make decisions based off a computer number though. The Ellis Team has been selling homes for far more than appraised value lately, so selling it for appraised value in one day might be leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table. The Ellis Team uses advanced marketing to reach the greatest number of buyers, not just the ones looking at national portal sites. We can target buyers looking for homes locally and from out of the area. Marketing is more complicated than ever. Anybody can sell a home in 1 day in this market. Few can sell for Top Dollar, and that’s where we come in.

Give Sande or Brett Ellis a call. Interest rates are rising in 2022 so this is the time to ask yourself an important question. After that, you know who to call. Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500

The natural law of economics tells us that supply and demand will determine the price, but there are limits as to what a buyer can afford. Home affordability dictates prices in the real estate market. Individually one buyer may pay out of the norm for an item or house, but in the macro the market determines the overall value.

Home Affordability Dictates Prices

On average about 20.3% of a homeowner’s income goes to cost (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) of owning a home. In 2021 that number was down to 16 which tells us there is room for growth in prices.

Rising Headwinds

This is the point in the party where the music stops, or at least skips a beat. Three out of the four items that affect affordability are rising. Principal is going up because more people are paying more for housing, so they are borrowing more.  Interest is rising and expected to climb much higher. Insurance is rising too as many insurers are pulling out of Florida and they are raising rates. The only thing not going up today is tax rates, but then again property taxes go up as the value increases.

If 3 out of 4 factors go up, there is a limit to how far each one goes up before people stop buying because they cannot afford anymore.  I would argue that rising interest and insurance costs are one day going to zap the upward pricing pressure right out of the market.  The question is when?

Interest rates fell from 4.46% in 2018 down to 2.74% in January 2021.  Since January 2021 rates have stayed low until this January where we’ve seen rates march higher.  Today rates are back up over 4% and going higher.  We have seen a runup in prices since those rates began to decline.

Real Estate Price Driver

In October of 2018 the median price of a home was $246,995 and the average was $327,081. In February 2022 the median was $410,000 and the average was $569,697. That is a 66% increase in median prices 39 months, and a 74.18% in average price.  This was possible due to interest rates declining like they did.

Today is the opposite.  Rates are going up quickly, and on top of rising rates we have rampant inflation also eating away at buyers’ income. Add to that rising insurance costs and we’ve got a recipe for home affordability rising. Can the line go above 20.3%? Sure it can, and it has before.  Each time it has it was followed by pressure on prices. Home affordability dictates prices, so we keep an eye on that going forward.

There is a limit to what people can afford. We are graced here in Florida that more people are moving here.  This is helping with demand. What happens when rising rates affect their ability to sell their homes up North? Will they be flush with cash like they have been the past few years? You see, these same economic forces work up North too, and when they are affected, it can eventually affect us down here.

We Have a Great Market

Nobody is saying the sky is falling or prices are going to decline anytime soon. In fact, many experts predict a 9% rise in home prices in 2022.  Experts sometimes get it right, but they rarely get the timing exact.

If you are a seller and your home isn’t working for you like it once was, you might consider taking advantage of this opportunity.

The Ellis Team marketing is still generating multiple offers and Top Dollar.  We do things a bit differently than most Realtors and we’ll be glad to show you how we do it. It is more fun to sell when you have multiple offers to choose from. What if one day in the future you don’t? Remember the days when sellers would be glad to just get one offer?

If you are wondering what your equity position is, we should talk. It is wise to review your equity position and determine if this asset still works for you.  Brett or Sande will be glad to help. Call us at 239-310-6500  for or visit for an instant and Free online home valuation.

Good luck, and we’ll keep an eye on the market for you!

Where are Real Estate Prices Headed?

See Last Week’s Article “Housing Market Priced Correctly in SW Florida?

Is the SW Florida housing market priced correctly in 2022?  Let’s take a deep dive and analyze some key statistics.

Housing market Priced Correctly in SW Florida

Keller Williams has been analyzing the national market for years. In their estimation, 4% annual appreciation is the standard.  When the market surpasses the 4% appreciation rate for an extended period, it can get in trouble. Beginning in about 2002 the market began eclipsing 4% cumulative appreciation. It continued to eclipse that rate for 6 years and on the 7th year it corrected to the norm. What happened after 2008 is a result of prolonged riding above the line for an extended period.

We not only rode above the line, but we also rode high above the line. We then proceeded to ride below the line for 12 years.  Had we ridden just a little bit above the line the correction wouldn’t have been so great.

Fast forward to today. 2021 was the first year we exceeded the line. We are expecting price gains in 2022, and if they pan out as anticipated we will once again be above the line, but not by too much.  Again, the line is a guide, and it is OK to go above or below the line.  The chances of being exactly on the line are slim, although for 12 years on this graph we were right at the line.  The line is scary accurate over time.

How long can we ride above the line?  That depends on how high we go above the line.  So far, we haven’t gone over by much. With the Fed expecting to raise interest rates in 2022 combined with rising gas prices, each can work to slow the rise of home prices. Each eats the purchasing power of buyers by eroding their spendable disposable income.

Another factor we like to track is inventory levels. Nationally inventory sits at 2.3 months, and the average line is 5.9 months. Both nationally and locally inventory levels are below where they should be. This tells us it is more fun to be a seller than a buyer. We are closely monitoring inventory levels. When we see a significant rise in levels, we need the upward pricing pressure will abate.


So far, we are not seeing that yet. However, we do have headwinds with rising inflation, interest rates, and fuel prices. The market can still rise in price, and most experts are predicting it will.  We are saying there are limiting factors on how much higher they can go, and how fast.

If there would be a future correction, it would not have to be much.  Unlike 2006-2009 here locally, we have not overbuilt relative to demand. In fact, we have graphs showing we are underbuilt, and therefore inventory is lacking.

Builders are doing their best to catch up.  They will not catch up anytime soon. The question becomes, will sellers decide to cash out in enough quantity to affect the market? Nobody knows the answer to that.  Our bet is rising rates will temper the market, but no correction will be necessary, at least not in 2022. We would need to see prices rise substantially to warrant a correction in 2023. If prices rise enough, they could come back to today’s price plus or minus a few percent. If prices rise as expected, perhaps no correction will be necessary.

A lot will depend on how far interest rates rise, how persistent inflation is, and if incomes keep up with inflation.

Politicians talk about inflation being transitory and how inflation will moderate later this year. All we can say is it will have to, because if it doesn’t, Americans will be priced out of their standard of living. Incomes simply cannot keep up, and inflation hurts the little guy the worst.

If you are thinking about selling in the next year, we should talk and come up with a strategy for you. Financial planners meet yearly with their clients. We believe 2022 should be a year you meet with your Realtor to update your plans. We’d love to be your Realtor. Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500, or visit to track your home’s value going forward.

For the past year we have been talking about how rising interest rates harm buyers by eroding purchasing power. Today we would like to focus on how the housing market correction risk harms sellers more than buyers.

Housing Market Correction Risk Harms Sellers More Than Buyers

In this example we have posted before, we illustrate a $350,000 home that falls to $300,000 in a correction. That is a 14.29% correction. Also shown was a 1.25% rise in interest rates.  The net effect to the buyer was only a $2 savings per month in payment. The seller on the other hand suffered a $50,000 loss by waiting to sell.

Housing Market Correction Risk

This is one of those times where it can cost a home buyer to wait because interest rates are expected to increase in 2022.  A market correction can really cost a seller to wait. Both can be hurt, but in this example the seller is hurt the most.

Next week the Fed is expected to meet to begin their interest rate hikes. It is almost certain they will hike rates .25% and some believe it may be .5% Inflation is rampant and may only get worse as fuel prices spike. Inflation hurts the low to middle income earners the hardest, so the US government is determined to slow inflation, even if it means slowing the economy.

As rising rates, rising oil prices, and rising inflation eats into consumers pocketbooks it can eventually eat into people’s ability to afford a home. Home affordability is an essential ingredient for rising prices. As homes become less affordable there is less upward pressure on prices. Remember, a 1% rise in interest rates robs buyers of 11% purchasing power.  If you rob enough buyers, eventually it will hurt the market.

Florida in a Good Position

Florida is better insulated than many states at is tax friendly and a desirable place to live. More people are moving to Florida than leaving, so we are a net migration state. Other states, primarily high tax states, are losing residents to states like Florida.

Which force wins out is anybody’s guess. The point of this article is that if a buyer waits and prices go down, they are no better off.  But if a seller waits and prices go down, a seller is definitely worse off. Since nobody can tell for sure how the economy will go and where housing prices will go, waiting to sell could be at the seller’s own peril.

We are not making a market prediction.  We can see scenarios where prices could still rise, and others where they could correct a bit.  The point is, it is not our money, and sellers are asking the question. If your home is not working for you, give Brett or Sande Ellis a call 239-310-6500. We can talk about your circumstances and discuss if now may be right for you to sell.

Nobody is Predicting a Crash

Markets do not go up forever, and corrections are not a bad thing.  Crashes on the other hand are bad, and nobody I know is throwing around the crash word except for hopeful buyers wishing they had bought years ago.

To find out what your home may be worth instantly, go to Not only will you get a pretty good idea of your home’s value, but you can also track it to see the direction of your home’s value.  Each month it will send you a new value and it is fun to see if your property is appreciating or declining and by how much.

Need a place to go. We can share some creative ideas other sellers are exploring that might be a way to cash out at today’s high prices. Give Sande or Brett a call.

See last week’s article “Inflation Home Affordability Perspective


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Today we’d like to give you an inflation home affordability perspective you may not have thought about. These days everyone is talking about how expensive housing is. But is it really? Yes, home prices have gone up, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Inflation Home Affordability Perspective
Inflation Home Affordability Perspective

We are including a graph, and there is a lot going on in this graph. Let’s break it down. In 1989 the Keller Williams research team took the national average price of a car, a home, wages, and the cost of a mortgage for that average home.  They then went back and adjusted each for inflation. Here is what we found.

Of course, all four went up in price. But after adjusting for inflation, the cost of a mortgage, even at today’s prices, went down 24.02% You might ask, how can this be?

The answer is mortgage rates are lower than 1989 which is making housing affordable. We have other graphs that show in 2021 16% of the average home buyer income went to paying their mortgage. Back in 1989 it was 24%, so home affordability is better than it was back in 1989. This suggests there is more room for price appreciation if rates do not rise.

What if Rates Rise?

What happens if rates do rise? That eats into home buyer affordability and can damper price increases.  If they rise enough, it could put negative pressure on home pricing. In the coming weeks we will post another graph that shows where home prices are today compared to where they should be on the curve.

The forecast we pay attention to suggest home prices could rise nationwide about 9% this year. However, home prices are out over their skis and could ultimately bounce back if they expand too much from here. A lot will depend on interest rates. Expect the Fed to raise their rates a qtr. point to half point in March. Most experts now see a qtr. point hike, but I would not be surprised to see the half point rise. Many financial analysts are expecting the economy to pull back the 2nd half of the year. One way or the other, inflation will be pulled back whether through a slowing economy or continued interest rate hikes. Therefore, I believe the Fed may want to act faster now than having to continuously raise rates later.

Nobody knows what the Fed will do. They should have moved sooner and had they we might not have need to raise as much in 2022. Of course, many mistakes have been made not just by the Federal Reserve. A lot of people are responsible for this drastic inflation.

We are not here to assign blame. We are simply here to look at how we got here, how we think they may address it going forward, and what that means for the local real estate market.

Call Us Before Prices Peak

If you are a homeowner and your home is not working for you, you might want to call us 239-310-6500. Do not wait for prices to peak. If timing the market is your goal, you have a 99% chance of not getting that right. You will only know months afterward if you timed it perfectly.  Even if you miss it by a few percent, you are still doing well. Remember this, when word gets out that prices topped and are heading down, buyers turn off.

No buyer wants to buy in a declining market, just like nobody wants to catch a falling knife. Some people must buy, but the ones that don’t will continue to rent and wait for prices to come back down. When this happens, they will have no mercy on sellers. Sellers did not care that they put in 20 offers on homes and got none while prices were going up. When the market reverses, buyers will have no sympathy.

If you’d like to check your value online without speaking to us, you can at Not only will it give you your home’s value, you can also check to see your value each month and see if it is appreciating or declining.

Always call Sande or Brett Ellis at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. We look forward to helping you get Top Dollar for your home!

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