Looking back at 2023

If you've paid much attention to the news this past year, you know that 2023 was a rough one for the real estate industry, nation-wide. The Fed's aggressive rate hikes to fight inflation made buying a home almost twice as expensive (with traditional financing) as it was before they began raising rates. This left a lot of people on the sidelines. First time homebuyers were priced out of starter homes, and folks looking to move for work, convenience, or downsizing struggled with the reality of swapping their current 3% mortgage for one at 7% or even 8% at the peak last fall.

The natural response to this in an open market is for prices to fall, and fall they did. Even in Austin, which has been resilient even in tough times like 2008-2009, we saw the average sales price decline by 10% (see ABOR Market Statistics).

All this said, I do believe we are at an inflection point, and the market will start to shift back towards sellers. There is a lot of pent-up demand from folks who couldn't or wouldn't move last year, and rates have come down from peaks and are predicted to drop further in the second half of this year. I think this makes it a perfect time to buy! In real estate there is an old saying "Marry the home, but date the rate.", meaning that you can always refinance or potentially recast your loan later if rates do come down. I think prices are touching bottom, and will begin to come up in March. March-July should be a good time to list your home this year, too.

As always, call or email me if you want to chat about all things real estate!