Lower Mortgage Rates Are Bringing Buyers Back to the Market

As mortgage rates rose last year, activity in the housing market slowed down. And as a result, homes started seeing fewer offers and stayed on the market longer. That meant some homeowners decided to press pause on selling.

Now, however, rates are beginning to come down—and buyers are starting to reenter the market. In fact, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows mortgage applications increased last week by 7% compared to the week before.

So, if you’ve been planning to sell your house but you’re unsure if there will be anyone to buy it, this shift in the market could be your chance. Here’s what experts are saying about buyers returning to the market as we approach spring.

Mike Fratantoni, SVP and Chief Economist, MBA:

“Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since September 2022, and about a percentage point below the peak mortgage rate last fall. As we enter the beginning of the spring buying season, lower mortgage rates and more homes on the market will help affordability for first-time homebuyers.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“The upcoming months should see a return of buyers, as mortgage rates appear to have already peaked and have been coming down since mid-November.”

Thomas LaSalvia, Senior Economist, Moody’s Analytics:

“We expect the labor market to remain robust, wages to continue to rise—maybe not at the pace that they did during the pandemic, but that will open up some opportunity for folks to enter homeownership as interest rates stabilize a bit.”

Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac:

“Homebuyers are waiting for rates to decrease more significantly, and when they do, a strong job market and a large demographic tailwind of Millennial renters will provide support to the purchase market.”

Reece Cohen​, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Atlanta​:

“The historical average of a 30yr fixed rate over the last 50yrs is 7.75%, reaching as high as 18% in 1981 and as low as 2.5% in 2021. In 2022, we had rapid jump back to 7% but have recently seen rates settling back to 6% and lower. This drop has drastically increased the number of applications for home buyers, and we expect rates to settle into the 5’s this year. Now is the time to not only buy, but to list your home for sale. Buyers are hungry for inventory and it’s an optimal time to act.”

Bottom Line

If you’ve been thinking about making a move, now’s the time to get your house ready to sell. Let’s connect so you can learn about buyer demand in our area the best time to put your house on the market.

Planning To Sell Your House? It’s Critical To Hire a Pro.

With higher mortgage rates and moderating buyer demand, conditions in the housing market are different today. And if you’re thinking of selling your house, it’s important to understand how the market has changed and what that means for you. The best way to make sure you’re in the know is to work with a trusted housing market expert.

Here are five reasons working with a professional can ensure you’ll get the most out of your sale.

1. A Real Estate Advisor Is an Expert on Market Trends

Leslie Rouda Smith, 2022 President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“During challenging and changing market conditions, one thing that’s calming and constant is the assurance that comes from a Realtor® being in your corner through every step of the home transaction. Consumers can rely on Realtors®’ unmatched work ethic, trusted guidance and objectivity to help manage the complexities associated with the home buying and selling process.”

An expert real estate advisor has the latest information about national trends and your local area too. More importantly, they’ll know what all of this means for you so they’ll be able to help you make a decision based on trustworthy, data-bound information.

2. A Local Professional Knows How To Set the Right Price for Your House

Home price appreciation has moderated this year. If you sell your house on your own, you may be more likely to overshoot your asking price because you’re not as aware of where prices are today. If you do, you run the risk of deterring buyers or seeing your house sit on the market for longer.

Real estate professionals provide an unbiased eye when they help you determine a price for your house. They’ll use a variety of factors, like the condition of your home and any upgrades you’ve made, and compare your house to recently sold homes in your area to find the best price for today’s market. These steps are key to making sure it’s set to move as quickly as possible.

3. A Real Estate Advisor Helps Maximize Your Pool of Buyers

Since buyer demand has cooled this year, you’ll want to do what you can to help bring in more buyers. Real estate professionals have a large variety of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to ensure your house gets in front of people looking to make a purchase. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:

You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home.”

Without access to the tools and your agent’s marketing expertise, your buyer pool – and your home’s selling potential – is limited.

4. A Real Estate Expert Will Read – and Understand – the Fine Print

Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. NAR explains it like this:

“Selling a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. . . . Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”

A real estate professional knows exactly what all the fine print means and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.

5. A Trusted Advisor Is a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, buyers are also regaining some negotiation power as bidding wars ease. If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be responsible for any back-and-forth. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
  • The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
  • The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender

Instead of going toe-to-toe with all the above parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.

Bottom Line

Don’t go at it alone. If you’re planning to sell your house this winter, let’s connect so you have an expert by your side to guide you in today’s market.

Think Twice Before Waiting for 3% Mortgage Rates

Last year, the Federal Reserve took action to try to bring down inflation. In response to those efforts, mortgage rates jumped up rapidly from the record lows we saw in 2021, peaking at just over 7% last October. Hopeful buyers experienced a hit to their purchasing power as a result, and some decided to press pause on their plans.

Today, the rate of inflation is starting to drop. And as a result, mortgage rates have dipped below last year’s peak. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macshares:

“While mortgage market activity has significantly shrunk over the last year, inflationary pressures are easing and should lead to lower mortgage rates in 2023

That’s potentially great news if you’re a buyer aiming to jump back into the housing market. Any drop in mortgage rates helps boost your purchasing power by bringing down your expected monthly mortgage payment. This means the lower mortgage rates experts forecast this year could be just what you need to reignite your homebuying goals.

While this opens up a window of opportunity for you, remember: you shouldn’t expect rates to drop back down to record lows like we saw in 2021. Experts agree that’s not the range buyers should bank on. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains:

“I think we could be surprised at how much mortgage rates pull back this year. But we’re not going back to 3 percent anytime soon, because inflation is not going back to 2 percent anytime soon.

It’s important to have a realistic vision for what you can expect this year, and that’s where the advice of expert real estate advisors is critical. You may be surprised by the impact even a mild drop in mortgage rates has on your budget. If you’re ready to buy a home now, today’s market presents the opportunity to get a more affordable mortgage rate, find your dream home, and face less competition from other buyers.

Bottom Line

The recent pullback in mortgage rates is great news – but if you’re ready to buy now, holding out for 3% is a mistake. Work with a local lender to learn how today’s rates impact your goals, and let’s connect to explore your options in our area.

KCR January 2023 Market Report

The real estate market in the Atlanta metropolitan area is still going strong in January. The market remains competitive, with the average sales price up in Sandy Springs and an increase in homes on the market in both Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.

Key takeaways:

    • The average sales price is significantly up in Sandy Springs and slightly down in Dunwoody
    • Both Dunwoody and Sandy Springs saw an increase in average days on market
    • Months’ supply of homes in both Dunwoody and Sandy Springs increased
    • Homes for sale increased dramatically in Dunwoody and slightly in Sandy Springs

Though the number of homes increased in both locations and spent more time on market, the average sales price indicates a good market.

Average Sales Price

In Sandy Springs, the average sales price in January 2023 was $783,275, which is a 28.2% increase over 2022. In Dunwoody, the average sales price dropped slightly, from $561,522 to $501,641.

Average Days on Market

The average days on market increased in both Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. From 2022 to 2023, the days on market in Sandy Springs went from 28 to 43 – a 53.6% increase. In Dunwoody, the average days on market increased more significantly, from 17 to 45 – representing an increase of 164.7%.


Months’ Supply of Homes for Sale

Months supply of homes for sale is a key indicator of supply and demand in the market. Essentially, it predicts how long the current inventory will take to sell – without new listings.

Both Dunwoody and Sandy Springs had significant increases in months supply of homes from 2022 to 2023. In Dunwoody, the increase was 120% — from 0.5 to 1.1. Sandy Springs was at a 66.7% increase from 2022 to 2023 – from 0.9 to 1.5.

Homes for Sale

The housing market was volatile in recent months, but it’s beginning to stabilize with available inventory coupled with rising prices – indicating healthy demand.

In January 2022, there were 102 homes for sale in Sandy Springs and 24 homes for sale in Dunwoody. Now, Sandy Springs has 110 homes for sale – an increase of 7.8% — while Dunwoody has 42 homes for sale – an increase of 75%.

Pending Sales

Pending sales typically take between 15 and 60 days from contract to closed sale. Some homes will be a closed sale while others will return to active status or get pulled from the market. Pending sales is still a valuable metric for understanding the types of homes – and locations – that buyers are looking for.

Sandy Springs had 66 pending sales in January 2023, which is a 26.7% decrease from 90 in January 2022. Dunwoody is similar, with 24 pending sales – a decrease of 22.6% over 31 in January 2022.

Key Takeaways

Though still competitive, the Atlanta metropolitan area’s housing market is beginning to stabilize. Homes are spending more time on market, but there’s more inventory available and higher-priced homes. Despite volatility in other markets, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs remain steady.

KCR November 2022 Market Report

What we’ve experienced in the housing market over the past two years were historic levels of demand and constrained supply. This fall, like in many other areas of the country, the real estate market slowed down in the Atlanta metropolitan area especially as mortgage rates have nearly doubled in the past year. In Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, the market is competitive, with moderate average sales prices, low average days on market, and an increase in homes for sale.

Key takeaways:

  • The average sales price is up in Dunwoody and down in Sandy Springs
  • Both Dunwoody and Sandy Springs saw a decrease in average days on market
  • Months’ supply of homes in both Dunwoody and Sandy Springs increased
  • Inventory was down in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs
  • While the housing market saw demand taper due to mortgage rates, limited supply combined with competitive prices, made November a good time to sell.

Average Sales Price

In Dunwoody, the average sales price in November 2022 was $573,738 – a 4.1% increase over 2021. In Sandy Springs, the difference was more pronounced at $668,721 in November 2022 – a decrease of 8.7% over the average sales price in 2021.

Average Days on Market

Days on market is a key metric that shows the number of days from the date which a home is listed to the date the seller accepts a contract to sell.

Because homes generate the most interest when they’re new to the market, average days on market is an important metric for determining how competitive the market is. Homes that sell quickly indicate a high demand for the property.

In Dunwoody, the average days on market was 19 in November 2022 – a 13.6% decrease since 2021. In Sandy Springs, the average days on market was 31 in November 2022 – a decrease of 11.4% since 2021. Smaller numbers like these indicate a more competitive real estate market with limited supply and high buyer demand.

Months’ Supply of Homes for Sale

Months’ supply of homes for sale illustrates the supply and demand in a housing market. Assuming no new homes are listed for sale, months’ supply estimates how many months it would take for all the homes that are currently listed to sell.

In Dunwoody, the months’ supply of homes for sale in November 2022 was 1.5, which is a 275% increase since 2021. In Sandy Springs, the month’s supply of homes for sale in November 2022 is 1.9, a 46.2% increase since 2021.

Homes for Sale

In November 2021, the homes for sale in Dunwoody were 18, which was a 69.5% drop since 2020. The inventory is starting to improve with November 2022 showing 55 homes for sale, a 205.6% increase since 2021.

The market is similar in Sandy Springs. In November 2020, there were 302 homes for sale, which dropped to 140 in 2021 – a decrease of 53.6%. In 2022, the homes for sale increased to 152, which is 8.6% higher than 2021.

Pending Sales

Typically, it can take anywhere from 15 to 60 days for a home to close after it has gone under contract. Pending sales can indicate where buyers are shopping and what types of homes are selling – useful information for other buyers and sellers.

In Dunwoody, November 2022 showed 19 pending sales, which is a 36.7% decrease since 2021. In Sandy Springs, there were 45 pending sales in November 2022, a 53.1% decrease since 2021.

Key Takeaways

Despite surging mortgage rates that cooled buyer interest and lowered demand, it remains a seller’s market with relatively high demand, limited supply, and competitive sales prices. So, while the market has shifted, the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs markets remain strong.