A Return to Pre-Pandemic Normal
While 2021 and the first part of 2022 real estate was a feeding frenzy, during the 2nd quarter of 2022, Hopkins County saw a cooling in sales and new listings. Originally, it started because of low inventory in available homes for sellers to move which prevented potential sellers from putting their home on the market. That low inventory meant many sellers decided to stay put from the simple fact that they couldn’t find a home to live after the sale closes. Yet as 2022 continued and interest rates began to rise along with the cost of living, it caused both buyers and sellers to pause. Despite the cool down, if we look back to a pre-pandemic market, it appears some markets are actually returning to a more normal pace. Melissa Dittmann Tracey, at Realtor® Magazine, writes:
“While 2022 may be remembered as a year of housing volatility, 2023 likely will become a year of long-lost normalcy returning to the market, economists predicted Tuesday during the National Association of REALTORS®’ annual Real Estate Forecast Summit. Next year , mortgage rates are expected to stabilize while home sales and prices moderate after recent highs, according to NAR’s forecast.”
Demand & Low Inventory
Demand remains for home buyers in Hopkins County. But the inventory (homes on the market) continues to be low for many of the reasons stated earlier. The good news for buyers is that we have seen price decreases and a formerly red-hot market, has finally leveled off. However, a low inventory can keep prices from dropping too low. From The Hill, Julia Mueller shares that “’Redfin expects new listings to continue declining through most of next year, keeping total inventory near historic lows and preventing prices from plummeting.”
Mortgage Rates Stabilize & Drop
It is true. Rates have increased. Even though this trend may discourage some buyers, it also frees up the buyer pool as more decide against buying. Even though a buyer’s purchasing power may be diminished by the higher rates, it also means less competition for the ones willing and able to continue their search for a home or property. In Hopkins County, that brings some relief to those who’ve been frustrated by a market that once included bidding wars. On the flip side, higher rates decrease the amount of house a buyer can afford. But if the Federal government gets inflation under control in 2023, interest rates could stabilize or decrease. Taylor Marr at Redfin predicts, “We expect 30-year fixed mortgage rates to gradually decline to around 5.8% by the end of the year, with the average 2023 homebuyer’s rate sitting at about 6.1%.”
Good news for sellers, despite the rising rates, there are still some cash buyers out there. Mainly because they sold land or a home, cashed out, and took their stash of equity toward another property. However, despite the benefits of a cash buyer, we’ve also being seeing less of those as 2022 came to a close. But we predict cash buyers will continue into 2023, just not perhaps at the large influx rate we saw at the beginning of 2022.
Inflation’s Impact that might bring people to Hopkins County
With inflation negatively impacting the average person, essential items like food, gas, and other items cost considerably more. This depletes your bank account in a tangible way that is seen every time you hand your bank card to the clerk at the local grocery store or put the nozzle back in the gas pump. It is painfully obvious. And for those living in densely populated areas, other factors compound the stress, worry, and anxiety which decreases their quality of life.
This causes people to search for change or a different way of living. A place where they can escape or slow down. Enter Sulphur Springs. Here, the thriving small-town vibe appeals to newcomers. Many of whom continue to be impressed with our town’s friendliness and active community. And with remote labor, working from home in a smaller community has become easier. “The flexibility from the higher adoption of remote work is fueling greater interest in sunnier climates,” notes Realtor.com. This in turn, allows those looking for a better quality of life to search out areas like Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County.
In the end, if you expect a market crash like we saw in 2008, do not hold your breath. According to the Dallas Fed report, “there is no expectation that fallout from a housing correction would be comparable to the 2007–09 Global Financial Crisis in terms of magnitude or macroeconomic gravity.” And despite the rising mortgage rates, Patrick Duffy at U.S. News states that, “Nearly 40% of homeowners without any mortgages may be more enticed to sell.” Essentially for buyers in the area, that means adjusting to the current, challenging climate for an extended period of time. And for financing options, buyers should always talk to their lender or interview lenders for possible creative financing that may be available. And for sellers with home equity in Hopkins County, it could mean selling in a market burdened by low inventory (lack of homes for sale) knowing that you’ll also need to carefully plan where to live after the sale of your home.
About the Contributor: Janet Martin Realty is a multi-million-dollar real estate company in Sulphur Springs that works with clients nationwide. However, their greatest success continues to be the strong bonds and relationships they’ve built within the community. It is because of their clients that this team of realtors have ranked as some of the top producers in Hopkins County and are one of the top-tiered independently-owned real estate companies in the local area. And as a result of effective marketing strategies, their clients benefit from a results-driven investments in both cross promoting properties online, in print, or through innovative and pro-active marketing. The office is located at 1325 South Broadway Street in Sulphur Springs across the street from Starbucks.