December '23 Market Update

Market Update

December '23 Market Update
Quick Take:
  • The national median home price declined 3.8% in the third quarter, landing only 4.7% below the all-time high reached in June 2022 and reflecting typical seasonal trends. Prices didn’t contract significantly in Q3 2023 despite mortgage rates rising 0.6%.
  • In October, the average 30-year mortgage rate reached its highest level since October 2020 at 7.79%. Higher and higher rates continue to price potential buyers out of the market and prevent sellers who are locked into hyper-low rates from entering the market.
  • The Q3 Real Gross Domestic Product (inflation-adjusted GDP) rose 4.9% quarter over quarter, indicating a broadly strong economy. Although unemployment rose 0.3% to 3.9%, the jobs market remains robust. Inflation, which rose in Q3, is nearly double the Fed’s target rate of 2%, so rate reductions won’t happen in the near future.

It's all about Interest Rates

High mortgage rates aren’t going away anytime soon because inflation is still about twice as high as the Fed would like. So far, most of the economic slowing the Fed intended by raising rates seems to be isolated to the housing market. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the number of homes sold dropped 2.0% month over month and 15.4% year over year to the lowest number of sales in the four years that NAR reports. Real GDP rose significantly in Q3 2023, indicating strong U.S. economic growth rather than economic slowdown.






Price Growth: The year-to-date figures indicate an overall increase in home prices, with Napa County reaching all-time highs in October. This suggests a robust and competitive market.

Inventory Dynamics: The decline in active listings from September to October breaks an eight-month trend of increasing inventory. This reduction in available homes may intensify competition among buyers.

Market Balance: While there's a slow shift toward balance, the market remains predominantly favorable to sellers. This could mean that sellers still have the upper hand in negotiations, although the shift toward balance may offer some advantages to buyers.

Overall, the market appears dynamic, with a competitive landscape characterized by rising prices and challenges for buyers, while also showing some signs of transition and potential opportunities for a more balanced market in the near future.

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