Brian and Yunnie got together for a preview of 2022. Yun touted his usual vagueness and Brian touched on a sensitive subject that long-time blog reader Chris and I discussed yesterday.
The shuffle of older agents leaving the business and being replaced by new-age realtors who only know automated order-taking will make the end of the frenzy somewhat predictable. Because the agents who have gotten into the business over the last 12 years have never experienced a ‘downturn’, it won’t be detected by most until the market has softened considerably. Agents will carry on, and the last thing sellers will do is lower their price enough to sell. Plateau City should arrive by next summer, where sellers and listing agents unwittingly let listings sit for months while waiting for someone to bail them out. Sales drop, and prices stay about the same. It will be excruciating.
“People rushed to buy homes during the pandemic, so two straight years of spectacular performance,” Yun said, pointing to a 7% increase in home sales from 2020 to 2021—from 5.7 million to 6 million, respectively.
While home sales have shined over the past two years since the start of the pandemic, Yun said 2022 is poised to be slightly different.
“I think the sales activity will be shaved modestly,” Yun said, suggesting a 2% reduction in sales next year as mortgage rates increase.
A silver lining on the horizon will be improvements in inventory, with the industry “turning the corner” on the dire shortage of housing supply for sale, according to Yun.
“New construction of single-family homes has been moving steadily higher,” he said, indicating that the market may see more inventory in the spring market next year than in 2021.
Yun also indicated that more people are likely to list their homes now that federal support and mortgage forbearance programs are either ended or are slated to end next year.
Even with a much-needed injection of inventory, Yun noted that agents should prepare for the rising mortgage rates to push activity forward next year as buyers try to secure the lowest rates possible before they climb to 3.7% by the end of 2022.
Buffini’s general advice to agents was to focus on the fundamentals and take advantage of the upcoming business in the winter and summer.
“I know people are working as hard as they can, but there is an old phrase that even a turkey can fly in a hurricane,” Buffini said. “When the wind starts to slow down, if you’re a turkey up at 200 feet, you’re going to be Thanksgiving dinner.
“There are going to be a bunch of people getting out of the business, and we are going to be left with even less experience in the industry,” he concluded.