Thanks to Mike for pointing out that comparing 2022 data to last year isn’t really fair:
The pandemic years, especially 2021, were a strange aberration where everyone moved, house prices skyrocketed, and nearly every real estate business posted record revenues.
Why it matters: 2022 is constantly being compared to 2021, which was anything but normal, and year-over-year comparisons are painting a deeply negative picture.
Dig deeper: Assuming a fairly conservative 5.15 million existing home sales in 2022, the comparison to last year is a sobering 16 percent drop — but 2021 is an outlier, not a benchmark. Compared to the historical average of the previous eight years (2012–2019), transaction volumes in 2022 would be down only 0.9 percent.
How are we doing around here?
NSDCC Detached-Home Sales Between January-September
Sales caught up quickly after the initial Covid swoon, so the 9-month count in 2020 looks fairly normal. The average for the first four years is 2,229 sales, and last year’s count was 14% higher.
This year’s count looks dire at -38% YoY, but the -29% below normal doesn’t look that great either. The pundits would say it’s a result of unaffordability, and yes, homes are much less affordable after the median sales price rises $520,000 in one year.
Sales are down because sellers are holding out on price – if they had to sell, they could.