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Barbara's Corner Blog

Thursday, December 7, 2023   /   by Barbara Oleska

Why The Economy Won't Tank The Housing Market

If you’re worried about a coming recession, you’re not alone. Over the past couple of years, there’s been a lot of recession talk. And many people worry, if we do have one, it would cause the unemployment rate to skyrocket. Some even fear that a spike in unemployment would lead to a rush of foreclosures similar to what happened 15 years ago.

However, the latest Economic Forecasting Survey from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reveals that, for the first time in over a year, less than half (48%) of economists believe a recession will actually occur within the next year:

“Economists are turning optimistic on the U.S. economy . . . economists lowered the probability of a recession within the next year, from 54% on average in July to a more optimistic 48%. That is the first time they have put the probability below 50% since the middle of last year.”

If over half of the experts no longer expect a recession within th. ...

Wednesday, November 15, 2023   /   by Barbara Oleska

The Latest 2024 Housing Market Forecast

The new year is right around the corner, and you might be wondering if 2024 will be the right time to buy or sell a home. If you want to make the most informed decision possible, it’s important to know what the experts have to say about what's ahead for the housing market. Spoiler alert: the projections may be better than you think. Here’s why.
Experts Forecast Ongoing Home Price Appreciation
Take a look at the latest home price forecasts from Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
 
 
As you can see in the orange bars on the left, on average, experts forecast prices will end this year up about 2.8% overall, and increase by another 1.5% by the end of 2024. That’s big news, considering so many people thought prices would crash this year. The truth is, prices didn’t come tumbling way down in 2023, and that’s because the. ...

Thursday, September 14, 2023   /   by Barbara Oleska

Expert Home Price Forecasts Revised Up for 2023

Toward the end of last year, there were a number of headlines saying home prices were going to fall substantially in 2023. That led to a lot of fear and questions about whether there was going to be a repeat of the housing crash that happened back in 2008. But the headlines got it wrong.
While there was a slight home price correction after the sky-high price appreciation during the ‘unicorn’ years, nationally, home prices didn’t come crashing down. If anything, prices were a lot more resilient than many people expected.
Let's take a look at some of the expert forecasts from late last year stacked against their most recent forecasts to show that even the experts recognize they were overly pessimistic.
Expert Home Price Forecasts: Then and Now
This visual shows the 2023 home price forecasts from seven organizations. It provides the original 2023 forecasts (released in late 2022) for what woul. ...

Thursday, August 10, 2023   /   by Barbara Oleska

There's Only Half the Inventory of a Normal Housing Market Today

Wondering if it still makes sense to sell your house right now? The short answer is, yes. Especially if you consider how few homes there are for sale today.
You may have heard inventory is low right now, but you may not fully realize just how low or why that’s a perk when you go to sell your house. This graph from Calculated Risk can help put that into perspective: 

As the graph shows, while housing inventory did grow slightly week-over-week (shown in the blue bar), overall supply is still low (shown in the red bars). Compared to the same week last year, supply is down roughly 10% – and it was already considered low at that time. But, if you look further back, you’ll see inventory is down even more significantly.
To gauge just how far off from normal today’s inventory is, let’s compare right now to 2019 (the last normal year in the market). When you compare the same week this year with the matching week in . ...

Thursday, August 3, 2023   /   by Barbara Oleska

How Inflation Affects Mortgage Rates

When you read about the housing market in the news, you might see something about a recent decision made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But how does this decision affect you and your plans to buy a home? Here's what you need to know.
The Fed is trying hard to reduce inflation. And even though there’s been 12 straight months where inflation has cooled (see graph below), the most recent data shows it’s still higher than the Fed’s target of 2%: 

While you may have been hoping the Fed would stop their hikes since they’re making progress on their goal of bringing down inflation, they don’t want to stop too soon, and risk inflation climbing back up as a result. Because of this, the Fed decided to increase the Federal Funds Rate again last week. As Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Fed, says:
“We remain committed to bringing inflation back to our 2 percent goal and to keeping longer-term inflation expec. ...