Listing Prices Hit Highest Median Ever – Industry Outlook

By April 11, 2022Industry Outlook

Listing Prices Hit Highest Median Ever – Based on realtor.com®’s latest Monthly Housing Trends Report, listing prices rose to an all-time high median price of $405,000 in March. However, economists believe that expectations of increased inventory could help relieve pricing pressures as housing inventory is expected to hit positive territory year over year this summer.

“Despite the $405,000 price tag, March data reveals we are starting to take some steps toward a more balanced market,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s Chief Economist. “Buyer demand is moderating in the face of high costs, and we’re beginning to see more homeowners take price cuts on their listings and overall inventory declines lessen in response.

Buyers currently in the market remain eager to find a home in the hopes of locking in lower borrowing costs before mortgage rates increase further. However, even with buyer demand remaining high, sellers are finding buyers do have limits to what they will pay.

Source: “March 2022 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report,” realtor.com® (March 31, 2022)

Top Remodeling Projects for Resale – According to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study from the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, refinishing hardwood floors is the remodeling project that pays back the most, recovering 147% of its cost at resale.

The remodeling boom has continued since the pandemic began. Projects are not only offering a potential boost at resale; they are also making homeowners happier. Painting a home’s interior, adding a home office, installing hardwood flooring, and renovating closets made consumers happiest, the report shows.

Besides refinished hardwood flooring, new hardwood flooring also had the potential for a high recovery at resale, at 118%, the survey shows.

Exterior projects, such as new roofing, upgrading the home’s insulation, and garage doors had recovery rates reaching 100% of the project costs, while kitchen upgrades also showed a high potential payback at resale with approximately 67% of the cost recovered.

Source: “2022 Remodeling Impact Report,” National Association of REALTORS® (April 6, 2022)

Ultraluxury Senior Housing Becomes a Growing Niche – Based on a recent Wall Street Journal report, the luxury senior housing market is becoming a growing niche, with baby boomers, those born from 1946 – 1964, willing to pay more for amenities.

As older consumers reinvent how senior housing looks, developers are leaning in with ultra- luxurious properties for those who are willing to pay more.

Developers believe baby boomers will seek upgraded spaces in retirement and are even willing to pay up to $25,000 in some cases. The rents include meals, housekeeping, concierge services, and cultural programming. The development can also accommodate seniors who need assisted living or memory care and includes five dining options, a rooftop terrace, an outdoor pool, and a garden with bocce ball courts, WSJ reports.

Many of these new luxury developments are being built in downtowns to allow seniors who prefer big-city life to continue to enjoy it in retirement.

Source: “New Senior-Housing Projects Charge Big Bucks for Luxury Living,” The Wall Street Journal (March 22, 2022)

Five percent Mortgage Rates on the Horizon – According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates have been rising quickly over the past month. While the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.18% a year ago, it averaged 4.67% recently. It appears that 5% mortgage rates may be here sooner than many housing analysts had originally predicted as rates surged more than 90 basis points in March.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, says he believes the higher mortgage rates will cool the market somewhat in the coming months. “At a 5% rate, home sales this year may even fall by 10%,” he says. However, Yun does not expect home prices to turn negative. “Home prices are on firmer ground, even if mortgage rates rise to 6%, since the rents are rising strongly,” he told MarketWatch.

Source: “‘Inevitable,’ in the Very Near Future.’ 4 Economists and Real Estate Pros on Exactly When Mortgage Rates Will Hit 5%,” MarketWatch (April 4, 2022)

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