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2022 is looking like more of the same

... or maybe even a crazier real estate market than 2021, if you can imagine. Apparently we just wrapped up the hottest January of real estate record (nationally), in terms of speed of listings going under agreement.

Anecdotally, I can tell you that what I'm seeing out in the field lines up with this news. The early spring market typically does see a big leap in activity over the slower fall/winter season, and so far this year is no exception. Open houses have been busy, homes have been selling fast, and some of the prices I've heard through the grapevine (yes, you, Arlington!) are shocking -- even to me, and I thought I'd lost my capacity for shock.

Now, what rising interest rates will do in terms of slowing things down has yet to be seen, but it doesn't sound like anyone is expecting them to go beyond 4% this year. That's the number the chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association put out there, while the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors predicts a high of 3.7%. These are still historically phenomenal rates.

Personally, I am concerned with the turmoil in the stock market, as many of my clients cash out investments to use as their downpayment when they buy a home, and if those accounts get low, it reduces their available funds, and also may make them disinclined to sell their stocks or mutual funds. My advice: if you are planning to buy this year, and need to use funds that are invested in the stock market, pull them out now and put them into savings so they're safe and ready to go when you need them.

Bon courage and happy new year!


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