We are moving into the summer months and as we work through all of the challenges going on right now many are wondering how the economic slowdown will affect home prices. So if we look at the big picture of supply and demand we will be able to see an idea of what is to come.
As we make our way through the month of June and enter into the second half of the year, we are facing an undersupply of homes in different locations and price points. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, we currently have a 4.1 months supply of homes on the market. So what exactly is a balanced market? A balanced market is considered to be 6 months of supply. Anything over 6 months is a buyer’s market, meaning prices will depreciate. Anything below 6 months is a seller’s market, where prices appreciate. The graph below shows inventory across the country since 2010 in months supply of homes for sale.Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Home Builders Association (NAHB) says:
“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt. Estimates vary, but based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”
So with the current undersupply of homes on the market there is upward pressure on prices. Looking at simple economics, when there is less of an item for sale and the demand is high, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. The undersupply is also prompting bidding wars, which can drive price points higher in the home sale process. According to a recent MarketWatch article:
“As buyers return to the market as the country rebounds from the pandemic, a limited inventory of homes for sale could fuel bidding wars and push prices higher.”
Experts forecasting home prices have updated their projections given the impact of the pandemic. Major institutions expect home prices to appreciate through 2022. The chart below, updated as of earlier this week, notes these forecasts. As the year progresses, we may see these projections revised in a continued upward trend, given the lack of homes on the market. This could drive home prices even higher.
Many may think home prices will depreciate due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus, but experts disagree. As we approach the second half of this year, we may actually see home prices rise even higher given the lack of homes for sale.