The Fed (aka The Federal Reserve Board) has raised its key interest rate to a range of 5.25% to 5.5% -- in August to a 22-year high -- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank could raise interest rates further if the economy and job market don’t weaken more substantially, suggesting that additional hikes may lie ahead even if inflation continues to ease.
"We are attentive to signs that the economy may not be cooling as expected," Powell said at the Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “Additional evidence of persistently above-trend growth could put further progress on inflation at risk and could warrant further (rate increases).”
Our question is what does this mean for the housing market?
When the Fed raises interest rates, mortgage rates almost always go up too. And a mortgage lender won't lend you as much since higher interest rates increase your debt-to-income ratio—that means you'll have less buying power when you're shopping for a house.
At a quick glance overall look at our local market:
The SFR – Single Family Residence median sale price in Bend dropped last month to similar median sale prices as seen in mid-2022. In other words the market may have seen a few gains and losses over this last year, but overall has been flat. Interestingly enough $1Million+ sales were about 24% of all SFR sales in September. Inventory of SFR properties in the 1.6Mill + price points continue to increase. Overall SFR inventory is slightly above a 2-month supply. In Redmond SFR median sale price have seen little change from July to now. Inventory level increased slightly and is currently around a 3-month supply. Over the past several months, inventory of SFR properties in the $600k - $650k price points has been increasing. Currently, inventory of properties in the $600k-$650k is near 8 ½ months. There is a swelling of SFR inventory in Redmond starting with properties in the $500k-$550k price point to $750-$800k that ranges from a 4 to 6-month supply, excluding the $600k-$650 price category. Anything under this price point continues to move much faster, as the $400-$500 market is more affordable for buyers.
· As mortgage rates have risen this causes affordability to dip and sellers may have to shift their expectations to match the changing market as in reducing prices and or wait on the market longer
· This gives buyers a little more leverage
· Despite that the market has returned to a more balanced position than in previous years.
· Buyers are finding they can once again buy without waiving contingencies and sellers are starting to offer concessions
· Many sellers hold low-interest-rate mortgages and unless they have other external pressures, like they are moving out of the area, then they are not under any pressure to sell and so unless they have to, many are holding out for the offers that they want.
· While prices have dropped from where they were at their peak this time last year, they are above 2021 prices, but again as we said earlier they are mostly flat compared to 2022 prices.
· Mortgage rates have continued to rise over the summer and the Feds are indicating that they are not done yet with raising rates. They are aggressively working at holding down inflation.
· If you’ve been feeling priced out of the market the past few years, we have helped to find ways for our regular, hardworking buyers to move forward.
·First-time homebuyers are finding their offers with FHA loans easily accepted and even USDA loans
· Also keep in mind if you can afford higher payments, due to higher interest rates now, you are in a good position to buy, and you will most likely find rates coming down in the future which would give you an opportunity to refinance in a year or two
·Some sellers have found it more difficult to accept price drops and some buyers are waiting and hoping for more price drops and lower interest rates before making offers.
·But over-all we are seeing many people willing to wade into the market and find out that they can actually purchase a home they want and need along with some creative financing programs that are available that helps make the payment more affordable. It simply takes the courage to explore the options available and there are many.
· Current Average Mortgage Rate is around 8% interest on a 30 year fixed and 7% on a 15 year fixed – this is not uncommon historically and buyers are finding there are adjustments in their finances that make it possible to own that home even with these rates.
·Over the last 40 years, the average mortgage rate was been 7%
·One way to look at it is, if you are renting, you are paying 100% interest rates- because none of that money is staying in your pocket.
Let’s take a look at our market here in Central Oregon:
·Bend, Eastside 97701 median list price is at $804k with new listins avg price at $675K, the market action index hovering around 39. This is less than last month's market action index of 41. Inventory is at 100 homes on the market. Average Days on is Market 93 and 38% of Sellers Decreased Sales price
· Bend SW 97702 is $875 with new listings avg price at $697K with the market action index hovering around 38 less that last months market 41. Inventory has held steady at 172 Average Days on Market 79 and 48% of Sellers Decreased Sales price
· Bend 97703 is $1.25million with the market action index hovering around 34 inventory has increased to 159. Average Days on Market is 86 and 39% of Sellers Decreased Sales price
· La Pine’s median list price is $514k currently. The current market action index hovering around 34. This is basically unchanged from last month’s, Inventory has increased to 97 And the Average Days on Market is 123 ..47% of Sellers Decreased their Sales price
· Prineville’s median list price 499k, with the market action index hovering around 32 Inventory has increased to 112. Average Days on Market is 116 and about 46% of Sellers Decreased their Sales price.
·Powell Butte’s median list price is $1.4 million The market action index is 27 which is less than last month's which was 32. Inventory is 26 listed homes. With an Average Days on Market of 199 and 69% of Sellers reducing their Sales price.
· Redmond’s average list price is $599k. The current market action index is 39 Inventory is up at 205. Average Days on Market 74 and 40% of Sellers Decreased Sales price.
· Over in Sisters the average list price is $1million The market action index is 37 which more than as last month’s 34, Inventory is 66 listed homes. Average Days on Market 112 days and 55% of Sellers Decreased Sales price
· Madras average list price is at $399K which is pretty much unchanged from last month. The market action index hovering around 36 which is down from last month’s 37. Inventory is at 45. Average Days on Market is 112 days and 24% of Sellers Decreased Sales price.
Home sales are rising in some markets. National headlines don't always apply to regional markets. For example, home sales are gaining momentum this year in some parts of the country.— especially those in more expensive homes —may be able to collect the full price recommended, or even see buyers bidding higher offers.
Look at that equity. While some potential sellers may be feeling some FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) because they didn't sell during the peak of the market, the equity they've acquired is still impressive. Most homeowners have paid off their mortgages or have at least 50% equity in their homes. Home ownership continues to be a smart investment, even in a fluctuating market.
· Even if your property has been on the market a long time, it can suddenly have one or more offers. There are new buyers entering the market every day, so be patient. Some move quickly.
· There is no set formula for how long a property will be on the market, or how much it will sell for.
· Potential buyers may ask for contingencies. Not all are problematic, but some can delay your sale's closing. We'll need to be careful about agreeing to these.
· Sometimes your first offer to a seller is your only chance. Don't assume you will get a counter-offer. The seller may sign the best offer presented, especially if there are several.
· If you see price reductions happening, you may be tempted to wait. But this may result in you losing the home you really wanted. Instead, we can discuss negotiating the price with the seller.
· Things like contingencies, closing dates and financing can be as important than the price you offer. It's a good idea to discuss these sooner than later.
· The longer you wait to buy a home, the more time you are missing out on appreciation, which is how you build wealth.