Amid reports that the U.S. real estate market is cooling, four southeast Missouri brokerage owners offer their thoughts.
Southeast Missouri File
Local brokers weighed in, at the Southeast Missourian’s invitation, on the changed landscape of home buying and selling, in what Fortune magazine last week called a “great deceleration.”
The venerable economics publication said the blistering pace of house price growth is “cooling off fast”.
The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that pending home sales data shows a monthly decline of 3.9% in April – the most recent figure available – with 9.1% fewer homes sold compared to one year ago.
In terms of geography, NAR’s numbers show all four U.S. regions posting year-over-year declines, but the Midwest is seeing the least downward impact to date.
* The Midwest is down 2.8%.
* South: decrease of 10.3%.
* West: decrease of 10.5%
* Northeast: down 14.3%.
* Edge Realty Bill Cole said: “We are still in a strong seller’s market. As of Thursday, Cape Girardeau County had 1.8 months of inventory compared to 1.3 months at the end of May 2021. A seller’s market is considered to be four month or less. I do think we will see the inventory of homes available for sale increase over the next few months, but not to the point of being a buyer’s market.”
* Lori Fowler of Area Properties said: “Our business has remained stable since the beginning of the year. However, we think we could see some downturn as mortgage rates continue to rise and inflation puts pressure on consumer purchasing power. Home inventory continues to pose challenges in meeting buyers’ home buying needs. On the sell side, the challenge for inventory is to keep property values strong enough. However, strong demand as well as a (continued) decline in inventory may stabilize as 2022 progresses.
* Tim Meredith of Century 21 Ashland and Century 21 Premiere added, “We are starting to transition to a more ‘normal’ market. Rising interest rates have certainly affected affordability in the housing market, so I expect things to moderate. “Supply and demand will continue to pull the market. I don’t see a crash coming as some are speculating. We still have fairly strong demand in our area, fueled by years of under construction, a labor market strong and millennial shoppers. As we see the market shrinking a bit, we still need to list inventory to meet current demand.”
*Riverbend Realty Liz Lockhart agrees with Meredith’s assessment, saying, “I believe the local market is returning to normal. The fervor of the past two years is gradually receding. As interest rates rise, slightly less Buyers are searching right now as future homeowners need to recalculate price ranges based on what their home’s payment will be with significantly higher interest rates Sellers will likely end up having to adjust their price expectations, although selling prices are protected by the market which still has too few houses available for sale.
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