The Worst of The House Price Decline is Over
Those following the news today may be a little unnerved by what’s happening to house prices and worried that the worst is yet to come. Today’s headlines unnecessarily paint a negative image. Contrary to these headlines, house prices are not falling freely. The latest data tell an entirely different and more positive story. Rural home price trends still vary by market, but here’s what the national data tells us: House prices remained positive year-on-year, but only at a slower pace than at the height of the pandemic. Monthly data should be reviewed for a more detailed picture of some market trends.
The following monthly chart uses the latest reports from three sources to show that the worst of the house price decline is behind us and that prices are trending upwards again across the country.
The story this more detailed monthly view tells us is that the last year has been a tale of two halves in the housing market. In the first half of 2022, home prices were climbing, and they peaked in June. Then, in July, home prices started to decline (shown in red in the graphs above). And by roughly August or September, the trend began to stabilize. As we look at the most recent data for the early part of 2023, these graphs also show a recent rebound in momentum with prices ticking back up. Monthly changes in home prices are gaining steam as we move into the busier spring season.
While one to two months doesn’t make a trend, the fact that all three reports show prices have stabilized is an encouraging sign for the housing market. The month-over-month data conveys a clear, but early, consensus that a national shift is taking place today. In essence, home prices are starting to tick back up.
Andy Walden, Vice President of Enterprise Research at Black Knight, says this about home price trends:
“Just five months ago, prices were declining on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis in 92% of all major U.S. markets. Fast forward to March, and the situation has done a literal 180, with prices now rising in 92% of markets from February.”
Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains the limited supply of homes available for sale is contributing to this positive turn:
“ . . . prices in many large metros appeared to have turned the corner, with the U.S. recording a second month of consecutive monthly gains. . . . The monthly rebound in home prices underscores the lack of inventory in this housing cycle.”
Here’s What This Means for You
Sellers: If you’ve been holding off on selling because you’re worried about what was happening with home prices and how it would impact the value of your home, it may be time to jump back in and partner with an agent to list your house. You don’t have to put your needs on hold any longer because the latest data shows a turn in your favor.
Buyers: If you’ve been waiting to buy because you didn’t want to purchase something that would decrease in value, you now have the peace of mind things are looking up. Buying now lets you make your move before home prices climb more and gives you the chance to own an asset that typically grows in value over time.