Happy New Year! We’re thrilled to be back to kick off another year of predictions to help us all get a better sense of where the market is headed in this wild and wacky world of real estate.
It seems the main theme across the industry is the first 6 months of 2023 might be rocky for real estate, BUT as we all know, real estate is the first in and the first out during a downturn. So what can you and your agents be doing to prepare your business to be ready for your buyers and to help create more sellers when the 6-month fog lifts?
One thing that we know is tried and true is annual property reviews. They are an incredible tool to not only keep in touch with your sphere of influence, which is proven to be the most valuable source of leads, but to also help with the inventory problem. Use your expertise to show your clients the value of their home. Help show them what small changes they could make to increase their homes' value. And even help encourage some of them to make the choice to sell.
Ultimately, if every agent was doing an annual property review with their clients, there would be more inventory — so start doing those reviews.
Now let’s take a look at the home sales data.
We closed out December with 378K homes sold across the U.S. For a month that is typically slower due to the end of year and holiday season, this was lower than usual and more in line with December of 2018 when there were 391K closed listings.
Total 2022 transactions
Overall this means that in 2022 there were just over 6 million (6,087,561) homes sold which is ultimately still a great year of real estate transactions. That’s only 7.5% less than the total number of homes sold in 2020 (6.6 million) and is actually a 3% increase over the total number of homes sold in 2019 (5.9 million). Note: 2021 is such an outlier it doesn’t even make sense to compare (7.5 million).
Now with that said, just as we’re hearing about a slowdown around the industry, our predictions are also pointing to a slower start to the year. Historically (even during the height of the pandemic years) January is seasonally slower than December and sometimes February as well. For example:
- In 2021 there were 449K homes sold in January and 453K in February.
- Similarly, in 2022 there were 450K homes sold in January and 449 homes sold in February.
Looking ahead we predict:
- 290K homes sold in January (a 35% decrease YOY) and,
- 306K sold in February (a 32% decrease YOY)
While this is a slower start than we have seen in quite some time, the impacts of the economy and the increased risk aversion for consumers makes this not that surprising.
It’s also worth noting that pre-pandemic this is only a 7% decrease from Jan 2019 and a 9% decrease from Jan 2018. For February this is a 10% decrease from 2019 and a 6% decrease from 2018.
So, while this may be a bit quieter than previous years, there is still so much work to be done to prime the pump, fill your pipeline and re-engage your sphere of influence. People are still human and will continue to move for the same reasons they always have – marriage, birth, divorce, new job, retirement, aging parents, empty nesters, the list goes on.
Doing the work now will make sure you are the first ones they call when they are ready to transact. You’ve got this!
Until next month.
This data correlates user activity within MoxiWorks products to the predicted number of closed listings two months into the future. Learn more about, or subscribe to, the Home Sales Predictor.