In 2022, the hottest real estate market in decades cooled. The Fed raised interest rates, repeatedly, in an aggressive campaign against inflation. A meteoric rise in housing values stalled. At year’s end, you might expect to find housing professionals sitting on the sidelines and waiting for better times.
In reality, we have reasons to be optimistic in 2023. Yes, we are in a time of transition in the business cycle. The higher cost of borrowing money has affected demand. A recession is possible or even likely, according to some experts.
But we’re also a business that transcends seasonal cycles, a business in which slower seasons create new opportunities. So in 2023, compared to previous economic slowdowns, people who look for opportunities can find more options.
The Value of Stability
For one thing, the modern real estate market is more diverse, more versatile, and better able to withstand the kinds of pressure created by the Fed’s actions and by the normal flow of business.
You can see that durability reflected in home values. Existing homeowners are sitting on more home equity — often more equity than they know — despite a slight drop in median home prices during the last half of 2022 and projections for more declines this year. Home equity stabilizes the market in turbulent times because homeowners have more cushion to stay put, and staying put keeps up demand.
Demand is good for the housing market, and we’re still seeing plenty of demand for real estate — especially in Florida, where typical home prices statewide still top $400,000. In south Florida, median listing prices still exceed $500,000. One reason for all this demand? Florida remains the most popular destination for Americans who are leaving their home state.
The Value of Innovations
Then there are the innovations we’ve seen in mortgage underwriting. More and more home buyers look beyond the standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to save money on interest. Adjustable-rate mortgages are on the rise again, for example, giving more buyers access to the housing market.
Speaking of interest rates, there’s a good chance, as 2023 begins, that we’ve already seen the majority of interest rate increases. Many economists predict the Fed will take less drastic action over the next few months, which will bring more demand into the market.
The Value of Relationships
So as an industry, we have reasons to be optimistic in 2023 — both nationally and here in South Florida. At Butler Title, our optimism goes deeper than the numbers and the trends. Our optimism is rooted in the value of our relationships. This is a value that doesn’t change with business cycles.
Relationships are the core focus of Butler Title. It’s who we are, and it’s who we’ve always been. No matter how the market changes in 2023, we look forward to continuing to partner with you — to help our clients achieve their goals.
Butler Title is a full-service, attorney owned and operated title insurance agency. We keep it simple and focus on what we do best: real estate closings. From first-time buyers to local moguls, BT provides an industry-leading fee structure and unparalleled experience.
P: 954.616.8735 F: 954.206.1097