Forecasting The Future: When Will People Start Moving Again?


Although the market is slow now, there will eventually be a point when homeowners let go of their low interest rates and move.

Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic, said it is just a matter of time.

Hepp was speaking during an economic forecast panel at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Las Vegas last week. During her presentation, she said although the housing market varies throughout the country, it has been a disappointing spring season.

“Most all markets at this point are showing declines in home sales, but some markets are showing much larger declines in home sales than others,” Hepp said.

She said part of the reason for that is homeowners feel locked into their low interest rates and refuse to sell, but that won’t last forever.

“As we move further away from that low 3% environment, people will become more comfortable with mortgage rates again. I think just that it’s been so recent that we had 3% mortgage rates,” Hepp said during a question and answer session.

Jessica Lautz, deputy chief economist and vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors, said people typically move because something in their life changes. They get married, divorced, or have children.

Right now, many people who are moving are repeat buyers who may be retired and want to be closer to family, Lautz said.

People are also migrating to different parts of the country. Overall, one-quarter of buyers traveled over 470 miles to find their new home, according to Lautz.

“As we look at this, this is going to shift the real estate market because you’re going to have continual areas that are winners where you see migration flow,” Lautz said. “We don’t have inventory in those areas.”

Sunbelt states, including Florida, Texas, and the Carolinas were the top inbound states for movers in 2022. Florida had an annual population increase of 1.9%, according to NAR data, and a U-Haul press release from January says the Sunshine State had four of the top 25 markets for one-way customers.

That trend is expected to continue in 2023.

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