Once tight markets will be leading the way down

They’re the cities people flocked to during the pandemic, garnering them the nickname “Zoom towns”. They have a high quality of life and traditionally lower housing prices than the major centers.

And since the beginning of the pandemic, people who could work remotely have relocated to these areas, nabbed the relatively cheap homes and drove up prices.

But Palacios is predicting a steep drop in housing prices in these cities, with Boise leading the way.

Boise became one of the least affordable cities to buy during the pandemic as an influx of people bought property in the area. House prices reached 72% above what a middle-income family can afford last year, according to Oxford Economics.

“Boise is one of those markets that always rides the bubble wave. When things are great, I mean, it just – it catches that wave,” says Palacios.

But the same can be said for when things start going downhill.

“Just looking at the growth rate in home appreciation, [Boise] has reversed completely. And it is, I think, the single market that we anticipate actually getting to price declines in 2022.”

And though this might be tough news for people who have bought in Boise and similar cities in the past couple of years, it’s good news for anyone looking to buy property — although it may take several months or even years before prices level out.

More: First-time homebuyer programs in Idaho

Simply add Capital One Shopping to your browser, and shop like normal. This free tool does the work for you.

Install Capital One Shopping

Investors are pumping the breaks

Home values in Phoenix went up 25% over the past year, according to Zillow’s value index.

“As of the first quarter of this year… investor transactions are 45% of the entire housing market,” says Palacios.

That includes people buying second homes, investment properties and houses to flip.

“That's a big deal,” says Palacios. “And there's a lot of markets across the country where investor transactions are now 30-40-45% of all home purchases.”

Markets that depend on investment activities do well on the upside, says Palacios, but they can turn quickly.

“That's why we've got some pretty negative forecasts, especially on a relative basis to more kind of slow, steady markets.”

According to Redfin, investor purchases in Nashville were down nearly 17% in the first quarter of 2022, 17% in Las Vegas, and 21% in Sacramento.

Inventory on the rise

From February 2020, before the housing market went haywire, to today, housing prices in Boise are up 58%, says Palacios. In Austin, they’re up 75% and in Nashville, it’s up 56%.

“We look at affordability as probably one of the most, if not the most, important indicator for how sustainable things are in a market,” says Palacios.

And as interest rates began to rise — the national rate on a 30-year mortgage is now 5.5%, according to Freddie Mac — it became clear how unsustainable those prices had become.

“The monthly payment is up 40-50% year over year,” says Palacios. “And that's a huge shock to that buyer, which tells you why these markets have pulled back so fast.”

Companies are also starting to bring people back to the office, which has played some part in more people putting their homes up for sale and a growth in inventory.

June saw an 18% increase in housing inventory nationally year over year, according to Realtor.com.

Ratiu says inventory is growing in Austin, Raleigh, Nashville, Sacramento and others – again, cities that saw a surge in population over the past two years.

“These markets have, in many ways, attracted people from coastal, much more expensive markets,” Ratiu says.

“Austin has been a magnet for a lot of tech workers from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Los Angeles, most of them really attracted to the relative affordability. It's not surprising to see that, in turn, these markets are sort of leading the shift in the market.”

Austin saw some of the biggest growth in inventory, according to Redfin. The number of homes for sale in the city rose by 27% in June, compared with last year.

But as more homes come on the market, sellers are still hoping for those top of the market prices, says Ratiu.

“Markets have changed dramatically in the last three months. And what we're seeing pricing wise, we're still seeing a lot of homeowners list homes based on the market from six months ago.”

And price cuts for listings are on the rise. In June, 11% of listings nationally cut their prices, compared with 6% in June the year before.

More than 60% of sellers in Boise had to cut their prices in June, according to Redfin.

Sign up for Credit Sesame and see everything your credit score can do for you, find the best interest rates, and save more money at every step of the way.

Get Started—100% Free

What should buyers do now?

Palacios says all signs point to a housing slow down, and though it may take several months or more for prices to come down, if you can wait, you should.

“We haven't been in a slowing environment for several years,” says Palacios.

“The choices are going to be out there. And I don't think it's the worst decision in the world to be a bit more patient now than you would have been when rates were 3-4%.”

Compare car insurance and save up to $500 a year

If you haven't compared car insurance recently, you're probably paying too much for your policy. Getting quotes from multiple insurers used to be time-consuming, but today's technology makes it easy.

Using a free site like Pretected is easy and could help you save up to $500 a year on car insurance. In mintues, their "smart matching" system will provide tailor-made quotes from insurers that can meet all of your coverage needs - and your budget.

Stay protected on the road and find more affordable car insurance in minutes with Pretected.

About the Author

Lauren Bird

Lauren Bird

Staff Reporter

Lauren Bird was a former reporter for Moneywise.com. Before writing about personal finance Lauren reported and produced for CBC and BBC Radio. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic.

What to Read Next

Disclaimer

The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.