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Supply crunch

When the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates in 2022, many were concerned that higher borrowing costs would reduce home sales and prices.

However, Ramsey claims he was skeptical of these concerns and was instead expecting home prices to remain steady or rise modestly. His thesis was based on simple supply-demand dynamics.

“When there is a shortage of an item … prices go up,” he said. “That’s basic economics.”

This theory seems to be vindicated by a report from the National Association of Realtors. Home prices climbed 5.7% over the past year as of February, with the median American home being worth $384,500.

A combination of rising prices and rising mortgage rates has made home affordability deteriorate. In 2023, only 15.5% of the homes available for sale could be considered “affordable” by a household earning a typical income, according to data analyzed by Redfin.

Unfortunately, Ramsey says, he doesn’t see an end in sight for this housing crisis.

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Housing forecast

Factors that led to the current crisis are set to continue, at least for the foreseeable future. Analysis by Realtor.com revealed that the gap between the number of households formed and the number of single-family housing units constructed was 7.2 million in 2023.

“Prices will go up,” Ramsey predicted. “This is what’s happening with real estate. I promise you, you can look up this [episode] five years from now and you’re going to go ‘god, that old fart was right again.’”

As for interest rates, Ramsey doesn’t make a firm prediction but advises buyers to focus on prices instead and refinance when borrowing rates go down.

“Marry the house, date the rate,” he said.

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Vishesh Raisinghani Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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