1. Demand will continue to be strong into 2022.
The first signal we look at to forecast the strength of the housing market is days on market – how fast are homes moving? Right now, we’re seeing a median of 49 days on market and climbing, as it normally does this time of year. A typical December would see market time at 85-100 days, so you can see from the chart that demand is staying elevated later in the year, which is a bullish sign for next year.
Due to the strong seasonal patterns, I predict days on market will hit a low of 21 days in April, tying the record-fast market times from earlier this year.
2. Low inventory will continue to be a major issue.
Unfortunately for all these eager homebuyers, inventory continues to be at record low levels. We are currently at just over 350,000 single-family homes on the market. You can see from this chart that inventory has been on a downward trajectory for years, and recent strong demand has only accelerated this trend. You can also see that it’s normal for inventory to drop at this time of year, but it’s actually declining faster than I expected even a few weeks ago, which indicates that we’ll start 2022 with record- low levels of available inventory, even less than in 2021.
At this point, it looks like we’re going to end the year at just under 300,000 single-family homes for sale. If we’re lucky, we’ll start getting greater inventory in the housing market in February, then it’ll start climbing and be at a more normal curve next year, but we’re still miles away from a normal level, with no indication that we’ll return to our usual million homes anytime soon.
3. Home prices will remain high into 2022.
With demand showing no signs of cooling and record-low inventory, I expect home prices to remain high into next year. The median home price for single family homes this week is $375,000, which is about 10% higher than last year and where we are likely to end the year.