June 13, 2024

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Where the housing market has Morgan Stanley only seeing pain for homebuyers ahead, Zillow keeps cutting its forecast. Here’s why

2 min read

The housing market hasn’t seen a climate like this in a long time—but when exactly is a big question. To go by existing home sales, it hasn’t been this bad since 2010, the depths of the Great Recession, as a 15% collapse in September sent transactions to a 13-year low, a “deep freeze” that Zillow had warned about back in the spring. Other economists, such as Mark Fleming from First American and Jeseo Park from Bank of America Research, see conditions that recall the “housing recession” of the 1980s. Morgan Stanley took the temperature of the market earlier this week and saw just more pain for homebuyers ahead: An up to 5% rise in home prices nationwide, reversing its previous call for prices to fall amid high mortgage rates. Zillow is taking the opposite tack.

After their February call that U.S. home prices had hit bottom, Zillow economists had been raising their home price forecast each month through August. At that point, they predicted home prices would climb 6.5% over the next 12 months. Last month, though, they issued a downward revision. And this month, they did it again.

Zillow economists predicted this week that home prices would rise 2.1% between September 2023 and September 2024. That compares to their prediction last month that home prices would rise 4.9% between August 2023 and August 2024.

“Zillow’s forecast of the nation’s typical home value was revised downward this month due to an uncharacteristic month-over-month dip in September and mortgage rates climbing ever higher,” they wrote this week.

Zillow economists have come to terms with the likelihood that a resilient labor market will mean a longer-than-expected period of elevated interest rates. With the firming of rates, the housing market has lost some steam.

“Elevated mortgage rates are weighing on new listings with ‘rate-locked’ homeowners largely opting to hold onto the relatively low monthly payment associated with their current home,” wrote Zillow economists.

2023-10-21 12:39:34

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