The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Market Talk with Liz: January 2023

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Feb 02, 2023 @ 02:47 PM

By: Liz Moore

Welcome to Market Talk!header

I’m Liz Moore, President of Liz Moore & Associates, and today  we’re going to talk about what’s happening in the local real  estate market. This past year was a roller coaster ride, and  it has left many people questioning whether now is a good  time to move. The market is actually pretty complicated  these days, and it’s important to have a solid understanding  of what’s happening and how it will affect YOUR move.

My goal is to bring some clarity about what’s really happening in the market, and how you can leverage that to accomplish your personal real estate goals.

So, let’s get to it!

The biggest story last year has been the dramatic increase in  interest rates. While that may have been a positive influence  on our savings account ROI, it dramatically dampened the real estate market by causing prospective homebuyers to  hit the “pause” button as they watched their monthly house payments significantly increase in record time.

Graph 1

Fewer buyers in the market resulted in a slowdown in multiple offers (in many cases, but not all), which in turn slowed  down the percentage of listings that are selling above asking  price. For the first time in several years, buyers are once again  in a bargaining position to ask for closing cost assistance  from sellers, to negotiate repair requests from home inspections, and in some cases to even pay less than asking prices.

So, in a nutshell, the pendulum has swung back toward a more  balanced market. You’ll see in the chart below that offers over  asking are running less than 30% in our local market, while offers under asking have crept over 40% of all offers. It’s important to note that these trends differ based on price point and  neighborhoods, and your REALTOR can counsel you on what  is trending in the specific market you’re considering.


Graph 2

Asking Price Trend Peninsula


Encouraging News for Buyers

What does this mean if you’re interested in buying? It’s definitely good news. Although interest rates took a big jump  last year, they have come down over a percentage point since  the peak at over 7% last Fall. Several local lenders are marketing programs offering a credit toward a later refinance if  and when rates do come down. There are also a number of  creative financing options available, like an interest rate buy  down or adjustable rate mortgages, that make ownership  in the current climate even more affordable. Your REALTOR  can review your options with you, and recommend a local lender who has such programs available.


Graph 3

For most, not having to pay thousands of dollars over list  price, guarantee appraisals, and waive home inspections and  repairs more than makes up for the increase in interest rates.

Perhaps even more important to weary buyers is that they  have more choices than they have had for quite some time. Not only is inventory beginning to tick up, but the pace of the market has slowed, eliminating the frenzy that has characterized the past few years. This means that buyers can consider their choices in a far more reasonable market climate.

How About Selling?

For those considering selling this year, the market is a bit  more complex. Inventory remains low (although we’re anticipating an increase in available listings as the Spring season warms up), which means sellers are still commanding strong prices, even when there aren’t bidding wars. And, for those sellers who will turn around and buy, it’s finally a market that will allow you enough breathing room to accomplish a door-to-door move.


Graph 4


My advice to sellers who are considering a move is to do it sooner rather than later. Local inventory is hovering just less than 2 months. The uptick in inventory may mean lower offer prices as as the market continues to cool.

As I said at the onset, the market is complicated these days,  and it’s more important than ever that you have an experienced professional advising you. I recommend that sellers reach out to their REALTOR for an annual “equity check-up” to review the current market value of their home. That’s a great opportunity to discuss any improvement plans to see if the cost vs. value ratio makes sense, as well as explore what's happen in the mortgage world. Knowledge is Power!

Tags: lizlocal-NorthernNeck-realestate, lizlocal-richmond-realestate, lizlocal-williamsburg-realestate, lizlocal-peninsula-realestate, MarketTalk

Market Talk with Liz: Third Quarter 2022

Posted by Liz Moore on Wed, Sep 14, 2022 @ 01:30 PM

MarketTalk_3Q2022_PPT-1Welcome to Market Talk!

I'm Liz Moore, President of Liz Moore & Associates, and today we’re going to talk about what’s happening in the local real estate market. It has been a crazy few years, that’s for sure…and folks have a lot of questions. So, we’re going to tackle the big ones today: if you’re a seller, have you missed your opportunity? And, if you’re a buyer, how do you avoid over-paying in this crazy market?

My goal is to bring some clarity about what’s really happening in the market, and how you can leverage that to accomplish your personal real estate goals.

So, let’s get to it!

Lots of people are concerned that we are headed for another real estate bubble. It’s hard to turn on the news and not hear someone talking about the housing market getting ready to crash.

My personal opinion is that is not going to happen. To be clear, the market is stabilizing, and we’re experiencing that right now. I think it is safe to say that the market has “peaked” and we’ll come back to what that means for sellers and for buyers.

However, stabilizing or correcting does not equal a market crash or a bubble bursting, like it did in 2008. The fundamentals in the housing market are VERY different than they were in 2008.

First of all, the housing inventory situation is totally different. In 2008, we had 8+ months of inventory or, “supply”. Now, we have less than a month.


Next, one of the primary reasons for the 2008 crash was ridiculously lax lending standards – mortgage companies would literally approve a mortgage for anyone who could fog a mirror. Today, the opposite is true – mortgage underwriters are extremely conservative making sure that borrowers can afford the monthly payments they are applying for.


Lastly, people have more equity than ever, and even if they faced foreclosure, they would be able to sell.


What all that means is that people are in a far better position to weather a tough economic period than they were 15 years ago. t’s pretty clear that we’re going to face some serious inflation in the coming months, but that is not likely to cause a rash of foreclosures. Even for those folks that are unable to afford their
current living situation, there is plenty of demand and equity to give them enough room to sell without facing foreclosure.

Ok, Liz, if the real estate market isn’t going to crash, then what *is* going to happen next?

Well, it’s already happening. The market is beginning to stabilize. This is happening for a couple of reasons:

The recent increase in interest rates has taken some buyers out of the market. Each percentage point of increase translates to a loss of buying power of approximately 10%.


Prices were escalating so quickly that buyers have begun to put the brakes on. At Liz Moore & Associates, one of the trends we follow very carefully is what we call an over asking report. The percentage of listings that are selling over the asking price remains high even after a slight dip.


Let’s look at interest rates for a moment. This graph shows rates since 1971. Over the last 50 years, rates have averaged 7.77%. So, we still have a ways to go before we reach the average.


As demand slows, we’re seeing fewer bidding wars (although there are still some), and as a result sales prices are not being driven up to the extreme levels of a few months ago.

What Does That Mean For Sellers?

So, does that mean that sellers have missed the boat? Not at all. Although they may have missed the crazy frenzy at the height of the market, a listing that’s in good shape and well-priced can still expect to sell relatively quickly and probably for full price, or at least close to it. Maybe only 2 offers to choose from rather than 17.

As the market continues to stabilize, we will see a return to more normal negotiating terms: no longer will buyers be forced to waive appraisals and home inspections if they want a house. We’re beginning to see home sale contingencies again.

My advice to sellers is this: If you are contemplating a move, you would be wise to do it sooner rather than later.

What Does the Changing Market Mean for Buyers?

Buyers have had a really rough go of it for the past 2 years. And, because many buyers are actually sellers on the other side of the transaction and vice versa, it will actually finally be a good time to consider moving up  Over the past year, many sellers stayed on the sideline because they didn’t want to get into the frenzy on the other end.

Over-paying has been a major buyer concern given the market dynamics of the past few years. Let’s look at appreciation trends and see what they really mean:


The wild card here is that we can’t really forecast what appreciation is going to do; all we can do is look at historical averages and make our best guess 

Which is why when we’re counseling buyers, we encourage
them not only to look at their house as an investment or “asset,” but also as their HOME. Buyers need to make a choice given their options. For instance, if the choice is between renting and owning, you need to consider that rents rise with inflation. And so, although you may be paying a higher interest rate right now, your monthly housing cost will be fixed, as opposed to subject to 3-5% annual rent increases.

Make your best offer, and as long as you plan to be in your new home long enough, appreciation is likely to offset what you may have to over pay. Your REALTOR® can review appreciation trends specific to your neighborhood with you.

Contact us to learn what this data means for your specific situation!




Tags: Home Sale Statistics & Trends, MarketTalk