Dave Ramsey is a standout among media finance coaches. It’s hard to disagree with his brand of commonsensical counsel that eschews shortcuts and paths to riches that depend on newly concocted strategies. Mesa and Delta County readers and listeners who rely on his consistently risk-averse advice learn to avoid high-interest debt while building a solid financial base—a footing typically anchored by the equity most families build through their greatest investment, their home.
As the old year came to a close, Ramsey’s web site laid down six real estate trends that are likely to emerge in the coming year. Mesa and Delta County homeowners who have been tracking the national real estate crosscurrents would not have been surprised by any of the six —but would likely be reassured by the continuity they exhibit:
- In the coming year, inventories of homes for sale will continue to be thin. As a result, buyers may need to be more flexible than usual in the features and locations they can insist upon—while sellers may find themselves increasingly in the driver’s seat.
- Prices should continue to rise, which would make the conservative ‘Ramsey Rule’ (house payments should not exceed 25% of take-home pay) difficult to follow, were it not for manageable interest rates.
- Even though the Federal Reserve has signal interest rate increases, the continuation of relatively ‘nice and low’ mortgage interest rates, which markedly moderates the effect of the first two trends.
- Buyer demand will continue to be very strong – but isn’t going up at a crazy rapid rate. In September 2020, homes received an average of 3.4 offers, but as of September 2021, they sold with an average of 3.7 offers (not exactly mind-blowing). Buyer demand locally is stable but not as insane as it has in the last two years.
- The majority of markets in the United States are looking somewhat slow when it comes to seller traffic—so buyers will have to work harder (or wait a little while) to find their dream home.
- Foreclosure don’t appear to be a major issue. Nationally, foreclosures started rapidly increasing toward the end of 2021 around the time the government’s temporary ban on foreclosures was lifted. In September 2021, foreclosure filings were up 24% compared to the previous month—and up 102% compared to September 2020!7 But foreclosures are still way down (70% lower!) compared to pre-pandemic levels.8 In Mesa and Delta County, there were very few foreclosures at all. So, while it’s likely that plenty of foreclosures will happen in 2022, that amount will probably continue to be way lower than that of a normal housing market.
When future trends are continuations of those already in evidence, it’s not particularly earthshaking. More beneficial is the final Ramsey note on how to take control of the trends: “Partner with a top-notch professional real estate agent.”