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Top Homebuyer Markets and Other 2022 Forecasts
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Top Homebuyer Markets and Other 2022 Forecasts

Justin Nedell

Good news is on the horizon – 2022 is going to finally offer a reprieve from the chaos of 2021. While the upcoming year won’t be as slow as the years before the pandemic, there should be some relaxation from the previous year’s frenzy. Home prices won’t be skyrocketing as high, increasing interest rates for 30-year-fixed mortgages will decrease affordability, and technology adoption will continue to streamline the real estate transaction.

Many of the top markets this year will be enticing to homebuyers for their job pool, bigger homes for people to work comfortably in, and as we saw last year – affordability and smaller size. Factors like climate change and rising inflation will also impact the migration of people to new metropolitan areas and beyond. Title professionals have their own challenges to continue facing, but understanding what homebuyers will be thinking can help the industry prepare accordingly.

 

Top Markets and Related Trends

This year, we looked at multiple sources for their rankings of the most appealing homebuyer markets. Based on these lists, we compiled 12 of the hottest homebuyer markets for 2022 where the competition will be high. We see the return of the Sun Belt region in this year’s top markets to watch, with Tampa, Nashville, Phoenix, and Austin holding a spot on multiple lists.

Top Homebuyer Markets in 2022

 

List of 12 Hottest Homebuyer Markets

  • Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Austin, Texas
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Denver, Colorado

 

The lists we pulled from:

 

The Great Migration Continues

According to a recent survey from LendingTree, 40% of Americans are considering a move within the next year. Part of this continued trend of people moving to other cities or even out of state is due largely to remote work opportunities. Many companies have made fully remote work or hybrid policies permanent, opening up flexibility for many Americans to be anywhere in the country. People are seeking larger homes to combine their work and personal life without both activities being in the same room. And, of course, to have space for Fido too! 

Another influence on why people are moving is climate change. In fact, 1 in 10 homebuyers and sellers said that it’s their primary motive for a move to greener pastures. Think rising temperatures and sea levels for major coastal cities, raging wildfires in the West, and the hurricanes that continue to devastate the East Coast.

 

Small Cities Are More Appealing

Large and expensive cities are losing their appeal as people realize they can work from anywhere, and more jobs support this flexibility. This is reflected in the fact that only Boston, Seattle, Dallas, and Atlanta would be considered as major cities on the list. Last year, we witnessed this same shift, but not to the extent that this year showcases. Who wants to deal with rising home prices, crowded spaces, and high living costs when smaller cities offer a better lifestyle?

 

Hot Job Markets Are Attracting Homebuyers

It makes perfect sense for people to be attracted to thriving job markets, and, many of the top cities on this year’s lists offer just that. Tampa, for example, offers the most available jobs in the entire state of Florida, thus putting them at number one on Zillow’s list of markets. Similarly, Salt Lake City ranked as the number one location for job seekers in 2021 on Money Geek, which will likely carry over into 2022. Nashville also ranks very highly on Money Geek’s list at number five, which is another reason this thriving city appears across multiple sources for being an attractive location for homebuyers.

 

2022 Market Predictions

Agents in some of the nation’s top markets are saying the same thing – 2022 will continue to be a seller’s market. This year will be slightly different because of rising interest rates – the market could cool off slightly despite similar levels of inventory. Here’s to hoping that home builders will finally catch up. In addition, technology is influencing the way people go through the homebuying process making new markets more accessible to them.

 

Rising Mortgage Rates Might Slow the Market

When you look at the last few years, 30-year fixed mortgage rates have fallen all over the charts. Rising as high as nearly 5 percent in 2019, they plummeted to 2.8 percent in 2021. The recent rise in the mortgage rate might mean that fewer people can afford their ideal home purchases and reduce the immense competition that 2021 cultivated. They’re currently sitting at 3.45 percent – the highest since March 2020 – and could continue to rise as the Fed tries to combat rising inflation in our country.

 

Technology Adoption Moves Forward

The start of the year added New York onto the growing list of states to adopt Remote Online Notarization (RON) into their practices. This is the 39th state to pass legislation, providing another opportunity for real estate and title professionals in New York to adopt a modern closing process. The legislation goes into effect on June 20th, 2022.

Even in states where legislation has been resisted, such as California, progress is being made in local offices for out-of-state transactions. The 2021 State of the Title Industry revealed that 80% of our respondents within the state of California had still adopted either an eClosing or RON solution to their services. This is good news for homebuyers as the transaction process can be streamlined in more places around the country.

 

Open Houses May Not Be Needed

Open houses are also becoming a nice-to-have and not a need-to-have as more technological adoptions abound among real estate professionals. Innovations like virtual tours, virtual staging, and video promotion of a listing are slowly becoming the new standard. Open houses don’t fulfill the same purpose they originally did, according to Felicia Beltran of Southern Colorado. “Before when they were a big trend, they were kind of necessary because we didn’t have the technology. People couldn’t preview a property at 3 a.m. in their pajamas — the internet changed that in a big way.”

 

— Read more about virtual tours here.

 

Homebuilder Confidence Increases, But Inventory Still Down

The National Association of Homebuilders Housing Market Index indicated over the past few months that homebuilder confidence is increasing, thankfully. However, this doesn’t immediately improve the current inventory levels that homebuyers are seeing. Competition is still high for January and the near future, market dependent, but there is hope for the upcoming year. For perspective, a recent statistic from Zillow reported that inventory is down 40 percent since December of 2019 – which also sets a record low for the country.

 

Preparing for the Year Ahead in Title

While last year was probably the busiest for real estate professionals as a whole, the year was incredibly demanding for title companies. Hopefully, this year will allow for a better environment to improve the day-to-day. Avoiding burnout from high volumes of closings, fully leveraging the technology available to the industry, and redefining recruitment and hiring are just some of the major priorities for the year ahead.

These challenges were given the spotlight in the most recent State of the Title Industry report for 2021 where we heard the opinions of hundreds of title professionals across the country. Thankfully there are simple solutions to some of the most challenging aspects of title work – outsourcing, improved hiring, and utilizing education resources, to name a few. Download the report today to read important statistics about the past year and where the title industry has room to grow in 2022.

 

image of survey report State of Title Industry from PropLogix

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Justin Nedell Content Marketer

Justin Nedell is a full-time Content Marketer for PropLogix and writes blogs, facilitates webinars, and crafts up other digital content for the company. He lives in Austin, Texas, and enjoys traveling near and far, hiking, trail running, snowboarding, and spending time outdoors as much as possible.

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