Even in a seller’s market, it pays more to be mindful of how you present your home—and color is a key component!
This year is all about earthy greens, fun pastel blues and yellows, and smart neutrals to really create a sense of comfort.
Have fun with DIY projects and go hunting for unique antiques to transform traditional rooms into flexible spaces!
Home Buyers Are Searching for Comfort and Versatility
Even though 2022 is predicted to remain a seller’s market, a little effort upfront will go a long way towards closing. You don’t need to do a major renovation to bring modern trends and styles into your home, regardless of its age. Clean, neat, and orderly homes certainly help, but the right color palette can really add some extra oomph.
Here are three of the leading staging trends and top color palettes that can help add value to your home and bring in bids.
Invite the outside in through shades of green
After a tumultuous few years, 2022’s trends are focused on self-care and comfort, which are reflected in soothing color schemes. The right colors can bring a sense of belonging into your home. With an overall emphasis on wellness, it’s no surprise that homeowners are falling for hues that are reminiscent of the outdoors.
Earthy, organic palettes provide balance and a breath of fresh air. Green is easy on the eyes, inspiring, and provides a sense of security and belonging. Colorful kitchen cabinets are a relatively quick paint project and very on-trend for 2022. Herbaceous colors such as sage, mint, and thyme tie in perfectly to the gastronomic heart of a home.
Potted plants bring a sense of vitality into a space, and certain varieties help clean the air so prospective buyers will truly breathe easy. To break up the green, try a soft peach or light apricot. They’re calm, straightforward colors that evoke shelter and stability. Bonus: green plants pop when paired with these more subtle shades of orange.
Bright blue and yellow pastels are perfect for flexible spaces
3 bedrooms, 3 baths and…where’s the office? The classroom? The gym? COVID-19 has changed how we live, work, and play—and what we look for in a home. Gone are the stringent definitions of a room’s purpose according to the blueprint. Extra bedrooms are now learning centers, the dining room is for quality time with friends, and the basement is the best hot yoga studio in town.
With homes becoming more functional spaces, the colors need to be comfortable and calm. Warm, soft yellows add a sense of sunshine to any room. To avoid veering into neon highlighter territory, go for pastel shades of chamomile or buttermilk to bring optimism and cheer without any glare.
The home isn’t quite as intimate as it once was now that we invite everyone from coworkers to teachers into our homes via video call—so now, you can create a space that shows buyers you understand their need to impress. While dark blues are the trademark of the corporate world, lighter hues like mist and sky reign over the residential realm.
Reclaimed materials stand out against strong neutrals
With the world so different from what we’ve previously known, there’s a newfound value in nostalgia. Luckily, second-hand furniture not only evokes warm feelings of remembrance but also ties into the movement to go green.
With supply chain complications still affecting the marketplace, there’s a resurgence of interest in using reclaimed materials as an anchor piece. Many second-hand stores offer refurbished pieces, painting over lackluster patinas with bold color palettes, geometric patterns, or ombre. You can always go the DIY route, too—but with more than enough to do to get your home ready, buying rehabbed pieces is a huge time-saver.
Go with neutrals for the rest of the room to show off a bold find. Beige may sound boring, but it brings connotations of dependability. In these ever-changing times, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to go back to basics once in a while. Plus, with varieties such as ecru, stone, and taupe, there’s nothing basic about this perennial staple.
Use Our Staging Tips for a Top-Dollar Home Sale
It takes thought and effort to bring your home to its full potential, so you can sell at the highest possible price. We’re ready to do a walkthrough and offer suggestions on how you can get prepared to sell. We have the experience and know what buyers want. Contact us today and let us know how we can help prepare your home for a top-dollar sale!
Last year was one for the real estate history books. The pandemic helped usher in a buying frenzy that caused home prices to soar nationwide by a record 19.9% between August 2020 and August 2021.1
However, there were signs in the fourth quarter that the red-hot housing market was beginning to simmer down. In the month of October, only 60.3% of sales involved a bidding war—down from a high of 74.5% in April.2 While this trend could be attributed to seasonality, it could also be a signal that the real estate run-up may have passed its peak.
So what’s ahead for the U.S. housing market in 2022? Here’s where industry experts predict the market is headed in the coming year.
MORTGAGE RATES WILL CREEP UP
Most economists expect to see mortgage rates gradually rise this year after hitting record lows in late 2020 and early 2021.3
Freddie Mac forecasts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will average 3.5% in 2022, up from around 3% in 2021.4
The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that rates will tick up to 4% by the end of the year. “Mortgage lenders and borrowers should expect rising mortgage rates over the next year, as stronger economic growth pushes Treasury yields higher,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association at their 2001 Annual Convention & Expo in October.5
However, it’s important to keep in mind that even a 4% mortgage rate is low when compared to historical standards. According to industry trade blogThe Mortgage Reports, “Between 1971 and December 2020, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 7.89%.”6
What does it mean for you? Low mortgage rates can reduce your monthly payment and make homeownership more affordable. Fortunately, there’s still time to lock in a historically-low rate. Whether you’re hoping to purchase a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, act soon before rates go up any further. We’d be happy to connect you with a trusted lending professional in our network.
THE MARKET WILL BECOME MORE BALANCED
In 2021, we experienced one of the most competitive real estate markets ever. Fears about the virus and a shift to remote work triggered a huge uptick in demand. At the same time, many existing homeowners delayed their plans to sell, and supply and labor shortages hindered new construction.
This led to an extreme market imbalance that benefitted sellers and frustrated buyers. According to George Ratiu, director of economic research at Realtor.com, “Prices and sellers reached for the moon [last] year. It looks like we are now about to move back to earth.”7
Data from Realtor.com released in November showed that listing price reductions had more than doubled since February 2021. And the average days on market (an indicator of how long it takes a home to sell) has been slowly creeping up since June.7
What’s causing this change in market dynamics? The real estate market typically slows down in the fall and winter. But economists also suspect a fundamental shift in supply and demand.
At the National Association of Realtors’ annual conference last November, the group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, told attendees that he expects increased supply to come from an uptick in new construction—which is already underway—and an end to the mortgage forbearance program. “With more housing inventory to hit the market, the intense multiple offers will start to ease,” he said.8
Demand is also predicted to wane slightly in the coming year. Rising mortgage rates and record-high prices have made homeownership unaffordable for a growing number of Americans. And in a recent Reuters poll, nearly 80% of property analysts said they expect housing affordability to worsen over the next several years.9
What does it mean for you? If you struggled to buy a home last year, there may be some relief on the horizon. Increased supply and softening demand could make it easier to finally secure the home of your dreams. If you’re a seller, it’s still a great time to cash out your big equity gains! And with more inventory on the market, you’ll have an easier time finding your next home. Reach out for a free consultation so we can discuss your specific needs and goals.
HOME PRICES LIKELY TO KEEP CLIMBING, BUT AT A SLOWER PACE
Nationally, home prices rose an estimated 16.8% in 2021.8 But the average rate of appreciation is expected to slow down in 2022.
Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, told Yahoo! News, “Home asking prices have decelerated in the second half of 2021, with median listing price growth slipping from a peak of 17.2% in April to just 8.6% in October.”10
But experts disagree about how much more property values can continue to climb this year. Goldman Sachs predicts that home prices will rise by 13.5%, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are forecasting a 7.9% and 7% rate of appreciation, respectively.2
However, not all analysts are as bullish. The National Association of Realtors predicts a 2.8% rate of appreciation for existing homes and 4.4% for new homes, while the Mortgage Bankers Association expects the average home price to decrease by 2.5% by the end of the year.10,2
According to Hale, “With prices near all-time highs and mortgage rates expected to rise, we expect this slowdown in prices to continue.”10
What does it mean for you? If you’re a buyer who has been waiting on the sidelines for home prices to drop, you may be out of luck. Even if home prices dip slightly (and most economists expect them to rise) any savings are likely to be offset by higher mortgage rates. The good news is that decreased competition means more choice and less likelihood of a bidding war. We can help you get the most for your money in today’s market.
RENTS WILL CONTINUE TO RISE
Along with home, gasoline, and used vehicle prices, rent prices rose dramatically last year. According to CoreLogic, in September, rents for single-family homes were up 10.2% nationally year over year.11 And economists at Realtor.com expect them to climb another 7.1% in 2022.12
“Homes are expensive now…but for most people, the comparison that is most important is how that cost of homeownership is going to compare to the cost of renting,” Zillow Senior Economist Jeff Tucker told CNBC in November.13
Tucker also pointed out that rent is less predictable than a mortgage—and more likely to go up along with inflation.13
Real assets, like real estate, are often used as a hedge against inflation. That’s because property values typically rise with inflation.14 And when a homeowner takes out a mortgage, they lock in a set housing payment for the next 30 years.
In contrast, renters are at the mercy of the market—and they don’t gain any of the benefits of homeownership, like tax deductions, equity, or appreciation.
George Ratiu of Realtor.com told CNBC that he advises buyers to consider their budget and time frame. If they plan to stay in the home for at least three to five years, he believes it often makes sense to buy.13
Fortunately, it’s shaping up to be a better year for buyers. “I think 2022 has the promise of providing less competition, a lot more homes to choose from, and, as a result, a lot more approachable prices,” Ratiu said.13
What does it mean for you? Both property and rent prices are expected to continue rising. But when you purchase a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you can rest assured knowing that your monthly mortgage payment will never go up. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a real estate investor, we can help you make the most of today’s real estate market.
I AM HERE TO GUIDE YOU
While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.
If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2022, contact me now to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.