Don’t Expect House Prices to Fall This Winter: Goldman Sachs Economist

  • House prices have held steady this year in the face of a supply-starved market.
  • And there’s no relief coming for prospective homebuyers this winter, says a Goldman Sachs economist.
  • “Prices are unlikely to decline meaningfully” because of the supply shortage, said David Mericle.

Prospective homebuyers shouldn’t count on prices falling this winter – because there just aren’t enough properties being put up for sale, according to a top Goldman Sachs economist.

“Prices are unlikely to decline meaningfully, precisely because of the supply shortage,” David Mericle, the chief US economist for the bank’s global investment research division, told Yahoo Finance . He added that single-family homes are likely to be worst affected by the crunch.

“Affordability has diminished substantially – first prices rose a lot, then mortgage rates rose a lot, it costs an awful lot more to finance under-occupied housing than it did several years ago. But because of the supply shortage, I think the demand is still there for the market to clear at prices similar to where we are,” Mericle said.

“We’re looking for a small dip in prices in reaction to the big move in rates that we’ve seen this year, but a small uptick next year – so no major changes from here.”

Declining inventory levels have squeezed house prices higher this year, with the US short of anywhere between 1.5 million and 5.5 million homes, according to estimates by the Biden Administration and the National Association of Realtors.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate rises have driven the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage north of 7.5%, per data from Freddie Mac – and that’s likely to have further clamped down on overall supply.

Many homeowners are opting to cling to the historically low rates they’d previously locked in. Just 1% of Americans sold their houses over the first half of this year, per Redfin data.

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