May 2023 MBS Highway Housing Index

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John Smith
January 1, 2023
5 min read

More than half of respondents are now seeing home price increases.

MBS Highway’s May 2023 Housing Survey showed that home prices have passed an inflection point and are moving higher. This marks the 5th-straight month of improving activity levels and sentiment.

72% of respondents characterized their local buyer activity as ‘Very Active”, ‘Somewhat Active’, or ‘Steady’. This is the highest figure since the housing market peaked in June 2022. That same figure was 68% in April 2023, and just 19% in November 2022.

Overall pricing pressure is now upward, with 53% of respondents reporting ‘Moderate’ or ‘Significant’ price increases, versus only 19% reporting price reductions. The turnaround has been dramatic: in December 2022, only 3% of respondents reported price increases, while 78% reported price decreases.

Although the national inventory of existing homes for sale rebounded in 2022, it remains ~50% below pre-pandemic levels. This supply scarcity, coupled with resurgent demand, is boosting competition levels. An astonishing 59% of respondents said that homes were ‘Selling Quickly with Multiple’ offers, up from 43% in April 2023 and 32% in February 2023.

Buyer activity levels and upward pricing pressure were strongest in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest regions. But previously lagging regions (Northwest, West and Southeast) have ‘caught up’ quickly. The Southeast region, for example, had 38% of respondents reporting price increases in May 2023, up from just 5% in January 2023.

“National home prices rose in 2022, and they’re going to increase again in 2023. Some crash! A dramatic recovery in demand is underway, but without the normal spring build-up in new listings to match it. That explains why more than half of our survey respondents are now seeing price increases, and nearly 60% are seeing homes selling faster and with multiple offers. Just imagine what this market is going to look like when rates go below 6%!” said Barry Habib, MBS Highway Founder and CEO.

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