It’s Harder to Buy a House Right Now Than You Might Think

The housing market is strange right now

House keys
If your 2023 plans included buying a new home, it may be an uphill process.
Tierra Mallorca/Unsplash

People are in the market for real estate for countless reasons — for one person, it might be because they want to shift from renting to owning; for another, it might be to move into a larger (or smaller) residence. Given the increases in interest rates over the last few months, you might expect this to have an effect on the real estate market as well. Instead, this year to date has eluded any expectations.

In a new article for the Los Angeles Times, Andrw Khouri choronicles a housing market that he describes as “askew.” Traditionally, Khouri observes, the early months of the year are a good time for home buyers; this year, however, sales have been low.

Khouri points to two factors here: an overall decline in home prices and the aforementioned interest rates. Someone with a mortgage at a more favorable rate might be reluctant to trade that in for one with a higher interest rate, after all.

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That information connects some analysis that the Washington Post conducted earlier in the year. In that article, the Post noted that all-cash purchases of houses had reached their highest level since 2014. That’s not a uniform phenomenon across the country — all-cash purchases were up significantly in Nassau County but down slightly in San Francisco, for instance. But it’s another illustration of how interconnected different aspects of real estate can be.

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