Here's What Tori Dunlap and Selling Sunset's Maya Vander Really Think of Today's Housing Market

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  • Limited inventory means it's a seller's market, but Vander thinks that may be (slowly) turning around.
  • She also thinks the trend toward home offices is here to stay.
  • Higher mortgage rates mean you need to keep an eye on your budget.

Unfortunately, fame doesn't make houses magically appear.

There are a lot of ways being a celebrity real estate agent can help you out. All of that free marketing and name recognition can bring in clients and help you get into exclusive showings.

But all the celebrity in the world doesn't add inventory to the housing market. Nor does it lower mortgage rates. Just ask Selling Sunset's Maya Vander.

In a recent interview with Tori Dunlap, Vander dished on the trials facing buyers -- and their agents -- in the current housing market. She also touched on the recent trends and big changes going on in real estate right now.

A seller's market

As with everything else, the pandemic had a big impact on the housing market. Specifically, it really put a dent in inventory. For example, supply chain disruptions and shortages have really slowed the production of new homes. There was also a major slowdown in people selling their homes.

All of this led to a serious seller's market. And, according to Vander, we're still there, which is making it much harder for buyers and agents to negotiate a deal. However, both Dunlap and Vander see light at the end of the tunnel.

"In this market, unfortunately it's hard for us agents to negotiate anything for our client, because we are still in a seller's market. I think it's going to change. I think we're going to start seeing more inventory, it might shift more to a buyers market, but not yet," said Vander. 

She went on to add, "Where I am there is still a shortage, but I start seeing a little bit more and more inventory for condos…I think more inventory is definitely an indication of some sort of change. That means more supply, so more supply, it's better for the buyers generally."

This rise of the home office

Another impact of the pandemic on the housing market? The trend toward more space; specifically, more and more people are looking for property that is work-from-home friendly.

In other words, not only is there a limited inventory in general, but if you need a home office to work remotely, your pool is even smaller. And that's a trend Vander sees continuing.

"I think moving forward -- yes, people are going back to work at their offices, versus remotely. But a lot of people are still staying , at least part-time," she said. "So I think the office will always be necessary."

Skyrocketing costs

Unfortunately, supply is just part of the equation. Even if the market starts to turn around to favor buyers, there's still the little problem of interest rates. Mortgage rates have skyrocketed over the last year. So, even if you find a home and outbid the inevitable competition, your mortgage payments are going to be much higher than they would have been previously.

On that point, Vander advises buyers to keep an eye on their budget and keep an eye on all the other costs, too. But, she says, with rents so high, buying may still make sense for some people.

"Rents are expensive, and they've been going up crazy in the last literally couple of months. So see what mortgage plan you can get, even with high rates, maybe it's worth pulling the trigger on it," she said. "But just adjust your price point to make sure you are comfortable, because you have the mortgage payment, you have property taxes, you have other costs that come with property that you have to consider, you have closing costs, you have to factor all of it into your budget."

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