Will 2023 Be Your Year to Buy a Home?

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KEY POINTS

  • This year's real estate market has been challenging for buyers.
  • Things could take a turn for the better in 2023.
  • Mortgage rates could come back down and you might improve your financial picture by getting a new higher-paying job or paying down some debt to increase your credit score.


The quick answer? Maybe.

Pretty much anyone who's tried to purchase a home this year will probably tell you that the going was rough. Not only were homes in short supply, but the prices sellers were commanding were sky-high. Throw rising mortgage rates into the mix, and it's easy to see why so many buyers have gotten discouraged.

But while 2022 may have been a tricky year for home buyers, 2023 could be better. And it may end up specifically being a better year for you.

Things could change in buyers' favor

Right now, the housing market still lacks inventory in a very big way. But inventory might increase over the next number of months. And if that happens, it should help drive home prices downward.

Any time there's a situation without enough supply of something buyers want, prices tend to rise. When there's enough supply to meet demand, that situation tends to reverse. And so the more competition there is in the housing market, the less of an advantage sellers will have.

Also, while mortgage rates are expensive right now, some experts think they'll come down in 2023. In fact, the Mortgage Bankers Association recently said that it expects mortgage rates to drop to about 5.4% by the end of next year.

Now for context, at the end of 2021, it was possible to sign a 30-year mortgage at under or around 3%. So 5.4% may not sound like such a great rate. But right now, that same loan product is averaging about 7%, so in that context, 5.4% seems like a bargain.

Your personal financial situation might improve

Not only might the housing market on a whole shift in buyers' favor next year, but you might see some changes to your personal finances that make buying a home easier. For one thing, you might get a new job that comes with a higher salary. That could make it easier for you to qualify for a mortgage, and also, give you more options in terms of the home you're able to buy.

You might also manage to pay off some credit card debt in the next number of months so that by mid-2023, your credit score improves nicely. If so, you might manage to qualify for a lower interest rate on a mortgage. And that could, in turn, make homeownership more affordable for you.

There are reasons to be hopeful

We can't say with certainty that 2023 will be a great or even better time to buy a home than 2022. But home price gains have been slowing down in recent months, and if that continues, it could benefit buyers in a very big way.

Plus, you may find that through a combination of good luck and hard work, your own financial picture takes a turn for the better. And in that case, you may end up in a stronger position to achieve your goal of buying a home -- even if doing so seems out of reach right now.

Our Research Expert

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