What began as an extension of 2021’s high-flying real estate frenzy soon enough tumbled and fell to a near standstill by the Federal Reserve’s hiking of interest rates, rendering borrowing costs too pricy for most would-be homebuyers, who, no matter how hard they tried, couldn’t bend the numbers to their will.
As rates rose, existing-home sales fell, builders pumped the brakes, price growth decelerated, and property sat on the sidelines far longer than forecasted. Real estate companies, meanwhile, braced for lean times after riding high through most of 2020 and 2021, with thousands of workers laid off and quarterly earnings reports showing losses — in some cases, to an unprecedented degree.
To better measure an immeasurable 2022, we searched high and low for the data points that drove the industry and best reflected the unpredictable year just past. While they’re not all individually fundamental, taken as a whole they paint a vivid picture of a housing market turned on its head...[Continue Reading]