The real estate market is, well, unpredictable. But real estate charts can help you track trends and learn from what’s happened in the past to forecast shifts we may see in the near future.

I have seen a lot of charts that can help paint a picture of what the market looks like now, what current trends are telling us about what’s around the corner, and where we could be headed. 

Here are 17 great charts that can help you understand the market as it is now and what might be lurking down the road. Plus, you’ll look like a superhero and truly shine as the local expert when you can confidently address your buyers’ and sellers’ concerns.

1. The Honeymoon Is Over for Homesellers

housing snapshot existing home sales may 2022
Source: National Association of Realtors

I think it’s safe to say that these past few years have created a lot of wealth for most homeowners, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. But, home sales have been trending downward since this time last year. 

This infographic from the National Association of Realtors shows the decline year over year to be 8.6%. And the inventory is on the rise, now sitting at 2.6 months in June. That’s a substantial difference from just a few months ago.

Due to escalating home prices and mortgage rates, buyers have postponed their homeownership dreams and stepped out of the market for now. That doesn’t mean sales are non-existent—it just means the bidding war season is kaput. 

2. According to This Map, Supply Will Be Sufficient for Some but Rough for Others

national assoiation of realtors map
Source: National Association of Realtors

Many areas in the east and throughout the south will likely have enough supply to meet the ensuing demand. But if you’re an agent on the West Coast, I feel for you. Permits are a problem in California, Nevada, and Utah especially. But the real painful shortage is on the far western coastline. And with permitting falling behind, it will be difficult to offset those shortages.

Another area of concern is the northeastern coastline. Hopefully, if permitting catches up, some of the housing shortages in that region will subside. But as of now, buyers will face an uphill battle finding their dream home, unless they’re more flexible with their location demands. 

3. The Pandemic Spurred Homebuying to Record Levels

infographic keeping current matters monthly index
Source: Keeping Current Matters

I love Keeping Current Matters. They always have so many great resources for agents and this chart is one of them. You can quickly see that the pandemic inspired people to move. Maybe it was because we all had to spend so much time inside our homes that we were forced to take a more critical look at our accommodations. 

Whatever the reasons, people suddenly became dissatisfied with their current living situation. In 2021, the demand stayed well above prepandemic levels. And as we round out the first half of 2022, that demand hasn’t come down. 

So, if your client is considering selling, it’s still a good time to snag a buyer. 

Check Out Keeping Current Matters

4. Get in Now to Rake in That Future Equity

info graphic home price expectation survey
Source: Keeping Current Matters

This graph, another one from Keeping Current Matters, is probably my favorite from 2022. If you have a client who is asking if now is the right time to buy or if they should wait, this is the perfect graph to show them. 

This graph shows how much equity you stand to gain if you get into the market, i.e., buy a house today vs waiting. It shows the potential growth in household wealth over the next five years based only on the projected appreciation of the home. If your buyer bought a home in 2022 at $360,000, the projected amount of home equity she stands to earn is almost $100,000. 

If that’s not enough incentive to move forward with a home purchase, nothing is.

5. I Think They May Have Underestimated a Bit

infographic 30 year mortagage rate predictions for 2022
Source: TheMortgageReports.com

This chart shows the projected mortgage rates of several experts. Obviously, they were a little under in their predictions. The highest prediction on this chart is 4%. We just had a recent increase of 0.75% from the Federal Reserve in June 2022, which will bring the current mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed loan to about 7%. 

What does this tell you? It shows that even the experts don’t always hit their mark. I recently watched the interview with three-time Crystal Ball Award-winning real estate forecaster, Barry Habib. Barry predicted that the interest rates would not go above 7%. Time will tell if Barry’s prediction will come to pass or if the interest rates will creep up past that point.

But even with the interest rates as high as they are, it’s still a great time to invest in real estate. You’ll still have appreciation of home values over the course of homeownership.

6. Things Could Be Looking Up for Homebuyers

infographic quarterly FHFA HPI
Source: NoradaRealEstate.com

For your buyers who may feel defeated, this chart could give them a blast of hope. From everything we’ve seen, the attempts to rein in consumer demand are working. Bidding wars are less of a thing, homes are spending more time on the MLS, and showings are dropping off. 

As demand slows, as it looks like it is, price escalation is slowing. That’s great news for buyers. Less bidding wars mean buyers will have stronger bargaining power.

7. The Future Looks Rocky for iBuyers Like Zillow, Redfin & Opendoor 😳

infographic stock price
Source: Inman News

Things are getting rough for iBuyer companies. Zillow shuddered its iBuyer arm last year, sending its stock values into the toilet. But Zillow isn’t the only company hurting. Many real estate companies are struggling to keep investors invested. They’re at the point of layoffs in order to recover some of their lost revenues and keep the doors open. 

What does that mean for real estate agents? It’s difficult to know how this will affect most homebuyers or sellers, but it definitely opens up possibilities for agents. This slump poses an opportunity to capture business from these companies and show clients exactly why real estate agents are necessary, especially as a flurry of millennial first-time homebuyers enter the marketplace. 

8. There’s Always Time for a Career Change, Am I Right?

infographic us home price growth
Source: Fortune

The Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting a 2.5% drop in the median price of homes by the end of 2022. For them, that means they will earn less on 30-year fixed mortgages. But it’s music to homebuyers’ ears. That’s a substantial drop in the median home price in just 12 months. 

The millennials are expected to continue to drive demand, but not in a way that will keep home prices escalating at the rate we’ve seen over the past 18 months. Buyers have pushed pause on homebuying for now, but sales will most likely be steady for the next 12 to 18 months, according to Mortgage Bankers Association’s predictions.

9. Instant Wealth: Apparently It CAN Happen to You

infographic new york times home equity in owner occupied housing
Source: The New York Times

Homeowners have had record gains in the past couple of years, and without having to do anything to earn it. “Rather, most of this money has been created by the simple fact that housing, in short supply and high demand across America, has appreciated at a record pace during the pandemic. Millions of people — broadly spread among the 65 percent of American households who own their home — have gained a share of this windfall,” according to this article in the New York Times

For those who stood to make these gains, it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity. But that looks to be reversing and coming back down to normal levels. There will still be gains in equity, but more slowly from this point forward.

10. A Tale of Two Markets

infographic equity of u.s. mortage holders
Source: National Mortgage Professional 

It was the best of times for homeowners. It was the worst of times for homebuyers. 

This chart clearly shows how bleak 2022 has been for homebuyers. In fact, according to the Data & Analytics division of Black Knight Inc., which released its monthly Mortgage Monitor Report, May 2022 proved to be the worst housing market in 16 years for potential buyers while homeowners experienced record amounts of tappable equity. 

For your homeowner clients, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of that equity to make some home improvements. If they’re looking to sell sometime in the future, start preparing now with some renovations.

11. The End of an Era

infographic realtor,com active listing count
Source: Realtor.com

Real estate agents have enjoyed a golden age in real estate these past few years. Demand was high. Buyers were desperately tapping their agents for ideas to win in bidding wars, agents earned plenty in gross commission income (GCI) with homes flying off the market in record time, and marketing for listings has practically disappeared. It was a great time to be in real estate. 

But with rising interest rates and the escalation of home prices, the market has already cooled and the would-be homebuyers are leaving the market. We flew too close to the sun and now our wings are melting.

That doesn’t mean that real estate agents have nothing to look forward to. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t enjoy losing bidding wars and seeing the disappointment in my clients’ faces. I’m eager to return to a more normal state of real estate where negotiations were still a thing.

12. Home Sales Are Down

infographic sales down existing home sales
Source: Nasdaq.com

Yep, home sales are down. Several real estate charts in this list show that and why. I don’t think it’s any secret that the out-of-control home prices, escalating inflation, and the increases in the mortgage rates have pushed buyers out of the market.  

But the good news is that home sales haven’t stopped, they’ve just slowed. When the Federal Reserve stepped in to increase the rate in an attempt to slow inflation, it actually worked. Inflation seems to be slowing down. 

And buyers are still buying homes. They’re just not buying them at the same rate they were just a few months ago. A slower, steadier market has emerged with fewer bidding wars, escalation clauses, and risky appraisal gaps for buyers.

13. Home Builders Got to Build

inforgraphic home builders got to build
Source: TradingEconomics.com

Homebuilders are facing higher than usual prices on building materials, supply chain disruptions, and pressure from the housing market. All have put undue constraints on building new homes to meet housing demand. 

However, builders are still building new homes, just at a slower pace than in previous years. The market is cooling, but it’s certainly not dying. The demand is still there and new construction won’t outpace that demand any time soon. 

That’s good news because it means we will continue to have a healthy, stable real estate market. As long as supply doesn’t exceed the demand—and it looks unlikely that it will—we won’t have another crash.

14. Seller: So What Renovations Should I Invest In?
Me: Hardwood Floors, for the Win!

infographic cost recovery for interior remodeling projects
Source: National Association of Realtors

Switching gears, I find this chart showing the cost recovery on renovation projects insightful. If you have sellers wanting to know the best investment for their money on repairs before selling, you can’t go wrong with wood flooring, apparently. 

But don’t overlook adding a new primary bedroom suite. Because yes, multigenerational housing is making a comeback.

15. More Houses, More Options, More Clients

infographic number of new listings is increasing
Source: Keeping Current Matters

Here’s a bright spot for you and your clients—the number of new listings is growing in 2022. In this chart from Keeping Current Matters, you can see that the market is slowly making some gains. That’s great for you because you’ll be able to snag some of those listings. 

But it’s also great for your buyers. More listings mean more options for them. If you have some buyers who recently left the market due to overwhelm and frustration, you might want to start an outreach campaign and encourage them to take another shot. 

16. Once Again, the Inventory Shortage Is Real (& Painful), Especially for First-time Homebuyers

infographic single family housing units completed by decade
Source: Keeping Current Matters

Looking at this chart from Keeping Current Matters, you can see why the housing market feels so constrained—because it is. In the decade between 2010 and 2019, new single-family homes completed are half what they were in the previous decade. 

I get that we don’t want another real estate collapse. But at this rate, we’re just increasing homelessness and sleeping in mom’s basement. No one wants that. 

17. Slow Appreciation Is Still Appreciation

infographic home price rate
Source: Fortune

Home prices are de-escalating, the demand is cooling, and the market is showing signs of a return to something closer to normal. But it’s not doom and gloom.

The bottom line is homeowners will still come out ahead compared to those who continue to rent. The sooner a person invests in real estate, the sooner they can start their equity growth. Appreciation at a slower, more realistic rate, is still appreciation. 

We’ve come to expect huge appreciation gains over the past few years. But honestly, that was just a magical, once-in-a-generation shift fueled by mass need changes during a once-in-a-generation pandemic. What is coming is a return to normal.

And first-time homebuyers will be able to re-enter the market with a much better shot at finding, and winning, their first home. Buyers won’t have to put 20 offers in just to win one.

Real estate is a fascinating industry, complete with quick changes that can happen overnight. When buyers and sellers can come together to complete a transaction without someone curling up in a fetal position, it works better for everyone.


Your Take on These Real Estate Charts

Looking at these real estate charts, what do you see? Do you see a return to normal in the real estate market? Have you seen charts that contradict these charts? What can you take away from these charts and the trajectories they portray? 

I would love to hear your ideas about the market and where it’s headed. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.