January 2023

In 1981, mortgage interest rates hit 16.62%.You read that right.

And people still bought and sold, refinancing later. Why? Because there are always those who need or want to move, and high rates put downward pressure on prices and competition. Rates go up and down, but you can’t change the price you paid for your home. Ever.

From 2003 to 2007, subprime mortgages rose 292%. We warned against them, sensing a potential market crash. Zero of our clients were adversely affected by the crash, many made great investments. Every market offers opportunity, and heartbreak. Experience can make the difference between them.

We've Got This

Market data shows Washington DC is currently a buyer's market. Median sold price in November was down 11% from the previous year, largely due to higher interest rates and concerns over a 2023 recession.

On November 30, 2022, Fed Chair Jerome Powell' message could not have been clearer: Interest rates will continue to rise, moderately, and for some time to come. Powell stated that he did not see rate cuts in the cards for 2023.

The market is currently entering its annual seasonal slowdown, which means even less inventory and buyer activity as people focus on the holidays and travel.  This presents a brief opportunity if you plan to buy in 2023, to move forward as others pause, in a market with reduced competition, softer pricing, and more flexible terms.

Current Metrics

Key Nov 2022 metrics for Washington DC

  • Months of Supply: 2.6 months
  • Median Sold Price: $645,000. - 11% vs 2021
  • Active Listings: 1,954
  • Avg. Sold to Orig. List Price: 96.0%
  • Closed Sales vs Nov. 2021: -40.6%
  • New Pending Sales vs Nov 2021: -43.8%
  • Detached Homes showed solid improvement in Median Sold Price, Closed Sales and New Listings in November 2022

These numbers will update on the 12th of January. See our Market Data page for comprehensive data and contact us for hyper-local data in your neighborhood. Learn how DC real estate values are calculated.

Quotes, Stats & News

Fed Chair Jerome Powell_____________ "We’ve always said it was going to be difficult, but to the extent rates have to go higher and stay higher for longer it becomes harder to see the path. It’s narrowed. I would say the path has narrowed over the course of the last year.”

Greg McBride CFA Bankrate_____________ "The Fed raised interest rates for a seventh consecutive time and they’re not done, with more rate hikes to come in 2023. The pace of rate hikes might be slowing, but we still don’t know just how high the Fed will raise rates and how long they will stay there.”

Hamilton Project Director Wendy Edelberg_____________ "If you look at spending on goods relative to trend, it’s been 10% higher than trend, 15% higher than trends, these are just nutty numbers, but those numbers are now moderating. Even as goods prices have started to come down, service price inflation remained high. Because of what we know is happening with rents, it looks like on the horizon lower services inflation is in store.”

cnbc.com_____________ Investment research firm Morningstar predicts [non-housing] prices will fall precipitously by next year. Morningstar looks to the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, also known as the PCE Price Index, which is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. You may have otherwise heard of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to gauge inflation, but PCE captures a wider scope and better reflects the change in consumers’ spending habits when accounting for rising prices.The Fed uses the PCE Price Index when it refers to its target inflation rate of 2%, says Preston Caldwell, head of U.S. economics for Morningstar.Caldwell estimates that the inflation rate will average around 1.5% between 2023 and 2025.

Jonathan Pingle, Chief U.S. Economist, UBS_____________ "By the middle of next year, around the second quarter, the impact of higher rates, on top of low savings rates and too elevated consumption, will start to bite and we expect to see an outright contraction in the latter three quarters of next year. In the first half of the year, inflation should continue to move lower.But between now and then, the Fed will continue to raise interest rates, taking the federal-funds rate target to roughly the 4.75%-5% range from its current target of 3.75%-4%. At that higher level, we think that is restrictive. Once the economy shows visible signs of recession, the Fed will start to shift gears. If we do start to get outright job losses, the Fed won’t just sit on their hands." 

usinflationcalculator.com_____________ US Inflation Rate is at 7.11%, compared to 7.75% last month and 6.81% last year. This is higher than the long term average of 3.27%. The next inflation update is scheduled for release on Jan. 12, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. ET. It will offer the rate of inflation over the 12 months ended December 2022.

ycharts.com_____________On December 17 2022 The 10 Year Treasury Rate was 3.48%, compared to 3.44% the previous market day and 1.44% last year. This is lower than the long term average of 4.26%.

Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate_____________ “Mortgage rates have fallen one-half percentage point from the October highs above 7% in expectation of a sharp economic slowdown in 2023 and moderating price pressures. Mortgage rates don’t follow Fed action, but instead move based on longer-term rates that have also fallen from the highs in recent months.”*While the federal funds rate doesn’t directly impact mortgage rates, which depend largely on the 10-year Treasury yield, they’re often moving the same way for similar reasons. With the 10-year Treasury yield falling from its highest levels in recent months, as the market prices in the potential for a recession, mortgage rates have fallen alongside them.

Erik Weisman, Chief Economist, MFS Investment Management_____________Economists were hoping that at the very least, the November jobs report would confirm recent data showing a slowing of upward pressure on wages.It didn’t. In fact, revisions to the previous month’s data erased what had been a softening of wage pressures.Weisman told Morningstar:"Powell has backed himself into a bit of a corner.” That’s because “if the labor market is strong, core services ex-housing inflation is going to remain very sticky.” This category alone could make the difference between inflation merely heading lower next year and getting down to the 2% inflation target the Fed is trying to reach." 

Goldman Sachs Research Analyst_____________ "There is a plausible path to a soft landing, though calibrating policy just right to stay on that path would surely be challenging. The initial steps along this path have been successful, but there is much further to go in 2023. Growth slowed quickly to a solidly below-potential pace this year, labor market rebalancing has gone very well so far, and recent months have finally brought signs of moderation in wage growth and inflation. We expect another year of below-potential growth and further labor market rebalancing in 2023 to solve much but not all of the underlying inflation problem. Unlike consensus, we do not expect a recession." 


A strong thread through the national housing market discussion has been uncertainty. No one can say for sure what will happen in 2023, but we can look to our local guideposts. The 2022 DC housing market outperformed expectations despite lingering Covid activity, inflation ballooning, and soaring mortgage interest rates. In 2023, many of the same drivers of that success, such as pent-up demand vs low inventory, and the rebounding popularity of urban strongholds like DC, are predicted to foster continued, moderate growth.

More Than An Investment

Homes are the nexus of our lives; tied to family, employment, education, healthcare, social sphere, and more. Whatever else it might be, for most of us, a DC real estate transaction is personal. Sometimes, regardless of the economy, moving becomes a necessity. Some find unique opportunity in unusual circumstances. Others may need to put plans on hold. What does the 2023 real estate market hold for you? You tell us. And we'll help you make it happen.

Experienced Guidance

One of the benefits our decades of experience in various real estate industry sectors affords is the ability to identify market conditions early, and employ proven strategies in response. We’ve seen markets rise, fall, expand and contract and developed strategies for all of them. The guide you want is the one who’s been down the path before.

We've Got This

Real Estate Is Local

Like snowflakes and people, no two markets are alike. When reviewing market news and stats, be sure to differentiate District of Columbia data from that of the DCMA and Northern Atlantic region.

DCMA data & trends, in particular, can be misleading because, although news outlets and market reports tend to lump them together, each location within this area is quite different.

So view the national and regional data as general market information, and rely on hyper-local data for your personal needs.


*Updates monthly on the 12th for latest data