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Let’s be honest- it was a tough time in 2021 if you were trying to buy a house. There were bidding wars and a huge scramble to try to find properties – especially in the most popular areas. Prices shot up across the country making it a not very pleasant process.

2022 is predicted to be a slightly easier market and economists predict that trying to get on the property ladder or buying a new property will be slightly easier.

It will still feel like an Olympic event but one that more people can compete in. So what should you expect and how can you prepare?


Buyers Will Still Outnumber Sellers

Historically, a healthy real estate market has around 6 to 7 months of unsold inventory. What this means is that at current sales rates, it would take around 6 months to sell all of the houses on the market. However – 2021 saw less than half the available inventory than usual at this time of year. And in some hot markets in big cities, this was even less.

In 2022 we’ve seen a small increase of available inventory on the market which is good for buyers.

There has been an uptick in transactions on both coasts which is great for buyers. However – this means that buyers will still outnumber available homes making it a competitive market.


We Will See an Increase in Home Prices – Just Not As Quickly As Last Year

We will still see a year-over-year increase in home prices, just not as significant as 2021. Home prices are projected to increase just 2.8% in 2022, which is significantly lower than what the estimate for 2021 was – a 14.7% gain . That is according to the National Association of Realtors.

Different expert opinions vary, but they all agree that gains will be in the single figures compared to the double figures of last year.


We’ll See An Increase In Mortgage Rates in 2022

In 2021, the average mortgage rate stayed at a historic low. This historic low can be seen with an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage staying around 3% at the end of 2021.

We should see an increase in this rate in 2022 but this should always be kept in context. Even with an increase from 3%, it will still be an incredibly attractive rate. This is the prediction from the mortgage bankers association or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


Top Tips For Buying a House

It’s still a hot market- you still need to be prepared. Here are Capital Bean’s top tips to prepare to buy.


Speak To Some Lenders And Get Pre-Approval

Speaking to a lender as soon as possible is always a good strategy when you need to borrow money for a home. It’s not just to apply for a mortgage but understand exactly what you’ll need to do if you an offer on a property and it is accepted.

Also – if you’re pre-approved, a seller will take your offer more seriously because they know you’ve passed some initial criteria tests from the banks. A pre-approval does not mean that you will get the mortgage, it just means that you’re more likely to based on the information that you’ve given the bank.

If you can scrape together a larger down payment then this will give you a better rate from the bank and give the seller higher confidence.

For your pre-approval, you’ll still need to submit lots of paperwork and so make sure your finances are in order. A pre-approval gives you the terms of a mortgage under certain conditions and so make sure to read them carefully. Many real estate agents will insist that you’re pre-approved before they even show you places.

Make sure to apply for a pre-approval with more than one lender so you can get a comparison across the board. When you get your loan estimate, it will be in a standard format that lenders have to give any borrowers. You’ll get to see all of your loan costs including monthly payment, interest rate, and any closing costs.

See also our guide on how to buy a home.

Find Yourself an Excellent Local Real Estate Agent

Knowing the local market is key when trying to move quickly on a property. Even before you’re looking to buy a place, it’s worth building relationships with local realtors. This means that when you are ready to look for a place, it won’t be starting from cold and you’ll know who to talk to and when.

An experienced agent knows what’s going on in the local area including proposed building work or new infrastructure and will help you find a place that is right for you. Ask for recommendations from friends and family for good realtors and talk to a couple before you decide to work with one.


Map Out Expectations That Are Realistic

Expectation management is important in all walks of life and none more so than buying a place. If you’re working with an experienced realtor, they should help you set your expectations, but do some desk research ahead of time to know what you can or cannot afford in a local area. See

Make a list of wants and needs and understand that you might need to compromise on some of the things that you want. Depending on the location you can change everything about a property except for the location and so choose one that you enjoy. You’ll be spending a lot of time there.



Knowing what kind of property you want is essential to plan your budget and expectations.

Know Your Upper Price Limit

Before physically viewing any properties, make sure you know the upper limit that you’re willing to spend on a property. Make sure you know how that deal will be structured and what you’re willing to negotiate on before you go into a deal.

Especially in a hot market, there could be a tendency to keep increasing your upper limit without fully understanding what this means for your finances. Make sure you know when you’re going to cut yourself off from negotiating as it can be a very emotional process.


Don’t Jump The Gun

Just because you’re working with a professional realtor doesn’t mean that you can stop being vigilant in the market. Always be looking for properties across different websites and other realtors’ listings as you never know when a gem might pop up.

Sometimes you have that perfect list in your head but you find a place that doesn’t take any of these boxes but is exactly what you’re looking for. We spoke to one client who was looking for a two-bedroom, non-ground floor, with outdoor space and as close to the city center as possible. They finally found a place. It was on the ground floor, with one bedroom, no outdoor space, and on the outskirts of the city. It emotionally ticked their boxes and because it was a large space they made it their own.

Keep an open mind, know what you want and know what you need and you’ll find a dream home.

Richard Allan

Richard Allan

Richard Allan is the founder of Capital Bean and a passionate writer about personal finance, budgeting and how to save money at home and work.

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