: ‘I’m very optimistic’: Rocket Companies CEO says the housing market will return to ‘normal’ in 2023 

by | Feb 4, 2023 | Stock Market

As mortgage rates fall, housing-market players say they felt a sense of relief wash over them. One CEO says he’s upbeat about the rest of the year. “I’m very optimistic about housing this year,” Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Companies
told MarketWatch in a recent episode of Barron’s Live. “It’s going to be a strong market.” 

His optimistic comments come at a challenging time for the housing market. Mortgage rates have taken off since the same period last year. Last year, the 30-year mortgage was averaging at 3.55%. The average rate was 6.09% as of Thursday, according to Freddie Mac. Demand has fallen off a cliff, as home buyers backed off as affordability plummeted. Rates have since modestly recovered. And that’s giving lenders and realtors enough reasons to look forward to the rest of the year.  But Farner said his upbeat outlook is based on the market establishing more balance in 2023. “It feels like a more normal market that we’re entering into in 2023,” he said. Redfin
recently released a report stating that the housing market has started to “recover.” “We expect more homebuyers and sellers to gradually return to the market by springtime,” Chen Zhao, economics research lead at Redfin, said in a that report. “But mixed economic news and mixed reactions from the market mean the recovery will be uneven.”

Mortgage rates are high — and so are home prices. Who can afford to buy a house right now? And what are mortgage lenders doing to address affordability? MarketWatch housing reporter Aarthi Swaminathan speaks with Rocket Companies CEO Jay Farner.

Farner at Rocket, one of the biggest players in the mortgage-lending space, said that the recovery will be driven by strong underlying demand. “We won’t be in the 5 million-plus units sold range …things have changed,” Farner said. “We’re certainly not in the heart of the pandemic, like we were a few years ago that was driving the desire for homeownership and second homes, but it’s still a strong housing marke …

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