State of the U.S. Housing Market: Impacts on Mobility

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2023
Sirva Communications

There are a variety of trends in the U.S. housing and mortgage markets that are impacting organizations and relocating employees. This blog post discusses:

  • Current U.S. housing and mortgage market trends
  • Housing forecast for the remainder of 2023
  • How the U.S. housing market is impacting mobility
  • Ways you can help relocating employees achieve success with their home sale and home purchase




Following are highlights of recent trends in the U.S. housing market:

  • 30-year fixed interest rate was 6.8% during Q3 2023.
  • Existing-home sales are 0.7% lower from August to September 2023, and 15.3% lower than the same time last year.
  • 4.04 million units sold in August 2023, the lowest level since January and below market expectations of 4.1 million. Sales fell for a third consecutive month, weighed by high mortgage rates and house prices.
  • The August median existing-home sales price climbed 3.9% from the same time last year to $407,100 – the third consecutive month the median sales price surpassed $400,000.
  • Inventory of unsold existing homes decreased 0.9% from July to the end of August, yielding a 3.3 months’ supply.
  • Single-family new construction sales dipped 8.7% in August 2023.

2023 Housing Market Forecast

According to Freddie Mac’s October Economic, Housing and Mortgage Market Outlook, here’s what we can look forward to for the rest of 2023:

  • Interest rates are expected to remain around 7% through 2023, then return to 5.5-6% within two years.
  • Nationwide housing prices are expected to fluctuate only around +/- 5%, except for California, which could decline 10% since it is most impacted by interest rates.
  • Housing inventory and number of sales is expected to increase slightly.
  • Hybrid work schedules are becoming the norm, which will likely sustain strong suburban housing markets.
  • Fifty-percent of single-family new construction is in the South, which supports the prediction that the population of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee will grow.
  • Experts do not expect a housing market crash in 2024 due to undersupply and tighter lending requirements.



So, what do these statistics mean for U.S. relocating employees?

 Employee Impacts

Employee Impacts

The current state of the U.S. housing market is causing hesitancy or unwillingness to relocate among employees as they re-assess their purchasing power. Uncertainty in the economy and increased sensitivity to higher costs in housing and cost of living expenses are causing challenges, with some buyers feeling they may be excluded from purchasing in certain markets. There is also the fear of the potential for loss on sale.

Timeline and Costs Impacts

Timelines and Costs

Lower inventory levels can extend relocation timelines or result in phased moves. This increases the probability of needing additional temporary living and storage, resulting in added costs.

Home Sale Impacts 

Home Sale Impacts

Price reductions are becoming common as sellers who were pushing and testing the hot markets realize they cannot get the inflated prices they were asking for. Inspection and appraisal contingencies that had been removed from contracts are now returning as a normal part of the offer process. Appraisers are being more cautious as values are gradually coming down with the normalizing of the market, and some homes are not appraising at the inflated values sellers are expecting.

Builder slow downs are continuing as they are impacted by rising interest rates, the slowing of the market, and rising costs for building materials.

Buyers are still expecting concessions from sellers, even though it is still considered a “seller's market.” There is also the growing risk for home sale fall throughs when rate increases hit and buyers who were on the borderline of qualifying no longer qualify.



There are a number of ways you can help relocating employees selling or purchasing a home.

When selling their home

  • Choose a relocation-trained agent to strategically sell the home quickly and at the highest price possible in a balancing market.
  • Prepare the home meticulously for showings and open houses.
  • Price the home correctly based off the current (and not pre-interest rate hike) market.
  • Reduce the price if no offers are received within two to three weeks.
  • Consider offering incentives to combat rising interest rates, such as a mortgage rate buy-down.

When purchasing a home

  • Choose a relocation-trained agent to navigate the low inventory and affordability challenges.
  • Obtain loan approval before going on a house hunting trip.
  • Watch new and “coming soon” listings, visit homes quickly, and extend an offer as soon as possible if there is interest in a home.
  • Discuss local market conditions with your relocation-trained agent to formulate an effective offer strategy.


Additional Ways You Can Assist Your Relocating Employees

Additional successful approaches we see clients exploring:

  • Mortgage subsidies: With more locations qualifying as high-cost locations, mortgage subsidies may be necessary to help employees purchase, especially with the rising interest rates.
  • Refinancing support: Many organizations are offering refinancing support that can be used at a later date to reduce their mortgage payment if rates start to decline.
  • Rental subsidies: Some organizations are adding rental subsidies to their programs for key locations to help employees ease into higher rental costs.
  • Cost of living allowance: Many organizations are performing two-city comparisons more readily for domestic U.S. moves to address differences in locations.
  • Non-traditional support: For some organizations, salaries are not rising fast enough to address recruiting obstacles to high-cost locations. Mobility may be asked to help bridge compensation gaps by providing additional financial assistance through relocation allowances or relocation lump sums that would provide more cash in pocket for employees to purchase or rent in their new location.


For more information on trends and best practices for the U.S. housing and mortgage markets, and how we can help support your relocating employees, please contact us at or reach out to your Sirva representative.


Smart. Helpful. Human. Responsible.