Gary Keller on stage at Keller Williams' Mega Agent Camp 2023.
Keller Williams

Gary Keller says the market has hit bottom, only way is up 

Keller kicked off KW’s Mega Camp with a message for agents: “If you do the work, you will have a great real estate year, regardless of the market.”

August 15, 2023
3 minutes

Key points:

  • Gary Keller and his panel said the housing boom may be over, but things are about to get better.
  • “We’re on skid row right now. I don’t think it goes much lower," said Keller.
  • Agents need to be equipped to address buyers’ concerns about the market.

The boom is over, but it's about to get better — and it's up to real estate agents to help consumers understand that the housing market isn't as bad as some may fear.

That was the overriding message from the State of the Housing Market panel that opened Keller Williams' two-day Mega Agent Camp today in Austin, Texas, where thousands of real estate agents gathered for training and networking.

Gary Keller, co-founder and executive chairman, led the session, which also included Jay Papasan, vice president of strategic content; Jason Abrams, head of industry; and Ruben Gonzalez, chief economist.

Keller and the panel members shared their real estate forecasts for the remainder of the year, including:

  • Home sales projected at 4.3 million for 2023, dropping from 5 million the year before and 6.1 million in 2021.

  • Average home price projected at $382,000, down from $386,000 in 2022 but up from $351,000 in 2021.

  • Inventory and new home starts staying relatively steady, with builder confidence growing.

  • Mortgage rates rising above 6.5% in 2023.

Agents are key to consumer education

"There's not a lot of news today," Keller said at the outset. "It's more about a perspectives conversation."

By perspectives, Keller meant that agents need to be armed with information to better explain some of the numbers that may have some potential buyers spooked.

For instance, he explained that while home prices are up, they're much closer to the price they would be if the long-term trend of 4% yearly increases held up.

That's information Keller hopes agents will use in the current housing market, information that might help turn things around.

"The real estate market is in a recession," he told the audience.

But it's on its way back up, Keller added.

"My bet is that we're already close to the bottom of what the real estate market would do," he said to applause from the audience. "We're on skid row right now. I don't think it goes much lower."

Papasan agreed, saying, "There's one way to go, and that's up. We can look forward to that whenever it shows up."

Inventory is at historic lows, but agents can still thrive

Low inventory is an issue, the panel said, calling the current two-and-a-half to three months of inventory "historic."

"Between 1982 and 2018, there were only two months with less than four months of inventory," Abrams said. "The average during that entire time was 6.9 months."

But even in a slow market, real estate agents need to have the right attitude and the right information to sell, Keller said.

"Someone asks you, 'Is it the right time to buy?,' your answer is, 'It's always a good time to buy the right piece of real estate,'" he said.

The bottom line? Agents need to be educated and have information to show potential buyers, and hard work will always pay off, Keller said.

"Right now, this year is going to be the fifth-highest volume year per agent in the history of the industry," Keller said. "If you do the work, you will have a great real estate year, regardless of the market."

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