Housing Market Forecast 2021

Housing Market Forecast 2021

Housing Market Forecast 2021

What’s the hottest market going right now? It’s the US housing market. And the forecast for November and December is for continued higher prices.

As predicted, the housing market continues its spectacular recovery into the fall months.  September’s sales were up 8.8% from July and 24% over last August.

Infographic Courtesy of NAR

Sales of existing homes rose strongly again while house prices climbed 9.7% in September to a new price of $316,200 in September (up 15.2% from September 2019). It was the 103rd consecutive month of home price rises.

New home sales also increased by 4.8% to 1.01 million units, according to HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. The August new home sales rate is a whopping 43.2% higher than the August 2019 pace.

 

 

The outlook for home sales and prices in November and December is up and listings may dwindle faster than expected.  Some might see it is a bubble leading to a market crash however those buying tend to be wealthier and less vulnerable to a market disaster.

Screenshot courtesy of Nar.realtor.

NAR’s Housing Market Recovery Index rose 1.8 points last week reaching 110.4 nationwide.  This is almost 8 points above the pre-COVID baseline.  You can view recovery stats for each city on the NAR recovery webpage.  See all the stats and charts below from NAR, Statista, Yahoo, Census.gov, St Louis Fed, and other data sources.

Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market,” “Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery.” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

September Housing Sales Report

NAR’s new report for September shows national sales growth of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 9.4% from August to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million in September. Sales rose 20.9% YoY.

The median home price for all housing types was $311,800, (+15% from September 2019).  Perhaps most surprisingly, median prices for condos rose 9.9% to $272,700 in September.

That is a significant stat that may reduce forecasts of a housing market crash.  NAR’s special September report shows national inventory has declined by 39.0% from 2019, and inventory of newly listed properties declined by 13.8% YoY.

 

Considering the current state of the economy, these sales numbers make Realtors feel optimistic. The Realtor confidence index rose 5 more points to reach 76.  See the Florida, New York, and California housing market updates for more insight.

 

Existing Home Sales Rebound

September’s 6.54 million in sales has left the market with only 2.7 months of supply. The median sales price has risen a scary 14.8% year over year, while still in the grips of a national health pandemic.

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said “Home sales traditionally taper off toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we normally see during this season.  I would attribute this jump to record-low interest rates and an abundance of buyers in the marketplace, including buyers of vacation homes given the greater flexibility to work from home.”

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

According to NAR/Centriloc surveys, home showings rose in all regions except the west.  Combine with pending sales data, foot traffic says a lot about where the housing market is headed.

See more on housing data for major metros including San Antonio, Austin, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City,   DenverDallas, Houston, Manhattan, SeattleBostonNew York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, PhiladelphiaSacramento, MalibuChicago and Los Angeles.  Check the state outlooks for Illinois, New York, California and Florida.

 

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

Fewer Houses for Sale

Yes, despite the fragile condition of the recovering US economy and employment levels, the real estate market is in a whole other world, and enjoying low mortgage rates.  The matter of fewer houses for sale and new construction not keeping paces will mean bubbling price levels.

It’s all fine unless something happens to the economy. Keep an eye on the stock market for future crash signals.

Total listings for sale fell 2.6% to 1.50 million units, down 21.1% from one year ago (1.90 million). Individual investors or second-home buyers accounted for less sales, yet all cash sales rose 2%.

Total housing inventory at the end of August totaled 1.49 million units, down 0.7% from July and down 18.6% from one year ago (1.83 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.1 month supply at the current sales pace,  down from the 4.0-month figure recorded in August 2019. Unsold inventory reduced to 3.1 months supply.

Low mortgage rates and limited inventory won’t be changing anytime soon, giving market pessimists little fuel for their housing market crash scenarios.

First time buyers accounted for 33% of purchases, down 1% from July, which was down 1% from June. Rising prices and lower affordably priced homes should see less first time buyers participating in the housing market in the next 3 months.

Screenshot courtesy of Nar.realtor.

Distressed Home Sales

Doomsday sayers suggest a foreclosure boom on TV, however distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) made up fewer than 1% of sales in September, same as August and down from 2% in September 2019.

Homeowners are becoming more equity rich.

Homes and Prices Rise

Single Family home sales rose 9.7% from 5.35 million in August, and up 21.8% from one year ago.  The median price for a house for sale was $316,200 in September, (up 15.2% from September 2019). Condo prices rose 9.9% to $272,700 in September.  Condo, apartment and coop sales rose 29.4% from last month, a surprising statistic given the Covid 19 concerns.

The biggest surprise was the jump in sales in the Northeastern region. Existing-home sales in the Northeast grow a brisk 16.2% (860,000), which is up 23% from last September. The median home price in the Northeast rose 17.8% to $354,600,

The growing desire to migrate to suburban and rural areas could draw more home sellers into the real estate market. They’ll be using huge cash reserves, bit home equity, and perhaps money from the stock market. However, with cities to move to, it is difficult for homeowners to commit to selling.

 

Hottest Zip Codes: Home Price Rises and Views

NAR just released its list of hottest Zip Codes in the US. See also hottest housing market post.

Hottest Zip Codes in US. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.

Home Inventory dropping most severely in lower priced categories.

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

NAR Realtor Confidence

NAR Realtors® reported a continuing confidence in the housing market.  In September, the confidence index rose again to 75, up 4 points since June.  Realtors are reported level buyer traffic, slightly lower seller traffic, and that homes are sold much faster than last year. They expect a 2% price increase for the next 3 months compared to last year.

The RCI Seller Traffic Index fell one point to 44. The percent of Realtors surveyed who expect more buyer traffic in next 3 months fell from 48 to 44%. And the expected increase in seller traffic fell a few points to 22%  Realtors feel prices will cool off from their hot level, believing that home prices will only rise 1.3% to next September 2021.

Buyer traffic is reported as strong across most US states with most activity in South Carolina, West Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, North Dakota, Michigan, Montana, Vermont and Nebraska. Top selling activity states were North Dakota, Wyoming, Vermont,Nebraska, and Mississippi.

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

Housing Supply Chart

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

Rocketing numbers of housing starts, but will it be enough to resolve demand?

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

New Home Sales Jump

Sales of new single-family houses in August 2020 climbed 4.8% to 1,011,000, up from July’s new new home sales of 965,000 homes, and up an astounding 43.2% from last August’s new construction sales total of 706,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold nationally in August rose to $312,800. The average sales price was $369,000.

New home sales are a leading indicator, and home buyer intent is rising.  Experts predict that we’re at the beginning of a cyclical upsurge (in the stock market too).

Screenshot courtesy of Census.gov

Screenshot courtesy of Tradingeconomics

Forecast is for Lower Mortgage Rates

Freddie Mac has some good news with mortgage rate forecast. Rates will decline. After the Feds injected $3 trillion into the economy, homebuyers are getting another boost in low mortgage rates. and a lot of debt and mortgage refinancing has been taking place.  Mortgage payments as a percent of income has risen.

Mortgage Rate Forecast to 2021. Screenshot courtesy of Freddie Mac.

 

Bottom line is that real estate is an even more precious asset which a decreasing number of buyers can afford.

 

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House Inventory by Price Range. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.

The New Mortgage Environment

Mortgage debt has fallen to the lowest level since 2003 according to the St. Louis Fed.

In a news release, the The Mortgage Bankers Association reports the total number of loans in forbearance fell by 23 basis points last week.  The rate fell from 7.44% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 7.21% as of August 9, 2020.  3.6 million homeowners are in forbearance plans according to MBA.

Zillow reported that close to 4 million mortgages are in forbearance. 7.3% of all mortgagees couldn’t pay their mortgage. This could tighten up lending rules. Buyers may want to intensify their home search before that worsens.

Yahoo reports that mortgage refinancing has hit a 7 year high, as homeowners look to lower payments or get a grace period of some kind.

There are reports that mortgage rates might fall to a record low 3.1%. MBA says refinance loans rose 225% — which is three times the rate of one year ago.

 

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Now that business is reopening slowly, the market will have a little jump from latent demand and continue an upward trend in houses for sale too. The big worry is that we’ll see a second wave of Covid 19 infections. Let’s hope the government gets tough on hygiene, social distancing offenders, otherwise, given some people’s behavior, a second wave looks likely.

Although the stock markets have been trending up, unemployment and GDP drops are severe. The uncertainty of the Corona Virus period will suppress home sales. Higher unemployment, layoffs of high paid workers, and shut down of the travel industry are 3 key factors that will result in lower home and condo sales, and perhaps for the first time, lower home prices.

Many Americans will soon be on their own without Fed assistance and facing back rent and overdue mortgages. Cities such as Denver, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Tulsa, Seattle, Boston, New York, New Jersey, Chicago , San Antonio, Austin, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles may see some new home listings out of this distressed homeowner market, but not as much as some forecasters are predicting.

 

Housing Market Forecast: Looking for specific data related to the Dallas housing market, San Antonio, Austin, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles real estate market, New York real estate market forecast, Atlanta real estate marketSeattle real estate forecast, Chicago home sales projections, Philadelphia home sales report, San Diego County real estate update, Miami condo market, Boston housing market, Bay Area housing forecast, Tampa Sarasota housing outlookDenver housing outlook, and Houston housing market predictions?. See forecasts for California housing, and Florida housing markets.

 

Mortgage rates will fall as the Fed lowers the key rate which opens up big mortgages for Millennials buyers. NAR as part of its February housing market report said: According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 3.47% in February.  This dropped from a 3.62% rate in January. The average commitment rate across all of 2019 was 3.94%.

The 5 to 10 year price forecast is upward reflecting a downward availability of homes and intense competition. And the 2021 housing forecast look solid. The question buyers have right now is whether the stock markets will hold up.  Jobless claims in California are scary, but the Covid 19 pandemic will pass.

NARs Realtor survey has been released. It’s got some good insight for buyers, sellers and Realtors alike.

Continue to US Housing Market Forecast Part 2

 

Bookmark this page and return for further forecasts, predictions and market data for most major US cities including  Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Tampa, Charlotte, Orlando, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu,  San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, PhiladelphiaSacramento, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, and more. See Canadian city reports for Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Newmarket/Aurora, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Mississauga.

 

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Housing Market Forecast – copyright Gord Collins

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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Jeff Kirby at 5:17 pm

    Do you have a mailing list?If so I would like to include my e mail as I enjoyed all of your articles I just read.
    Many thanks
    Jeff Kirby

    • Gord Collins Author at 7:15 pm

      Hi Jeff, Thanks, that’s great to hear. I hope to produce many more, however I’m so busy I haven’t had the time to set up a newsletter or email list. Please bookmark though and looking forward to your feedback!

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