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Housing Market Predictions

US Home Sales & Housing Prices

Homebuyers and sellers are keen to review home price changes and sales reports every month.  And each month the prices of housing have risen through the summer.

American’s and foreign buyers are wondering when prices will fall and more housing supply will be available. This epic report on the state of the current market digs into supply, demand and home pricing factors. The possibility of a housing market crash is very low, given the outstanding financial position of Americans and with the US government buying up mortgage-backed securities.

Will home prices fall? Unfortunately, for buyers, it’s not likely anytime soon. The rising trend is encouraging homeowners to hang onto their properties, too long. They would be wise to contact a Realtor, or see to sell their house now.

The Fed is sticking to low rates, and the Biden government will be spending and with construction unable to keep pace, we might see another boom in home prices next spring.  Covid will pass by then and Americans will be spending. Many will consider 2022 a great time to buy real estate.

Home Sales and Prices

Home sales grew faster than experts predicted in July as housing economists and analysts continuously underestimate demand for homes. The housing demand denial is almost a game now. The issue of affordability (and Homelessness) is becoming an issue (eviction moratorium) so housing will be the big story in 2022.

Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops grew 2.0% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million in July. That’s much better than experts forecasted.

Sales of homes is up 1.5% from last year too, although most selling is in the upper price tiers. That’s due to the shortage of affordable housing that is crippling the US housing market, an issue that still isn’t on the radar of the Federal government or local municipalities (NIMBYs) either. Voices will get louder.

With respect to inventory, total inventory of homes for sale on the MLS at the end of July rose 7.3% to 1.32 million units. The scary part is this is down 12.0% from one year ago where a million and a half homes were on the selling block.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist says bidding wars might be easing off. Yet, if the economy was to get rolling, the demand would only steepen. Buyers would want to get into the market at today’s low mortgage rates for sure. We could see another surge next spring as buyers optimism grows.

New Record Home Prices Monthly

Home prices had a record 113th year over year price increase, not moving to an average of 305,600. The median house price rose 18.6% to $367,000 in July vs last July 2020. And the median price of a condo sold on the MLS in the US, rose 14.1% to $307,100.

US Homes Prices. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.
USA Home Sales Timeline History. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.

People still ask if home prices and rent prices will fall are likely to be continually disappointed. With shortages and an improving economy amidst record low mortgage prices, the forecast for continuing rising prices, especially for renters since homebuyers will be forced to rent a home, until inventory grows.

Zillow Home Prices

Zilllow is a bull on the housing market and sees house prices rising 12% by next July.

Screenshot courtesy of Zillow.

Should I Sell My House Now?

Homeowners are still wondering when to cash in on the price bonanza, as price stretch year after year with no end in sight.
We’re likely to see prices moderate given they’re perhaps too high almost anyone to purchase. There may be opportunities soon to rent and be able to sell your house at peak prices. It’s worth considering this fall.

If you sell your house now (e.g. for cash), you could eliminate some commission and fees. If there’s ever been an ideal time for a sell house for cash deal, this is the time. There are endless Realtors and entrepreneurs doing this more in 2021. For good reason, sitting around waiting for homeowners to sell is hopeless. Most Realtors have poor marketing and visibility so they’re not going to get clients.

Real estate agent optimism has waned this month, except for cash sales. A topic you should explore.

Instead, selling a house now provides a quick exit at a price you expect to receive. Of course, with a Realtor, you could engineer a bidding war via real estate marketing strategy, and earn a bonus. Something to think about.

July 2021 Home Sales Stats:

  • home sales grew 2% from June to July, with no sales declines in any regions
  • total housing inventory of unsold homes rose in July, up 7.3% to 1.32 million units from last month
  • the median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $359,900, +17.8% vs last year
  • phat was up about $3000 from Many and up $55,000 from Julyof 2020 ($305,600)
  • properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in July, down from 22 days last year
  • cash sales rose 16% vs last year to comprise 23% of transactions in July, even with June.
  • distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) were again less than 1% of sales in June and are not really a factor anymore in the US housing market

These key charts show home prices rising even as mortgage payments rise.

USA home and condo price changes. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.
Sales price to listing price keeps rising. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.
Screenshot courtesy of NAR

Many consider 2022 the beginning of a 5 year period where moderation in prices will happen just as sales have begun to slump.  Yet sales and prices don’t always correlate.  Instead the prediction for sales and prices will continue to diverge, until the economy fully reopens. That will stimulate new construction, and give homeowners the confidence to sell their homes at a very attractive price. With nowhere to go and economic uncertainty with Covid fears, the housing market forecast remains subdued, at least for this year.  2022 is a different story.

July 2021 Sales Stats:

  • home sales rose 1.45% (6700 units) from May and are up 22.4% from 12 months ago
  • Total housing inventory of unsold homes rose 3.3% to 1.25 million from May to June – to 2.6 months of supply slightly up from last month
  • The median existing single-family home price was $356,600 in May, up 24.4% from May 2020 and up 23.4% from June 2020 ($294,400),
  • newly listed homes now make up a whopping 44% of all home for sale on the MLS
  • 290,000 fewer homes were up for sale on a typical day in June compared to the previous year.
  • homes were on the market for 17 days May, 7 days less than the same time last year.
  • All-cash sales comprised 23% of sales in June, up from 16% in June 2020
  • distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) were less than 1% of sales in June

Buyers and sellers are nervous about the Housing Market.
Please do share this post generously, so they can make good choices!

While employment is slow to grow as progress out of the pandemic, wages are rising, and those who are employed will have more credibility and ability to buy a home. That should bolster demand for homes. As stimulus money begins to flow, it’s hard to imagine any scenario that would support lower home prices across the US. Given the intensity of buyers, you may be considering whether to sell your home fast. See the post on iBuyers.

“Supply has modestly improved in recent months due to more housing starts and existing homeowners listing their homes, all of which has resulted in an uptick in sales.  Home sales continue to run at a pace above the rate seen before the pandemic.” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Hottest Major Metros in May

Major Metro Home Prices May. Screenshot courtesy of Realtor.com

Interested in your local real estate market?  See the metro reports for Boston, Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego, Bay Area, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Chicago, and Miami. See also reports for smaller centers including Salt Lake City, Austin, Colorado Springs, San Antonio, Tampa, Seattle, and Manhattan.

Are you considering selling your home? See the post on selling for a higher price, . Realtors are you tired of so few seller leads? It’s time to step up to a more sustainable real estate marketing effort. See the Realtor marketing services, Realtor Websites, to generate more leads this year. Digital marketing is the route to market supremacy.

April Home Prices. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.

Existing condo and co-op property sales rose 1.4% from March 2021, and were up an surpirsing 84.6% from one year ago. It seems the post pandemic buying preference to the cities is happening. The median existing condo price rose 12.6% year over to $300,400 last month.

US Regional Home Sales

The south as cooled as the other three regions have roared forward with buying and selling.

US home sales by region. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.

Existing-home sales in the Northeast stayed steady at an annualized rate of 740,000 vs June. That represents a 12.1% increase from 12 months ago. The median price in the Northeast rose 23.6% year over year to $411,200.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest grew 3.8% to 1,380,000 in July.  That rate is 1.4% less than July of last year. The Midwest median home price jumped 13.1% year over year to $275,300.

Home sales in the South rose 1.2% in July to a new annual rate of 2,630,000 units. That is a slight growth of 1.2% from the same time in 2020. Southern home prices jumped 14.4% to a new height of $305,200.

And in the West grew moderately too, at a 3.3% clip to a new annual rate of 1,240,000 in July, same as 12 months ago. Western home prices have risen 12.5% from last year to a new height of $508,300.

Luxury home sales and prices:  More availability and at higher price points means sales in the luxury category has grown this year.

High priced homes skew upward. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.

Cites with Highest Growth Rate

NAR has named 10 cities with the highest price growth rate. A friend of mine just moved to Coeur D’alene, Idaho and it’s completely understandable to make the change post pandemic to a city that beautiful.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Median list price in March: $799,000
Median list price change: 82%

The other cities were:

  • Santa Maria, CA (list price in March: $2.9 million, up 48%)
  • East Stroudsburg, PA (list price in March: $285,000, up 43%)
  • Billings, MT (list price in March: $428,500: up 41%)
  • Boulder, CO (list price in March: $912,500: up 40%)
  • Austin, TX (list price in March: $520,000: up 36%)
  • Tupelo, MS (list price in March: $278,500: up 35%)
  • Pittsfield, MA (list price in March: $581,500: up 33%)
  • Bend, OR (list price in March: $589,450, up 33%)
  • Sioux City, IA (list price in March: $274,950, up 32%)

What marks these amazing locations is how far they are from everything. The trend to the countryside has seized the US housing market. Buyers want bigger homes on bigger properties with fresh air and recreation close by.

There will also be intense competition from investment buyers who see the capital gains and rental income benefits of housing stock too. They’re studying the best cities to buy homes. For those who instead may want to invest in real estate, there are offerings in the stock market (ETFs), to consider.

Real estate is the best investment — you can live in it or earn revenue renting part of it out to pay off your big mortgage.

As the stats below from NAR, Zillow and Redfin report, we’re still seeing strong sales and record high prices, and some recovery in urban markets curshed by the pandemic. Read more on the New York, Los Angeles, Bay Area, Miami, and Boston real estate markets.

US Housing Market Forecast

The US Housing Market & Forecast Report is the single most comprehensive view available on residential real estate in the US. You’ll find all the data, videos, charts, expert opinions and predictions vital to your decision to buy or sell a home this year.

You’ll find data and resources from NAR, Zillow, BEA, Mansion Global, CBO, Knoema, Freddie Mac, and other authoritative sources below in this extensive review of the US housing market and the new home construction market. See more on the spring housing market outlook, and 5 year forecast.

New home construction will rise, but material costs, labor, and interest rates will retard production, thus shortages will likely worsen as American’s begin spending in 2021. The key is that home sellers have nowhere to go, and available housing is being bought up by real estate investors who see the potential of the house rental market.

Due to work from home freedoms, millions of prospective buyers will choose to rent, yet rent prices will be on the rise too. In the end, the housing shortage is about to touch almost everyone.

I like what Glenn Kelman CEO of Redfin said in an interview with Emily Chang of Bloomberg that housing has been neglected and the bill for that has to be now.  He says fewer people want to come back to the office and companies can’t push the market back to where it was pre-pandemic.  People are happier after moving and they want to work at their house for many reasons. Work is changing the US housing market.

Yes, sales are up in the higher, more unaffordable levels which may be getting out of hand. There are more fears and predictions of a possible housing crash, but if the economy is going well, there will be no shortage of buyers. There are plenty of savings to support sales, but rising price will curtail activity.

Home Price growth year over year. Screenshot courtesy of NAR.

Note: A record number of mortgages for second homes are being taken out, which further magnifies demand.

 Please do share this post with others who might be considering buying or selling this year.

Recent, Up to Date Real Estate Stats!

See the California housing market, Florida housing market, New York real estate report, and Illinois housing market report.

Hopefully, this resource will save you time in understanding the residential real estate market and keeping up to date on supply and sales trends.  See the stats and trends in your regional market:   Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, New York, Manhattan, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Tampa and Miami,

Housing Market Report Sections:

  1. Projections for Growth
  2. Optimism for 2021 and 2022 Forecast
  3. Should You Buy a House This Year?
  4. Is a Housing Market Crash Even Thinkable?
  5. 28 Key Factors Driving the Market
  6. Will the Recovery Add Fuel?
  7. Hottest State Housing Markets
  8. Predicting the Housing Market
  9. What’s Happened in the Housing Market in 2020?
  10. Who Are US Realtors
  11. How US Realtors Market Your Home
  12. Hottest Cities in the US
  13. Residential Real Estate Forecast & Predictions
  14. New Home Construction
  15. Housing Affordability
  16. Mortgage rates
  17. Mortgage Forbearance, Delinquency and Foreclosure Report
  18. The US Economy
  19. Realtor Housing Recovery Index
  20. Which Housing Markets Will Do Best in 2021?
  21. Will the Housing Boom Continue?

 1. Projections for Growth

2020 was a record but strange year for sales and prices where the US market gained $2.5 trillion in value and grew $274 billion from new housing construction. It is now valued at $36.2 trillion.

Zillow forecasts that 2021 will be even better. And NAR too has a rosy forecast which you can read below.

Homes Sales Prediction. Screenshot courtesy of Zillow.

 2. Optimism for 2021 & 2022

Realtor® Price Expectations. 3 Month Outlook to Spring

A recent Reuter’s poll of nearly 40 housing analysts forecast the U.S. Case-Shiller house price index will rise 5.7% in 2021 and a further 4.6% in 2022, the highest forecast ever from the analysts.

The survey showed that as a group, they’re divided about the 2021 economy and housing sales outlook.

44% believe there will be a pullback while 56% believe it’s all systems go. They believe the economic recovery and homebuyer’s desire for more living space will drive the housing market this summer. As time passes, experts predictions become more positive for growth.

“The U.S. housing market will continue to expand this year, perhaps at a little slower rate than recently as some of the pent up demand has been exhausted, but overall it should be a fairly good year,” said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. — from Reuters report on poll of housing experts.

“Two factors here: exceedingly easy monetary policy and changes in tastes and preferences away from crowded cities in favor of areas with lower population density. This will likely continue for all of 2021,” said Troy Ludtka, U.S. economist at Natixis. — from Reuters report on poll of housing experts.

Screenshot courtesy of Reuters. Housing market factors Poll results.

Housing Market Forecast 2022

2022 will be a special, transitional year, out of the pandemic where the economy is fully back to normal. Several situations will make 2022 a stellar year in the US housing market including:

  • stimulus spending by the US government
  • recovering US and global economy
  • un-satiated demand from Millennial and space seeking work from home buyers
  • demand from investors for rental properties
  • home builders able to increase new construction output
  • inflation in 2021 starts easing in 2022 and mortgage rates may decline

Homebuyers are wondering if home prices might fall in 2022 and 2023. Not just a few buyers are hoping for a downturn or a recession to help out with their goal of buying a house.

Expert prognosticators in the industry only expect price rises to moderate next year, and not to head downward. As the previous graphic forecasted for 4.6% price growth.

U.S. house prices will continue to race ahead this year, at nearly twice the pace predicted just three months ago, according to a Reuters poll of analysts who said risks to that already upbeat outlook were skewed to the upside — from Reuters report.

 3. Should You Buy a House This Year?

The big question a lot of homebuyers are asking right now is whether this is a wise time to buy a home?  Should you wait until the Covid 19 variant threat is finally stopped? Will mortgage rates jump?

The best answer might be no.  With prices this high, the risk of economic failure in 2023, including a potential stock market crash, you could lose the home you just bought.  The current wave of euphoria is driven by a fear of missing out, and a poor understanding of what is to come in 2023 and the next 5 years.

Best advice for homebuyers might be to wait for a major real estate market downturn or even a crash.  However, there is a risk of a major currency devaluation stemming from significant inflation and government debt. The crisis with the US border and with China trade will handcuff the Biden government. Biden’s plan to raise capital gains is pushing money out of the country and this will help ease demand for US housing.  However, corporate buyers of homes for conversion to rentals is a significant trend that may not stop.

 4. Is a Housing Market Crash Even Thinkable?

Anyone considering buying a home right now has to be aware of events that could lead to a housing market crash. At the very least, we’ll see a significant financial event within 5 years. Not this year or next though. The immediate outlook is too strong.

The run-up in home prices in the luxury, high-riced levels has been steep. This sector would crash first should Biden’s economic policies not work.  Previous recessions were highlighted by steep oil prices. If the US stock market were to crash, the housing market may go with it.  Few people see crashes coming, yet with prices so high amidst a weak economy dependent on Fed stimulus, while the trade deficit grows, you’ll hear many warnings online. It’s a good idea to review the crash factors and weigh against your own situation.

The uncertainty of Covid 19 variants is causing anxiety, however the trend seems to easing.  The summer sun is not far away. Globally too, the infection rate is falling and vaccinations continue. This should ease restrictions on house hunting and of course, and seeing people return to work.

Each month, home prices grow amidst shrinking supply (except January) and many experts and buyers alike are asking how high this will go before prices either level off or collapse?  Growing construction and a lower number of pandemic-related buyers are bound to take some of the steam out of home prices during the 2nd half, however the impact of new construction really won’t be felt until 2022.

Although Covid vaccinations are happening, it’s unlikely to stem the tide of buyers seeking single detached houses for some time yet. Low mortgage rates, rising employment, and growing millennial demand will maintain prices.  The delay of the economic recovery further extends the delay of home construction yet makes Fed stimulus more likely.  The danger to the markets is the end of the moratorium on mortgage payments and rent payments. Those debts keep mounting and represent future bankruptcies.

Much of the swell in demand in the last 12 months was from a select group of buyers, not from the unfortunate unemployed the media focus on. And as international buyers return to the bidding wars in 2021, the outlook for prices is a jump of 10% or even 15% more.

Let’s look at more statistics and influences on what is driving the buying decision. Because if the reasons people are buying are really strong, then sales and prices will rise even if the economy sags. And didn’t it do that in 2020?

 4. 28 Key Factors Driving the Home Buy/Sell Decision this Spring

  1. strong economic recovery expected in 2nd half
  2. fear of missing out amidst record low housing supply
  3. millennials and even Gen Z’s forming new families and need a house
  4. homeowners have nowhere to go thus can’t sell
  5. home buyers want homes in more suburban and rural areas
  6. Americans who moved back to parents or with relatives will want their own place to live this year
  7. work from home expected to continue
  8. government will spend more stimulus money because they want to ensure the employment, stock market and housing markets don’t stagnate
  9. Fed promised to keep interest rates down
  10. supply of homes making it unlikely many will be able to buy
  11. new home construction, material and land prices rising faster
  12. foreclosures may free up some homes for sale
  13. migration: work from home still driving buyers out of the cities for more room for a home office, backyard, space to relax
  14. migration: businesses moving out of high tax states to lower-tax states
  15. inflation plus money supply plus need for housing could inflate house prices severely
  16. buyers holding high-value stock portfolio’s could sell to buy a home
  17. buyers see a house as a potential rental income property
  18. many sellers want to get out of the city they live in for something new after a horrible pandemic period
  19. real estate is a preferred asset when cash, savings, and stocks can only go down in value
  20. cities and regions will still not allow housing development (NIMBYs) thus more demand for the limited available stock of homes
  21. homes are a safe haven (those renting saw how insecure their week to week lifestyles are where they could be left with nothing later in life, and wondering whether social security will even over their bills)
  22. speculation (real estate investors including the new crowdfunding buyer who can take more risk don’t see a big downside to real estate and are willing to pump money in for houses or rental properties)
  23. as employment grows there will be more demand for homes in 2021, 2022 and for 5 years ahead
  24. states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona drawing new residents (climate, jobs, business growth, low taxes)
  25. Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York losing residents (cost of living, taxes, failing economies)
  26. global economic growth will hit 4% in 2021 (world bank report)
  27. 225,000–500,000 homeowners could face foreclosure this year
  28. homelessness in the major cities will become a negative factor driving people out of the cities and shunning buyers

 5. Will the Recovering Economy Add Fuel to the Price Fire?

If home prices soared during a major recession wouldn’t further gains logically follow when the economy does a 180 turn? And these economic swings guarantee that the one side of a shift will equal the opposite side. We have volatility and speculation as a new normal making the house buying decision a difficult one.

Houses for sale this year will be significantly higher, and that’s because it takes time for markets to cool. With no big negative influences in sight (other than oil and energy shortages) there might not be anything to cause sudden drops.

And a K-shaped recovery doesn’t necessarily mean the lower wage earners won’t have the financial act together by 2022. There will be a lot of pain, but the odds of it affecting the single-detached home market is low.

Overall, economic growth is expected to be strong in the 2nd half, after vaccinations have been given to more than half of vulnerable Americans. Covid 19 could disappear, only kept alive by a few vaccine refusers who are so sparsely located that the disease isn’t transmitted much.

As businesses reopen, fed by 3 trillion dollars, and as international trade and tourism resumes, Americans and foreign visitors will be spending again. This economic resurgence won’t happen in a hurry, which helps to bring confidence to conservative investors and help to allay inflation.

The CBO expected economic growth, employment consumer spending to grow strongly in Q4 2020, but it didn’t due to continued shutdowns from the Corona Virus threat.

So latent demand will be further extended into 2nd half of 2020. Of course, we’ll still see record demand from homebuyers in this coming spring buying season. That will hit its peak in June and July as usual.

Of course, over the next year, new home construction will provide more supply and mitigate higher price pressures. And multifamily construction should begin rising in 2021.

 6. Hottest State Housing Markets

According to our friends at Bankrate.com, here are the current rankings of each state’s housing market.

Overall Ranking State Home Price Appreciation Job Growth Cost of Living Ranking Tax Rank
1 Utah 3 2 31 8
2 Montana 2 12 29 5
3 Nebraska 12 6 22 28
4 Idaho 1 1 21 20
5 Indiana 10 10 11 9
6 Arizona 4 8 27 24
7 Washington 6 27 38 16
8 New Hampshire 9 46 43 6
9 North Carolina 17 16 12 10
10 South Dakota 45 11 24 2
11 Tennessee 19 14 5 18
12 Georgia 18 5 8 31
12 Kansas 25 18 16 35
12 Ohio 11 30 6 39
15 Alabama 28 4 10 41
16 Oregon 15 39 40 15
17 Maine 8 38 39 29
18 Missouri 36 13 3 12
19 Arkansas 32 9 2 45
20 Kentucky 26 25 7 19
21 Iowa 43 20 17 40
22 Wisconsin 31 36 20 25
23 Wyoming 42 19 32 1
24 Vermont 20 47 41 43
25 Florida 22 23 25 4
26 South Carolina 37 7 18 33
27 New Mexico 13 37 23 23
27 Virginia 35 21 30 26
29 Mississippi 30 3 1 32
30 Michigan 23 50 4 14
31 North Dakota 48 32 33 17
32 Colorado 27 26 36 21
33 Connecticut 5 28 46 47
34 Rhode Island 7 45 45 37
35 Minnesota 38 44 28 46
36 Oklahoma 40 24 9 30
36 California 16 43 50 49
38 Pennsylvania 24 40 26 27
39 Massachusetts 21 48 47 34
40 Alaska 44 34 48 3
40 Texas 39 15 14 11
42 Delaware 41 41 34 13
43 New Jersey 14 42 42 50
44 Maryland 33 22 44 44
45 West Virginia 46 29 13 22
46 Nevada 34 33 35 7
47 Illinois 47 35 19 36
47 Louisiana 50 17 15 42
49 New York 29 49 37 48
50 District of Columbia 51 31 51 46
51 Hawaii 49 51 49 38

 7. Predicting the Housing Market

Even the top housing market experts can’t predict because the variables are unknowns – often political reactions. It’s going to come down to home buyers doing their homework about the housing market in their city or state and weighing the risk of buying in 2021.

The fact so many are hesitant due to the economic insecurity, might be the saving grace in easing a bubble condition. Because if buyers are certain, they will be bidding up high. The sales and price velocity are very high.

Some housing market and economic experts are talking about this year’s potential housing market boom while others are warning about a downturn this year. In this article, we take a closer look at housing statistics, opinions, and the trends or velocity of the market, as we move deeper into 2021 and onto 2022.

There are some strong demographic trends supporting brisk home construction, home sales, and mortgage buying. Add the pandemic work-from-home-migration trend and you have strong reasons to buy a house. There are renters who would do anything to move out of their tiny apartments to a bigger place with a walkable neighborhood.

And this is all taking place in an ultra-low mortgage rate period, with some homebuyers holding a lot of cash savings for a down payment.

With the growing vaccination rates across the country from New York to Florida to Texas to California, we could an unleashing of buyer demand and a return to work and recharging economy.


 8. What’s Happened in the Housing Market in 2021?

Median Home Price:

$334,500 sold price for single detached homes

Average Mortgage Rates

Down to 2.73%, for 30 year fixed rate from Freddie Mac

Total Homes Sold

842,000 existing homes sold in 2020

Total Housing Inventory

Declined by 23% in 2020 to 1.9 months supply which is a record low

Days on Market

DOM declined by 10 days to 76 days on average


 9. Who Are US Realtors?

Just a quick diversion here to look at the professionals you may be hiring to sell your home or assist in buying a house. While you can sell your home fast now, having a Realtor able to help you sell it for more may be a better option.

REALTOR® Demographics 2021

65% percent of REALTORS® are licensed as sales agents, 22% hold broker licenses, while 15% have broker associate licenses.

64% of all REALTORS® are female , 55 years of age, who attended college and own a home.

Average experience of US REALTORS® is 9 years and have been with their current firm for only 4 years. They normally work about 36 hours per week, and earned a median gross income of $49,700 in 2019, up $8700 from 2018.

Realtors averaged about 12 transactions (sides) in 2019. Most Realtors are independent contractors with a very low number of homes to sell.

 10. How Realtors Market Homes

Realtors are increasingly turning to online real estate marketing strategies to market client’s homes and build demand. From bidding wars to reaching homeowners willing to sell via predictive analytics tools, the modern real estate is very different from their forebears.

Here’s some facts you need to know about Realtors® in the US:

  • Realtors® communicate with clients via email (93%), while 92% use SMS text messaging, and 37% use instant messaging (Facebook).
  • 11% of REALTORS® under 49 years of age owned a real estate blog, and 76% of female REALTORS® and 73% of male REALTORS® use social media for communications and real estate marketing purposes.
  • Agents believe their most valuable technology tools are: local MLS websites/apps (64%), lockbox/smart key devices (39%), and social media platforms (28%).
  • The top 3 tech tools they believe bring them the best quality of home buyer and seller leads ares: social media (47%), MLS sites (32%), brokerage’s website (29%) and listing aggregator sites (29%).
  • 48% of real estate brokerages and companies believe that keeping pace with new technology as the most formidable challenge they face in 2021 and 2022. Of course, finding seller leads is easily the toughest challenge and then closing a sale with them.

On the other home buyers they serve tend to about 47 years of age, are 31% first time buyers who are typically 33 years old. They have a median household income of $106,700 and typically buy a home built in 1993 with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Homebuyers typically finance 88% of the home price and buy or sell using a Realtor, whom they would recommend to others.

Homebuyers found their home via:

⦁ Internet: 52%
⦁ Real estate agent: 29%
⦁ Yard sign/open house sign: 6%
⦁ Friend, relative, or neighbor: 5%
⦁ Home builder or their agent: 6%
⦁ Directly from sellers: 2%
⦁ Newspaper ad: 1%

The typical home seller is 56 years of age, has a median household income of $107,100, and has lived in their home for a decade. 89% of sellers used a real estate agent to sell their home and they typically received 99% of the listing price, after the home sat on the market for 21 days.

Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 99% of the listing price, and 38% reported reducing the asking price at least once.

The typical home sold was on the market for 3 weeks. 41% of sellers found a real estate agent through a referral by friends or family, and 26% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.

Most homebuyers shop for homes online however, and public interest in in-person open houses is43% lower than a year earlier. Realtors will be doing more real estate marketing online.

 11. Hottest City Housing Markets United States

City Nielson Hotness Rank NAR Hotness Rank NAR hotness rank change M/M NAR Hotness Rank Y/Y
Median List Price
Tupelo, ms 300 268 -8 -5 $245,000
Lebanon, pa 299 82 -44 13 $283,900
Battle Creek, mi 298 154 -18 -79 $156,000
Springfield, oh 297 16 1 -3 $137,000
Bismarck, nd 296 277 -5 4 $304,900
Wausau, wi 295 232 -24 -97 $189,900
Pittsfield, ma 294 227 14 52 $475,000
La Crosse-Onalaska, wi-mn 293 74 3 16 $272,500
Odessa, tx 292 269 -10 -137 $235,000
Yuba City, ca 291 13 17 2 $445,000
Johnstown, pa 290 234 -13 11 $89,500
Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, ca 289 77 -13 -3 $449,000
The Villages, fl 288 142 14 -136 $315,000
Morgantown, wv 287 242 8 9 $279,900
Wichita falls, tx 286 66 40 -3 $140,000
Texarkana, tx-ar 285 184 -12 59 $194,900
Concord, nh 284 12 25 68 $355,000
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, ky 283 57 -34 100 $210,000
Monroe, mi 282 46 -7 24 $230,000
Jefferson City, mo 281 54 -36 77 $178,000
Hattiesburg, ms 280 173 36 -45 $232,000
Albany, ga 279 265 -20 26 $145,000
Pottsville, pa 278 113 -14 -2 $110,000

 12. Residential Real Estate Forecast & Predictions

Home Price Forecast

Realtor.com forecasts a price rise of 5.7% in 2021.

Home Supply Forecast

“Buyers may finally have a better selection of homes to choose from later in the year, but will face a renewed challenge of affordability as prices stay high and mortgage rates rise,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist.

Screenshot courtesy of St Louis Fed

New Home Sales


According to a new report in Yahoo Finance,  new housing construction fell more than expected in January.  There is a surge in future construction permits, yet December’s and January’s construction lull could contribute to higher home prices in 2021.  Low mortgage rates, millennial housing demand, and a surging economy will push next spring’s housing prices up.

New home construction starts decreased 6.0% to a new annual rate of 1.580 million units last month.  This drop is much more than economists had forecast (1.658 million units in January). Homebuilding overall fell 2.3% compared to January of 2020.

New Home Construction

Privately-owned housing starts in July 2021 grew 7% to a new annual rate of 1,534,000 below the June 2021 estimate of 1,650,000 starts.

The National Association of Home Builders offered an optimistic look on the new home construction market in July. NAHB says single-family and multifamily starts were 9.3% higher in the Northeast, 5.9% higher in the Midwest, 5.2% higher in the South and 1.4% higher in the West.

Overall new home permits rose 18.8% to a 1.50 million unit annualized rate in July. Single-family house permits increased 17.0% to a 983,000 unit rate and multifamily permits rocketed 22.5% to a annualized 512,000 pace.

Screenshot courtesy of NAR

 13. Housing Affordability

What is hampering housing affordability is competition and rocketing prices, housing development regulations, lack of developable land, lack of builder subsidies, stagnant wages and high unemployment, and rising building materials and labor costs. Government regulation and NIMBYism are overpowering the market’s opportunity to create more housing hence we can expect higher home prices.

Rising inflation and interest rates could be the key factor affecting housing affordability in the next 3 years. Political disruption about actually ruin the market, perhaps even pushing us into a housing market crash.

 14. Mortgage Rates

The rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage has reached an amazing low of 2.7 to 2.8% of recent according to this chart below courtesy of NerdWallet and Zillow. NAR expects the 30-year fixed rate mortgage to average 3% in 2021 as the economy improves and investors look for higher returns than the 10-year T-note yield. Mortgage applications rose 7% in February.

Screenshot courtesy of Nerdwallet.

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rate

Screenshot courtesy of St Louis Fed

15. Mortgage Payments

According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.87% in July, down slightly from 2.98% in June. The average rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%.

According to the February NAR report, the monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home rose to $1,040 (1126 in February which is still lower than the average rent price of $1166 per month.

The typical US monthly mortgage payment on a single-family home is up to $1,215 and the household income required to be able to buy a house increased to $58,314. In 17 major cities, buyers need a $100,000 down payment on a purchase.

 16. Mortgage Forbearance, Delinquency and Foreclosure Report

Black Knight reported that almost 3.6 million 90-day defaults occurred in 2020 – the largest number since 2009. 2.1 million homeowners are currently seriously delinquent on their mortgage payments, and with 600,000 forbearance plans expiring in March, it will create 1.5 million more serious delinquencies than at the start of the pandemic. As of last month, there were above 2.7 million homeowners in active forbearance plans. 12% of borrowers are now in forbearance.

Home Foreclosures

The good news is that home foreclosures hit an all-time low in January. ATTOM Data Solutions January 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showed a total of 9,702 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions. It is 11% down from a month ago and down 80% from 12 months ago.

The bad news is that this is due to President Biden’s foreclosure moratorium on repossessions of homes on government-backed mortgages. the fear is that when it ends in March, there will be little to prevent foreclosures.

Home Repossessions

The World Property Journal reports that US lenders repossessed 1,428 U.S. properties in January 2021, which was 28% lower than December 2020. It was also 86% less than last year.

Those states with an annual decrease in REOs in January 2021 included: Illinois (-86%); Florida (-83%); Maryland (-83%); California (-82%); and Texas (-82%).

 17. The US Economy

There are plenty of varying forecasts and predictions for the 2021 US economy. Most outlooks are optimistic after a disastrous 2020.

The Conference Board has this to say about the US economic forecast:

The Conference Board forecasts that US Real GDP growth will rise by 2.0 percent (annualized rate) in 1Q21 and 4.4 percent (year-over-year) in 2021.* Following a lull in the economic recovery in recent months, we expect the pace of the rebound to reaccelerate as new COVID-19 infection rates decline, the vaccination program expands, and the prospects of another large fiscal support program improve. We expect the recovery to continue into next year and forecast growth of 3.1 percent (year-over-year) in 2022.

BEA reported that the U.S. international trade deficit increased in 2020 from $576.9 billion in 2019 to $678.7 billion in 2020 As a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product, the goods and services deficit rose .5% from 2.7% 2019 to 3.2 percent in 2020. The goods deficit increased from $864.3 billion in 2019 to $915.8 billion in 2020. The services surplus decreased from $287.5 billion in 2019 to $237.1 billion in 2020.

BEA reports that Real GDP fell 3.5% in 2020 vs 2019. It had increased 2.2 percent in 2019. Real (GDP) grew 4.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 3rd quarter of 2020 had a rebounding 33.4 growth, in comparison with the Q2 shutdown period.

Screenshot courtesy of Statista

The Fed believes more harm would result with low inflation rather than higher inflation. The expected inflation rate for 2021 is 2.2%.

Screenshot courtesy of knoema.com.

 18. Realtor Housing Recovery Index

The realtor recovery index grew strongly beginning in May, but as the reality of the fight with Covid 19 has worn on, confidence in the recovery has waned. Those lofty expectations were perhaps a little rosy but as summer 2021 approaches it will rise again.

For the week ending February 6, 2021, the realtor.com Housing Market Recovery Index reached 101.5 nationwide, down 2.7 points over last week. The New Supply Growth Index declined by 7.9 points from the prior week which means home sellers are pulling back. That means how sellers perceive their own future affects whether they will list.

As the economy lifts, and prices rise, we’ll see many more homes come on the market, which should help to moderate price increases. The housing demand component decreased slightly to 118.7 this past week, down 2.2 points over last week.

The pace of sales held well above the pre-COVID baseline at 110.0, and was .3 points higher than the previous week. 31 of the 50 largest markets had growth in asking prices.

Screenshot Courtesy of NAR
Screenshot courtesy of NAR

 19. Which Housing Markets Will Do Best in 2021?

NAR believes these 10 housing markets will enjoy the best sales and price growth this year.

All markets, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, New York, Manhattan, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Tampa and Miami, have felt the crush of demand and much higher home prices. Florida is booming while California’s housing market is hurting.

Whether it’s a good time to buy a home might depend on who you are and why you’re buying. For renters stuck with high rents and zero equity going forward, anytime is a good time. Overall, the HPSI is rising again a grim economic performance in December. Buyers sentiment is down significantly from just one year ago. As the pandemic eases, we could see the index rise slowly back to previous levels around 90.

HPSI Index Sentiment. Screenshot Courtesy of Fannie Mae.

 22. Will the Housing Boom Continue?

If the economy recovers, we know demand for homes and condos will improve too. There are strong fundamental drivers of housing demand as noted earlier, and even high bubble-like prices might not deter home buyers in 2021 and 2022.

“Home sales could possibly reach 8 million if we had more inventory,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. “Mortgage rates should remain very low throughout 2021, although we may have seen the lowest already.”

It’s unlikely we’ll experience a housing market crash in the next two years, but we can’t completely discount one. More likely is the Biden admin won’t medal with something so fragile while the economy is rebounding.

Sources, Citations & References and further reading:

  • nytimes.com/2021/02/01/business/economy/cbo-economy-estimate.html
  • worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/01/05/global-economy-to-expand-by-4-percent-in-2021-vaccine-deployment-and-investment-key-to-sustaining-the-recovery
  • blackknightinc.com/black-knights-december-2020-mortgage-monitor/
  • census.gov/construction/nrc/index.html
  • nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/december-2020-nar-sentrilock-home-showings-report-highlights
  • wsj.com/articles/us-gdp-economic-growth-fourth-quarter-2020-11611802382
  • worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/united-states/irvine/real-estate-news-attom-data-solutions-january-2021-foreclosure-data-2020-bank-foreclosure-filings-rick-sharga-cares-act-mortgage-forbearance-program-12366.php
  • zillow.com/research/november-2021-sales-forecast-28499/
  • www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-property-poll-idUSKBN2A2005
  • www.realtor.com/research/2021-national-housing-forecast/
  • cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2021-02-08-weekly-housing-market-monitor-02-11-2021.pdf
  • learn.roofstock.com/blog/cheapest-states-to-buy-a-house
  • gobankingrates.com/saving-money/savings-advice/cities-plenty-jobs-cheap-housing/
  • cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/metro-home-prices-q4-2020-ranked-median-single-family-2021-02-11.pdf

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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 market.

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, an Los Angeles may see some new home listings out of this distressed homeowner market, but not as much as some forecasters are predicting.

Aside from forecasts and predictions as well as real estate marketing assistance for companies in California, Utah, Texas, Massachusetts, and Florida including the major metros of Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Denver, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston,  and Tampa.

2 Comments

  1. 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.
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    Jeff Kirby

    1. 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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