While 2020 has faced its fair share of ups and downs, we know one thing to be true: the real estate market not only met expert predictions, it surpassed them, breaking records along the way. With that in mind, there’s one big blaring question right now: will the housing market in 2021 follow the same trajectory or are we facing a possible downturn? Let’s take a deep dive into what leading real estate experts are projecting for 2021 so you have the knowledge and confidence you need to succeed in the new year.
Interest rates are projected to stay low
One of the biggest drivers for this year’s booming real estate market were record-low mortgage rates. Because of this, affordability reached one of the highest levels it has in the last 30 years. Naturally, eager buyers followed. The good news is, experts are predicting that mortgage rates will remain low for the foreseeable future.
While home prices continue to appreciate across the country (more on that later), the counter of the low mortgage rates have made purchasing a home increasingly affordable, especially for first-time homebuyers. This trend is expected to stick around in 2021, continuing to drive a very competitive market.
Home sales are projected to grow by 7%
If you thought you were busy this year, just wait until 2021. That’s because experts are predicting a 7% increase in home sales compared to last year. This signifies one big piece of news: we will likely see an increase in inventory for 2021. Whether it’s hesitant homeowners who waited out the pandemic or brand spanking new homes from builders, more inventory will be a welcome change from the last year.
Home prices are projected to appreciate by 3-4%
It’s a simple case of supply and demand. When high buyer demand meets low inventory, homes prices will appreciate. This year, however, we saw it at a faster-than-usual pace averaging about 7% nationwide. For 2021, experts project that we will continue to see appreciation, just at a slower pace that’s reflective of a more balanced market. While some may be worried that the rapid acceleration of home values means we’re heading for another bubble, remember that context is everything.
With the end of the pandemic in sight, experts expect inventory levels to rise and home prices to appreciate at a more steady pace.
Foreclosures should not lead to price declines
The massive wave of unemployment that came along with the pandemic led many homeowners across the country to enter mortgage forbearance. While unemployment is slowly but surely declining (and ahead of expectations), it will be a while before we reach the pre-COVID levels. Because of this, foreclosures are expected to rise. However, experts don’t anticipate this will lead to a foreclosure crisis like we saw in 2008. They also don’t expect it to lead to the major home value depreciation that followed.
Despite everything that happened this year, the real estate market not only survived but thrived, playing a big part in our economic recovery along the way. The next 12 months are just as promising, with interest rates expected to remain low, buyer traffic staying high and inventory levels predicted to rise. As agents, the biggest lesson you can take away from 2020 is that you are the bridge between information and action. That’s why it’s important to always be armed with the most current real estate insights and news. If the market does mimic expert projections this year as it did in 2020, you need to be prepared for another big year in real estate.