2021 housing market projections

Housing Market Forecast: What’s Ahead in 2021?

While 2020 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 this year.

Interest rates are projected to stay low

One of the biggest drivers for 2020’s booming real estate market was 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 makes purchasing a home increasingly affordable, especially for first-time homebuyers.

This trend is expected to stick around in 2021, but a possible slight increase in mortgage rates and appreciating home values could lead to a slight decrease in affordability for 2021.

Pro tip: Lots of buyers in the market means another year of bidding wars. Make sure to include language about it in your marketing materials and help set expectations for your clients by sharing infographics like this.

Home sales are projected to grow by 7%

If you thought you were busy in 2020, this year could be even busier.

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.

Pro tip: Stay on top of the latest real estate news by signing up for KCM’s Daily Blog emails. You’ll get the top market insights delivered directly in your inbox 5 days a week. Sign up here.

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.

Last 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.

Pro tip: Want more info on foreclosures for your clients? Check out the article 3 Graphs that Prove We’re Not Headed for a Foreclosure Crisis.

Bottom Line

Despite everything that happened last 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.

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