No matter which markets you serve, brokers and agents everywhere should feel proud to be part of an industry that’s driving the nation’s post-pandemic recovery.
While not every area will rebound in similar ways, the housing market forecast for 2021 includes incredibly bright spots in regions across the country.
NAR shared its list of housing markets (below) that weathered 2020 extremely well and are expected to continue growing strong through 2021, but these hot spots are just part of the developing picture.
- AtlantaBoiseCharlestonDallas-Fort WorthDes MoinesIndianapolisMadisonPhoenixProvo-OremSpokane
What’s driving the boom?
Amidst the backdrop of low housing stock and low interest rates, the housing market is attracting a unique and diverse crop of buyers navigating their way through uncharted territory, including:
- Families seeking more space to accommodate working and learning from homeCondo owners who are ready for the safety and privacy of single-family dwellingsEast and West Coast buyers looking for more affordable housing optionsAnd buyers who’ve simply been waiting out the pandemic
These are massive opportunities for your team to meet these changing needs. According to NAR, January 2021 sales of existing homes rose an impressive 23.7% from January 2020.
What’s in the forecast?
NAR, MBA, NAHB, and other industry sources generally agree –– there’s a lot to be optimistic about in 2021. But it’s an evolving market that agents will need to monitor closely, pivoting when necessary to manage shifting needs and lingering unknowns.
Median home prices did increase about 10 percent last year across most of the country despite economic uncertainties related to the pandemic. Going forward, will vaccine distributions accelerate? Will their efficacy deliver? Will white collar employees feel secure about permanent work-from-home arrangements?
While only time will tell, industry optimism is so high that comparisons to housing market stats of the early 2000s are often tossed around.
As of March 2021, industry experts are expecting:
- Existing home sales to rise 5 to 10 percentNew-home sales to skyrocket, with NAR forecasting an increase of 21 percentPrices across the board to rise 3 to 5 percentInterest rates to remain stable, if slightly elevated with estimates hovering around 3.1 percent, possibly 3.4 by year’s end
Despite concerns about material costs and shipping delays, NAHB expects single-family construction to exceed 1 million in 2021, a first since the Great Recession. While a waning pandemic may quell some of the demand for more spacious housing, flexible work schedules are sure to foster ongoing interest in suburban and rural options.
“This is a critical time for connecting with past clients and also educating new clients on evolving market trends and what the future may hold. Together, we can consider the value of their current property and discuss the best options going forward,” says Bill Scavone, President and COO of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
Are there any surprises?
Somewhat. Last year, urban flight caused ripple effects that we’re still unraveling. But as of early 2021, most experts are bracing for a major return to cities for several reasons. Before the pandemic, expensive real estate markets in New York and San Francisco were losing steam, but falling prices paired with low interest rates may bring a significant rebound.
Plus, it’s hard to discount the financial, entertainment, and employment engines that power these economies. What may change are the features that city dwellers desire, such as smart parking, contactless entryways, dedicated workspaces, and energy-saving utilities.
While slowly growing in popularity, new tech hubs in places like Boise and Denver are now drawing talent from both coasts thanks to affordability, a welcoming business climate, and overall quality of life.
Lastly, as more companies commit to permanent work-from-home policies, home buyers will have the luxury of selecting a spot based purely on lifestyle or weather. Not surprisingly, two Florida cities (Tampa and Jacksonville) made Bloomberg’s list of the top five cities for population inflow.
The bottom line? This is a BIG opportunity.
In our 50+ years of developing and refining our real estate company, we’ve learned invaluable lessons about embracing challenges and turning them into opportunities. While 2020 was truly unprecedented, we relied on what continues to work through good times and bad while sharing new learnings as we go.
We believe our affiliate owners across the country excel because they:
- Continue to focus on running their businesses –– not buying and selling. It’s tempting in times of uncertainty to micromanage agents and every little aspect of the day-to-day. Invariably, however, our top affiliates are brokers who stay focused on growth, follow the Weichert system, and empower agents with training that keeps skills sharp and adaptable.
- Differentiate themselves through digital marketing. Clients expect to experience modern real estate brands through sophisticated social media, personalized marketing messages, and one-click access to virtual tours, information, and assistance. We arm brokers with powerful digital platforms that allow their personal brands to shine through.
- Stay OPEN. We’re seeing new types of clients and opportunities every day, thanks to patterns of migration and shifting customer priorities. We’re constantly sharing best practices through our national network and supporting one another through every twist and turn.
Statistics will likely shift again as we move through spring and summer, and some may surprise us. What everyone can agree on is the importance of having a place to call home. As clients reimagine what this may look like in terms of work and leisure, Weichert agents will be ready and able to support their journey.
The one thing brokers can always count on is change. If your growing team is ready for a dedicated business consultant and service manager to help maximize opportunities that exist in every housing market, check out the resources and support that can help get you there.