As we enter the middle of 2021, many are wondering if we’ll see big changes in the housing market during the second half of this year. Here’s a look at what some experts have to say about key factors that will drive the industry and the economy forward in the months to come.
“. . . homes continue to sell quickly in what’s normally the fastest-moving time of the year. This is in contrast with 2020 when homes sold slower in the spring and fastest in September and October. While we expect fall to be competitive, this year’s seasonal pattern is likely to be more normal, with homes selling fastest from now to mid summer.
National Association of Realtors (NAR)
“Sellers who have been hesitant to list homes as part of their personal health safety precautions may be more encouraged to list and show their homes with a population mostly vaccinated by the mid-year.”
Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com
“Surveys showed that seller confidence continued to rise in April. Extra confidence plus our recent survey finding that more homeowners than normal are planning to list their homes for sale in the next 12 monthssuggest that while we may not see an end to the sellers’ market, we might see the intensity of the competition diminish as buyers have more options to choose from.”
“We forecast that mortgage rates will continue to rise through the end of next year. We estimate the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will average 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, rising to 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the current housing boom is far more stable than the last one and poses fewer systemic risks, economists say. A downside: There are more barriers to entry, and it’s more difficult for buyers who aren’t already homeowners to make that first purchase. Most real-estate analysts agree that the pandemic helped ignite the current boom as some urbanites looked to leave crowded cities like New York and San Francisco for cheaper cities or for more space in the suburbs while working from home. When lockdowns began lifting last year, home sales took off: June sales surged nearly 21% over the prior month, the biggest monthly increase on record going back to 1968. That milestone lasted only a month, when July sales rose almost 25% from June.
“Covid has catalyzed a rethinking of where we live, and why we live there, and where we work, and how we work,” said Rich Barton, chief executive of online real-estate company Zillow Group Inc.
Market watchers also say that a number of longer-term trends are at play that should keep the housing market hot, or at least steady, even after Covid-19-related demand fades.