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2024 Home Price Forecasts by Major Firms

Plus, Where Does It Make Most Sense to Buy a Fixer-Upper and 5 more Real Estate Insights

Macro Trends

Demand for mortgages picks up: MBA link

  • Mortgage applications increased by 3.7% in the week ending Jan. 19, driven primarily by conventional and FHA purchase applications. This rise indicates a proactive approach by buyers ahead of the spring buying season.

  • Refinance applications, however, declined and remained at low levels, with little incentive for homeowners to refinance due to current rate levels. The average mortgage rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances rose to 6.78%.

  • The composition of mortgage applications shifted, with purchase applications rising by 8% and refinances dropping by 7%. The share of refinance applications fell to 32.7%, down from 37.5% the previous week, reflecting changing market dynamics.

Real Estate Trends

Record Number of U.S. Renters Face Financial Strain: NY Times link

  • The housing crisis in the U.S. has reached a new peak, with 22.4 million households spending over 30% of their income on rent, and 12.1 million spending more than 50%. This unprecedented burden spans across income levels, affecting not just low-income families but also middle and higher earners.

  • Despite a slight decrease in asking rents in 2023, rental costs are still 19% higher than pre-pandemic levels. The financial strain is evident as renters, even those with full-time jobs and degrees, struggle with rising living costs, often sacrificing meals and social activities to pay rent.

  • There's a glimmer of hope with the construction of 1 million new multifamily units, mostly rentals, the highest in decades. However, the current situation remains challenging, with many renters questioning their financial future and making significant lifestyle adjustments to cope with the high costs.

Top 10 Cities for First-Time Homebuyers in 2024 link

  • Realtor.com identifies the top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers in 2024, focusing on affordability and availability. These cities offer a range of homes at prices accessible to first-time buyers, along with job opportunities and short commutes.

  • The list includes Irondequoit, NY; Benton, AR; Winterset, IA; Newington, CT; Council Bluffs, IA; Cheektowaga, NY; Grand Rapids, MI; Moore, OK; Mattydale, NY; and Riviera Beach, MD. These areas are not just affordable but also have a significant presence of young homeowners, indicating a favorable market for younger buyers.

  • The selection criteria emphasized areas with a high number of young homeowners, suggesting these markets are where younger buyers can successfully enter the housing market. This trend reflects a shift towards smaller cities and towns, offering a blend of affordability and quality of life.

Where Does It Make Most Sense to Buy a Fixer-Upper? link

  • Over half of prospective home buyers are considering fixer-uppers due to high home prices and limited inventory. A RE/MAX survey reveals that 80% of buyers might adjust their plans, including the type of home they buy and their financing strategies.

  • The potential for a lower listing price is driving 73% of respondents to consider fixer-uppers, with most planning to spend less than $70,000 on repairs. Real estate professionals can guide clients in choosing renovations with the best potential ROI.

  • New Orleans, Albany, Cleveland, Memphis, and Newark are among the top cities for finding fixer-uppers. These cities, often with older housing stocks, offer significant price differences between renovated homes and fixer-uppers, with New Orleans leading with 9% of homes listed as fixer-uppers.

Something I found Interesting

You won't believe how different these foreign markets are link

  • In Australia, there is no MLS; agents post directly to major portals, with sellers bearing marketing costs between $600 and $6,000. This approach emphasizes maximum exposure over minimal marketing spend, contrasting with the U.S. strategy.

  • Buyers' agents in Australia are rare, involved in only about 1 in 40 transactions. This significant cultural difference in the real estate process contrasts sharply with the common use of buyers' agents in the U.S.

  • Canadian mortgages typically last five years or less, leading to frequent renewals and movement. Current market conditions are forcing many Canadians to move due to expiring mortgages with previously favorable rates, now facing higher renewals.

Location Specific

Asheville Apartment Inventory Jumps 50% in a Decade link

  • Asheville, NC, has seen a dramatic increase in its apartment inventory, adding nearly 8,500 units in the last decade. This surge represents a 50% growth in total existing apartment units since 2013, one of the highest rates nationally.

  • The city's apartment market continues to expand, with an additional 2,600 units under construction as of the 4th quarter of 2023. Approximately 1,740 of these units are expected to be completed in 2024, marking a significant increase from the 650 units added in 2023.

  • This rapid expansion in Asheville's housing market reflects broader trends in urban development and housing demand. The city's ability to absorb this new supply will be a key indicator of its real estate market's health and sustainability.

Proptech

Apartment Rent Payment Startup Reaches $3 Billion Valuation link

  • Bilt Rewards, an innovative startup focusing on rent payments, has achieved a remarkable $3 billion valuation. This significant milestone follows a successful $200 million venture capital funding round.

  • The company's unique approach allows renters to earn rewards and build credit through their regular rent payments. This system has gained substantial traction, attracting significant investment and interest in the real estate and financial sectors.

  • With its latest funding, Bilt Rewards is poised to expand its services and partnerships. The startup's growth reflects a broader trend of integrating financial services with everyday transactions, offering more value to consumers.

Two Interesting Charts

2024 Home Price Forecasts by Major Players

Major Metros for Job Creation

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Vidit

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