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Is 2024 a Good Year to Enter the Real Estate Market and buy a Home ?

Is 2024 a Good Year to Enter the Real Estate Market and buy a Home ?

As we bid farewell to 2023, many potential homebuyers are wondering what lies ahead in the real estate market. The past year brought unexpected challenges and surprising trends, leaving housing economists with inaccurate forecasts. In this article, we will explore the predictions for the year 2024 and assess whether it is a favorable time to purchase a home.

 

Unforeseen Changes in 2023

 

Housing economists missed the mark in their predictions for 2023. Home sales plummeted by approximately 17% from their peak in February to their lowest point in October, catching experts off guard. Additionally, home prices defied expectations and reached record highs, increasing by 7% since the beginning of the year. Mortgage rates also surprised the market, soaring to nearly 8%, the highest level in 23 years.

 

The Current State of the Housing Market

 

A combination of factors has created a challenging and less affordable housing market. Despite a decrease in the number of buyers, home prices continued to rise due to limited inventory and intense competition. Sales of existing homes dropped below 4 million units, reaching levels not seen since 2010. However, amidst these challenges, experts are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2024.

 

Gradual Improvement Expected

 

Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants, dubs 2024 as the “year of incremental change.” The consensus among experts is that the coming year will bring gradual improvements in home sales, prices, and mortgage rates, rather than sudden shifts and volatility.

 

Mortgage Rates Forecast

 

One positive indication for potential homebuyers is the anticipated decline in mortgage rates. After nine consecutive weeks of decline, rates are expected to drop further in 2024. While it is unlikely that rates will dip below 6%, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell by almost a whole percentage point in 2023, ending the year at 6.61%. The Federal Reserve’s efforts to rein in inflation through interest rate hikes have influenced the housing market. A recent dip in rates has already sparked increased activity, providing hope for a more favorable environment for buyers.

 

Predictions for 2024

 

Realtor.com forecasts that mortgage rates will average around 6.8% in 2024 and potentially end the year closer to 6.5%. Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), expects the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to average even lower at 6.3% and predicts that the Fed will cut rates four times. These developments could help alleviate inflationary pressures and stabilize economic activity.

 

Conclusion

 

While the past year might have been challenging for homebuyers and industry experts alike, the outlook for 2024 appears to be more promising. With gradual improvements projected in home sales, prices, and mortgage rates, prospective buyers can expect a more stable and favorable market. However, it is essential to monitor economic conditions and stay informed about any potential changes that may impact the housing market. As always, conducting thorough research and seeking professional advice is crucial before making any significant financial decisions, such as purchasing a home.

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