If there’s one thing predictable about the real estate industry, it is that it is unpredictable. Industry insiders do their best to anticipate how the national and regional housing markets will behave based on economic indicators and demographics, but local market conditions drive home values and the pace of sales.
“Real estate is hyperlocal, and it will be even more so in 2020,” says Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “You can’t ever make a general statement about the ‘market’ because there are so many unique factors in each area. While the big story of the past few years has been the challenge of low inventory, that challenge varies—it’s more pronounced in some markets, and even in some neighborhoods, than in others.”
Conversely, the other big story in real estate—low mortgage rates—will continue to be a tailwind for housing.
“Mortgage rates are likely to stay at or around 4% in 2020,” says Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “The impact of continued low rates is that people feel bullish about the housing market. Even though consumers are used to low mortgage rates, we saw a rush to buy this summer when rates dropped a little bit because buyers are still rate sensitive.”
Beyond inventory challenges and low rates, Foster and Scott identified seven additional trends that are likely to impact the housing market in 2020. Read them on our Newsroom, where you can comment on the piece and share the article with your clients.