Summary: In this comprehensive guide, we’ve gathered 25+ expert housing market predictions for the next 5 years, offering invaluable insights from industry leaders and authoritative sources. Whether you’re a seasoned investor, a first-time homebuyer, or simply keeping an eye on the real estate market, these predictions will arm you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve.
Note that for easier reading we’ve also broken this article into two new articles for 2023. If you’re looking for specific information on whether the housing market will crash in the next five years, click here.
The U.S. housing market has been on a roller coaster ride for the last couple years, and experts are predicting that things are going to get worse before they get better.
Mortgage rates, housing shortages, and high prices have made for a tough housing market for Americans looking to purchase a new home.
And as the home-buying affordability crisis continues, even renters who aren’t currently in the market for a new home may feel the impact of rising rent prices. So what does the future hold?
In this article, we’ll look at 25 housing market predictions and trends using data and information from housing market experts and authoritative sources like CoreLogic, the NAR, PWC, and more. After reading this article, you’ll be better informed about how to navigate the housing market as an investor, mortgage professional, home buyer or seller.
Key National Housing Market Predictions & Trends for 2023 and 2024
From the second half of 2020 till the third quarter of 2021, we saw a surge in housing demand. The key driver of this surge in demand was low mortgage rates. Mortgage rates, driven by inflation, have a major impact on the housing market and will continue to in coming years.
Below, we explore the housing market predictions and trends for the next two years in the following sections: home prices, mortgage rates, demand and supply, moving and home construction trends.
Home Price Housing Market Predictions & Trends
1. Home price growth and rent growth will normalize
Our first housing market prediction for 2023 and 2024 is that the home price and rent boom is over.
That’s the message from CoreLogic’s Home Price Insights report for March 2023. The report shows that home prices increased by 5.5% nationwide between January 2022 and January 2023. But on a month-to-month basis, prices fell 0.2% between December 2022 and January 2023.
The firm predicts that nationally home prices will increase by 3.1% from January 2023 to January 2024 (a much slower pace than we’ve seen in recent years). Realtor.com estimates that home prices will continue to increase but at an average annual rate of 5.4%.
But while home prices may be moderating, mortgage rates still remain high. This will keep the overall cost of home ownership high. When you’re financing a home, even a difference of just 3% in your mortgage rate can add more than $700 per month to the cost of your loan.
Meanwhile, multifamily vacancies are currently at their lowest level in four decades and rents continue to set new records every month. However, rates of increase have been slowing and are expected to decelerate further in 2024 (when interest rates stabilize).
2. The Western states could experience year-over-year home price depreciation the hardest
Home equity declined in four Western states and Washington, D.C., according to a January 2023 CoreLogic Home Price Index report: Idaho (-$21,400), Washington (-$18,900), California (-$8,500), Utah (-$4,600) and Washington, D.C. (-$8,300).
On the other hand, Florida homeowners saw the highest annual equity growth in the fourth quarter at $49,000; it has posted the largest year-over-year home price gains in the country for the past year according to HPI data. In January, prices were up by 13.4% from a year earlier.
According to data from the S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) released in March 2023, Miami had the largest year-over-year increase in January home prices among major U.S. cities, extending its winning streak to six consecutive months. Tampa and Atlanta came in second and third place, with Charlotte not far behind.
Currently, the Southeast remains the strongest region of the country, while the West continues to be its weakest.
3. Population growth in the Affordable West could slow down
The US housing market has experienced significant growth in recent years. One region that has attracted many individuals and families is the “Affordable West,” which includes states like Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. This region has seen rapid growth in recent years due to its lower-cost living and more affordable properties compared to other parts of the country.
Aided by a migration of families from other parts of the country and abroad, demand for housing in the Affordable West has surged, leading to a dramatic increase in home prices. In some areas, home price growth has outpaced the growth in median incomes, making it increasingly difficult for residents to afford homes.
A perfect storm of conditions has caused home prices in the Affordable West to skyrocket. Limited inventory and bidding wars have made it difficult for prospective buyers to find affordable homes, while historically low mortgage rates have helped fuel demand. If this trend continues, it could lead to a slowdown in population growth in the region. As housing becomes less affordable, potential new residents may look for cost-effective alternatives in other parts of the country.
Investors have lost their enthusiasm for these markets, as each fell in PWC’s 2023 rankings.
4. Rent growth could overtake home price appreciation
The rental market has seen its fair share of ups and downs in the past few years.
After a 13-month period of double-digit increases in year-over-year rent growth, the pace slowed to a single-digit pace in late summer 2022. But the cooling off does not mean that the rental market will return to what was typical before the pandemic in the short term, especially when taking into account inflation, strong demand and labor market strength.
Also, the national quarterly rental vacancy rate has hovered near historic-low territory since the second half of 2021. It is the first time since 1985 that the rental vacancy rate has stabilized at such a low level for five quarters in a row. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas predicts that year-over-year rental price growth will rise from 5.8% as of June 2022 to 8.4% in May 2023. The forecast is based on data from the federal government’s consumer price index, a measure of inflation.
The fundamentals of the real estate market suggest that rents will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Slow housing construction, high mortgage rates, and low vacancy rates mean landlords can charge more for their properties. Some cities and states might consider implementing rent control measures if sustained increases in rents cause problems for tenants.
In response to rising demand for rental properties, builders have begun to construct more multi-family homes in markets like Dallas and Atlanta. This is expected to gradually create extra supply for renters, slowing rent growth in these markets.
Mortgage Rate Predictions & Trends
1. Record low mortgage rates might be a thing of the past.
Another housing market prediction is that record low mortgage rates may be a thing of the past. The average interest rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage was 7.08% in March 2023; however, many recent forecasts expect rates to drop below 6% in 2024, including a Fannie Mae projection of 5.2%.
Source: Fannie Mae
For homebuyers, this could be good news: if rates continue to fall and home prices remain relatively stable, many first time buyers will re-enter the market.
However, for those who already have a mortgage on their homes, falling interest rates may not mean much as interest rates may not fall below 5% again in the short term.
The rise in mortgage rates alone has had a significant impact on the housing market: according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, 16.5 million households across the U.S. who could have purchased a $400,000 home with a 5 percent downpayment in early 2022 were no longer able to afford that price due solely to rising interest rates.
The Federal Reserve is expected to continue raising interest rates this year, which will keep mortgage rates volatile. The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts origination volume to fall from $2.26 trillion in 2022 to $1.98 trillion in 2023. Purchase mortgages are predicted to drop by 5.5% in 2023, while refinance volume is anticipated to decline by 27.4%.
2. The number of renters is expected to rise as more people choose to rent
The rising cost of homeownership is likely to keep many would-be buyers in the rental market, driving up demand for rental properties.
As mortgage rates increase, the cost of financing a typical home will grow considerably. Monthly payments on a home purchase now average more than $2,430–a nearly 28% increase over 2021 levels and roughly double what buyers paid in 2022.
In fact, in a recent survey by Realtor, among renters surveyed, only a third (32.3%) indicated their intention to buy a home within the next 12 months.
This trend is likely to be felt most acutely in urban areas within big metros. This is a departure from recent trends, in which people rented in the suburbs to take advantage of remote work and lower housing costs.
With the premium on urban rentals shrinking sufficiently to draw people back to big cities to enjoy their diverse social and cultural offerings, the trend may be reversing. Renters are returning to cities where they can access more amenities and opportunities without sacrificing their quality of life spending hours commuting everyday.
3 Mortgage rates will remain volatile for the most part in 2023
Mortgage rates are likely to remain volatile in the near term, with a continued trend toward higher rates until the fourth quarter of 2023. The Fed raised its benchmark federal funds rate by 25 basis points in March 2023, taking the target range for the federal funds rate to 4.75%-5%. This rate sets what banks charge each other for overnight lending but also feeds through to a multitude of consumer debt like mortgages, auto loans and credit cards.
And Fed officials have said they are more worried about the risk of pulling back too soon on interest rates, leading to higher inflation for longer than necessary, than they are about raising borrowing costs too much.
Most homeowners pay mortgage rates below 5%, and two-thirds pay rates under 4%. As long as rates are high, home sales will be muted. More people will delay moving due to this “lock-in effect” until rates retreat below 5% or prices adjust accordingly.
As the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates in 2023, we can expect the US housing market to undergo a period of continued adjustment. While the path forward may be uncertain, there are several trends that are likely to emerge:
- Exploring alternative financing options: With higher mortgage rates, both buyers and sellers will be more strategic in their approach to the market. This may include exploring alternative financing options, adjusting their budgets, or considering joint purchases.
- Shift towards a buyer’s market: As interest rate hikes take effect, the market may gradually shift from a seller’s market to a more balanced or even buyer’s market in some places. This could provide more options for investors and home buyers.
- Regional variations: The impact of interest rate hikes is likely to be felt differently across the country, with some regions experiencing greater challenges than others. Buyers and sellers will need to keep a close eye on local market conditions to capitalize on opportunities or navigate potential obstacles.
Demand and Supply Housing Market Predictions
1. First time homebuyers will still account for a large share of housing demand
Despite the fact that first-time homebuyers have been pushing the demand side of the housing market in recent years, their share of the market has been shrinking over time.
First-time homebuyers are defined by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) as buyers who have not owned a home in the previous three years. The share of first-time homebuyers in the year ending in June 2022 was at its lowest point on record, according to NAR.
Rising rents and ongoing inflation are eating into savings, making it even less likely that prospective buyers will be able to afford a down payment on their next home. Among recent renters surveyed who are not planning to buy a home within the next 12 months, nearly half (44.4%) said it was because they did not have enough savings for a down payment.
According to NAR’s “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends” report, first-time homebuyers made up 26% of all housing purchases in 2022, down from 34% in 2021.
The share of first-time home buyers dropped from 45% in 2019 to 37% in 2021, states a Zillow housing trends report. But by 2024 and 2025, according to most experts surveyed by Zillow, first-time buyers will regain their pre-pandemic share of the market.
Twenty-six percent of the experts polled pointed to 2024, and 25% picked 2025. Eighteen percent of the experts polled did not believe that first-time buyers’ share would rise above 45% until after 2030, despite Millennials aging well into their prime home-buying years.
2. Housing inventory shortages might persist till 2024 due to labor shortages, restrictive zoning and low builder confidence.
The housing market has been experiencing supply shortages for years. In the decade between 2012 and 2022, 15.6 million households were formed. During that same period, 13.3 million housing units were started and 11.9 million were completed—but only 8.5 million single-family homes and 3.4 million multi-family homes were completed.
The top five markets for single-family permits all saw decreases in the number of permits issued during the first 11 months of 2022, compared to the same period one year earlier: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas; Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.; and Austin-Round Rock, Texas.
While there’s some good news—construction is on the rise!—it isn’t enough to make up for the lack of inventory in many areas across the country (particularly when it comes to single family homes). The main reasons for this are restrictive zoning and building codes, labor shortages and cautious construction pacing (a vestige of the last recession).
“There is still a huge shortage of housing in the United States, and it’s not going away anytime soon,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. “We’re seeing a temporary pullback in demand that’s brought about some better balance. However, if demand were to rebound to normal, which we expect as inflation is reined in and the market normalizes, you’re still going to have that tightness in supply. Yes, the market will be in better balance, but it’s largely because we’ll have less demand and not really because we’ve addressed the fundamental supply issues that we have”, she added.
3. Young buyers, encouraged by remote work, will continue to move to affordable markets in the Midwest, South and Sunbelt.
The demand for housing among young adult professionals continues to be strong. This is true because many of them are choosing remote work over traditional office jobs, which often require them to live near their employers. Some remote workers are using short-term rentals via AirBnB and VRBO to test the waters in a particular area before making a decision to buy.
Young professionals are moving to affordable small towns close to big cities. Specifically places in the Midwest, South and Sunbelt where homes are still affordable and the quality of life is high.
As long as this trend continues, builders will continue to build more homes in the Midwest, South, and Sunbelt—areas where land and construction costs are lower compared to coastal markets.
4. There will be a rise in joint real estate purchases
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the US housing market, leading to changes in buyer behavior and preferences. One trend that has emerged is an increase in joint real estate purchases.
According to a recent Zillow survey, 18% of successful home buyers purchased with a friend or relative who wasn’t a spouse or partner. This trend is expected to continue in 2023 and beyond.
There are several reasons why joint real estate purchases are becoming more common in the US. One reason is the rising cost of homeownership, particularly in urban areas. Splitting the cost of a home with others can make it more affordable for each individual.
Additionally, the pandemic has caused many people to reassess their housing needs, leading to a desire for more space, particularly for those who work from home. By purchasing a home with others, buyers can afford larger properties that meet their changing needs without breaking the bank.
Another reason for the rise in joint real estate purchases is the difficulty of qualifying for a mortgage on a single income.
As of April 2022, 4 million Americans could not afford home ownership. The income needed to qualify for a home has skyrocketed: The mortgage, property tax and insurance payments for a median-priced home of $340,700 cost $700 more per month than they did a year before. And the annual income needed to qualify for such a home is $28,000 higher in April 2022 versus April 2021, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Many buyers who enter the market in 2023 and 2024 will be looking for creative ways to finance home purchases and raise their debt-to-income ratios. By pooling resources, buyers can increase their purchasing power and qualify for a larger mortgage, making it easier to purchase a home in a competitive market.
5. Employment growth and wage growth will continue to support consumer spending
The U.S.’s high inflation has been offset by strong labor income growth. As a result, real household incomes and consumption have remained relatively high.
All sectors of the economy except leisure and hospitality have returned to pre-pandemic employment levels. The number of job openings has increased to 10.7 million, the quit rate has risen to 2.9% and wages are growing at 5-6%.
Despite strong employment growth, the U.S. economy may experience a slowdown in demand for workers later this year and into 2024. Ginger Chambless, head of research at J.P. Morgan Chase, expects hiring activity to moderate as demand declines. The reduction in demand could result in 1 million job losses by the end of 2023, which would raise the unemployment rate from 3.6% at the end of 3Q to 4.3% by year’s end.
6. Home sales will decline until mortgage rates stabilize
Another housing market prediction, according to JP Morgan’s research, is that the market will decline until mortgage rates stabilize. They forecast that a 100bp increase in mortgage rates would cause a 10% decline in total home sales. Given the 400bp increase this year, they forecast another 15-20% decline in home sales from current levels. Construction activity would follow suit and they expect residential investment to decline 10-12% in 2023.
If job losses rise quickly and high mortgage rates limit the sales of distressed properties to new buyers, defaults and foreclosures could spike in 2023. However, both lenders and mortgage servicers are much more likely to work with borrowers to avoid foreclosures than they might have been prior to the pandemic.
But the current dip in home prices and sales, while significant, doesn’t appear to be a crash. A crash is marked by a 20% to 30% drop in home prices and a decline in home sales. Another crash symptom that’s been missing is a jump in foreclosures—which could put more downward pressure on prices.
Moving Housing Market Predictions
1. The number of Americans moving across state lines will continue to slowly decline.
But a recent U.S. Postal Service® report showed a significant decline in moving numbers in 2022. Nearly 70% of ZIP codes across the country saw fewer inbound moves in 2022 than in 2021, and the downward trend is expected to continue into 2023 and 2024.
This decline is occurring not only among older Americans, but even among Millennials who are moving less often than they used to. The share of movers in the 25–34 year range has declined from approximately 30% in 1970 to less than 20% in 2019. One of the reasons for this is that families are staying put instead of moving because of high refinancing and mortgage rates.
2. Fueled by affordability, suburban migration will continue, majorly from the Northern to Southern metros
The housing affordability crisis in the US has been exacerbated by a near-record increase in the number of American homeowners in 2020. This trend has led to a squeeze on housing availability, making it difficult for many Americans to find affordable housing.
Over 367,000 Californians left their state in 2020 and 2021, with most heading to southern states like Texas and Arizona. New York lost over 352,000 residents, while Illinois lost over 122,000 residents.
Looking forward, it is expected that demand for affordable housing will continue to drive migration from Northern to Southern metros.
The US Census Bureau and Zillow have shown that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the housing market, with over half of urban workers being reverse commuters in 20 of the top 35 largest markets. This trend is expected to continue as more Americans seek affordable housing in suburban areas.
3. Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona will continue to be among the top destinations for movers
Another housing market prediction is that, in 2023, Texas and Florida are likely to continue to be among the top destinations for movers. These two states had some of the fastest growing counties in 2022.
The top fastest-growing county was in Texas – Kaufman County with an increase of 8.9%. Other fast-growing counties in Texas also made the top 10 list. They include Rockwall County (5.7%), Parker County (5.6%) and Comal County (5.6%).
Around the country, some of the fastest growing counties in 2022 were Sumter County, Florida (7.5%), Dawson and Lumpkin Counties in Georgia (5.8% each), and Brunswick County, North Carolina (5.7%).
Maricopa County, Arizona also grew in 2022 with an increase of 56,831 residents, an increase of 1.3%. It was the largest-gaining county in the country.
Florida was the fastest-growing state in the United States with a 1.9% annual population increase; this was the first time since 1957 that Florida’s population grew faster than anywhere else across the country.
4. Proximity to family and loved ones will be a prime motivation for moving
Family and friends are the most important part of our lives, so it’s no surprise that moving closer to them is a major motivator for people who relocate. In fact, the Forbes article on moving stats referenced earlier states that 17% of people who moved in the last few years did so to be closer to family and loved ones.
In the U.S., over 55% of people live within an hour of family members. This allows them to be present at family functions, offer support for aging or new parents, and bond with siblings and extended family.
The trend of staying close to family is not new. A study by the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) found that the location of non-coresident kin influences the likelihood of moving out of the current neighborhood and the selection of a new destination neighborhood.
The study looked at residential moves from 1980 to 2013, analyzing out-mobility. It revealed that parents and young adult children living near each other as well as low-income adult children living near parents are especially deterred from moving.
The rise of telecommuting and other remote work opportunities makes it possible to move closer to family without sacrificing career opportunities.
Home Building Housing Trends and Predictions
1. Small metro areas will get a big share of new home construction
According to Federal mortgage backer Freddie Mac, the U.S. has a housing supply shortage of 3.8 million units. This is fueled in large part by a decline in single family home construction dating back to the 1980s.
However, not all corners of the country are experiencing a shortage of new homes. In more affordable areas where dollars stretch further, builders are still putting up new homes to meet buyers’ demands.
Realtor.com analyzed new-home construction permit data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Here are the metro areas they found had the most single-family home permits per capita.
2. Number of new home builds could fall by 25% in 2023 and rebound in 2024
According to the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), the housing recession that began in 2022 will bleed into 2023 as elevated inflation, mortgage rates and building material construction costs continue to take a toll on the housing industry. Permits for new construction have plummeted, indicating that there will be fewer new homes available for purchase in 2023. But things could turn around by the second half of 2023.
Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, said at a housing and economic outlook press briefing, “With interest rates projected to normalize in the second half of 2023 as the Federal Reserve taps the brakes in its fight against inflation, the pace of single-family construction will bottom out in the first half of 2023 and begin to improve in the latter part of the year. This forward momentum will lead to a calendar year gain for single-family starts in 2024.”
3. New build homes will still be pricey
Construction activity has been held back by burdensome regulations, NIMBY (not in my backyard) opposition and cumbersome land use laws. The construction industry is also facing other pressures, including a worsening shortage of skilled labor and volatile material prices. In addition to these challenges, the industry must contend with rising interest rates and an increase in borrowing costs.
High land, labor and material costs have rendered new construction at lower price points economically unfeasible. The lack of new construction activity has contributed to rising home prices in areas that have seen an influx of people. The demand for more affordable homes could be met by encouraging more single-family builds near urban centers; however, land restrictions make this difficult. Despite this, some states, mostly in the South, have managed to add supply even at lower price points.
Also, the burgeoning single-family build-to-rent sector has pioneered construction methods that are beginning to reduce costs and development time.
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Additional Housing Market Predictions & Trends for 2025 through 2027
1. Home prices could start rising again by 1% - 2% above the inflation rate from 2025 - 2027
The latest Zillow home price expectations survey shows that housing market experts believe annual price growth will slow to 1.6% in 2023, before picking back up at an average clip of 3.5% per year through 2027 – the same rate that prices grew in the relatively stable period from 1987-1999. If real incomes rise faster than inflation, the combination of that extra purchasing power and lower mortgage rates would boost affordability, home sales and prices from 2025 to 2027.
2. Large scale conversion of office spaces in places like San Francisco and New York to multi-family apartments
From 2025 to 2027, more cities will see office spaces being converted into housing, especially in places like San Francisco and New York. This is already happening in some areas of San Francisco, which has seen the lowest return-to-office rate of any major city, coupled with record-high commercial real estate vacancy rates.
For example, in December 2022 local developer Group i filed a preliminary application to convert five stories of the historic Warfield Theater building that houses the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco into housing.
Also, in New York City, an increasing number of high-rise buildings are becoming obsolete because of remote working and developers see an opportunity to meet housing demand.
3. Rising homelessness will compel changes to zoning laws
The number of people experiencing homelessness in the United States is on the rise, and it’s likely to continue to grow over the next five years.
In 2022, HUD reported around 582,000 Americans experiencing homelessness. That’s about 18 per 10,000 people in the US, up about 2,000 people from 2020. It’s also estimated that around 3.7 million people live in “doubled-up” situations with family and friends due to inability to afford housing.
In response to this growing crisis of homelessness and high housing costs, several cities and states have altered zoning laws to allow developers and homeowners to build more housing units on single-family lots. This trend will continue as more cities and suburbs face these same problems.
Over the next five years, accessory dwelling units built next to existing homes and smaller multifamily buildings replacing single-family homes will become more common, especially in dense urban cores.
4. Single family home starts will rise steadily from 2024 - 2027
The single-family home construction market has been a mixed bag since the pandemic. The construction of multifamily homes, which spiked during the pandemic as builders raced to meet demand, is predicted to decline through 2025 before rebounding in 2027.
The value of single-family housing construction in the United States is expected to reach over 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
After a sharp decline in 2023, single-family building permits are predicted to plateau in 2024 and then rise again over the next three years.
5. Many real estate agents will drop out or switch careers
Our final housing market prediction is courtesy of Firsttuesday, a provider of real estate sales licensing and continuing education. They predict a dramatic fall in sales agent licensing from 2023 to 2025. Their prediction is based on the assumption that reduced sales activity will lead to fewer people pursuing careers as real estate agents. However, they believe that sales agent licensing will start rising again in 2028 as more buyers and speculators enter the market.
In conclusion, we’ve explored over 25 insightful housing market predictions from industry experts on the housing market’s trajectory for the next five years. These forecasts have shed light on critical aspects such as mortgage rates, housing prices, new construction, and moving. As the market continues to evolve, it’s essential for potential homebuyers, sellers, and investors to stay informed about these trends in order to make well-informed decisions. If you’re worried about the possibility of a housing market crash in either 2023 or 2024, read this article. (link to housing market crash article)
Now that you’ve gained valuable knowledge about the future of the housing market, we encourage you to share this post with friends and colleagues. By spreading awareness of these expert predictions, you can help others navigate the ever-changing landscape of real estate, empowering them to make smarter choices in the years ahead.