One thing is certain, 2024 will be as unpredictable as 2023, but let’s spin the wheel, make some predictions, and see how we do! Here are my 6 for 2024 through the Realtor lens.
6. Home sales will climb in 2024
Home sales hit an annual pace of 3.85M in Q4 of 2023, which is about as low as it can get. Therefore, I think we’ve passed the bottom and will climb in 2024 and will end the year on pace for a much improved 4.5M annual sales. That will feel a heck of a lot better. It will however be an unequal reward environment, with the agents who successfully adapted to the market these last couple of years being in the best position to take advantage of the upswing.
5. Home prices will fall
But barely. Maybe 1%. Some markets have adjusted out of the stratosphere (Austin/San Francisco), others are at the beginning of that cycle (most of Florida), and sellers overall were stubbornly slow to reduce prices in 2023. The sorting of these dynamics will cause an overall price decline of a very modest 1% in 2024.
4. Rates will remain above 6%.
While hopefully, 8% is behind us, the Fed is going to watch mortgage rates very closely. It does not want rates to return to the 4s or 5s and risk fueling inflation again. Therefore you’re going to see a very careful balancing of the markets to keep rates above 6 but below 7 for 2024.
3. Many more agents will be named in commission lawsuits
Agents, particularly high-profile, top-producing agents are already being named in the latest round of lawsuits, and that will continue throughout 2024. We’re still in the “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” phase of litigation and I predict that will continue throughout 2024 without any meanwhile settlements or decisions. The legal bills are piling up and that is going to create some havoc for a while with no improvement for the consumer any time soon.
2. NAR will be forced into a significant restructuring
I predict the pressure on NAR will be more than it can handle and it will be forced to restructure to survive. This will have a variety of effects, including a significant reduction in buyer agent compensation, more “flat fee” and “menu of services” listing models, much more overt challenges to MLS rules, and less funding at the local level to advocate for housing and Realtor positive initiatives. We won’t see the conclusion of this story in 2024 but by the end of the year, we’ll have a lot more clarity on what the new world order in real estate will look like.
1.Change is here to stay
It has been increasingly difficult for a “lifestyle” agent to make it in this business for a while now and that trend will continue. Whether it’s the reality that your buyer now needs to directly pay for some or all of your buyer representation services, or the increase in insurance and other fees that will trickle down as a result of the litigation, the bar to successfully stay in the business will go up in 2024. That is a good thing. We must adapt and raise our business skills to the level of our sales skills in the service of our clients who rely on us to handle the most precious transactions of their lives.
Most importantly, remember your 2024 is entirely dependent on YOU. Predictions are fun, but what is more important is putting together a plan to succeed in 2024 regardless of what happens in the overall market.
Now go make 2024 your best yet!!