Dec 16, 2023 - Business

Housing experts share their 2024 real estate predictions

Animated illustration of a real estate sign with the year 2023 on it flipping over to reveal the year 2024.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

More palatable mortgage rates might inspire a more active housing market in 2024, but don't expect a big shift.

Why it matters: Many homeowners and wannabe buyers stood still in 2023, waiting for rates to drop before they made a move.

The big picture: If the economy is steady, rates could land around 6%. If the economy stumbles, mortgage rates could fall more significantly, says Greg McBride, Bankrate's chief financial analyst.

What they're saying: Falling mortgage rates are good for buyers. But fierce competition and low inventory will keep sellers "in the driver's seat," Tampa Bay agent Adam Grenville says.

Between the lines: Lower mortgage rates won't clear all buyer hurdles, and actually could push home prices higher if demand surges and inventory remains low.

  • This will be especially hard on first-time buyers in the starter home price range who have felt the effects of high interest rates and high prices the most, Beverly Hills agent Beatrice De Jong says.

Yes, but: "More existing homeowners will be willing to exchange their ultra-low interest rates" for a new home, Denver Compass agent David Schlichter predicts.

  • Similar to 2023, sellers will have to put effort into curb appeal and maintenance before listing.
  • "The days of swiftly and inexpensively flipped homes lacking style are behind us as we approach 2024," De Jong says.

What we're watching: How the NAR verdict changes real estate agents' commission and conversations in the industry.

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