Experts Predict Housing Market Recovery in Late 2024 through 2025 – Norada Real Estate Investments

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Housing slump ending soon? Experts say prices stabilize & sales rise in late 2024, strong recovery by 2025. Economic and real estate specialists are predicting a housing market recovery beginning in late 2024 and extending through 2025.

This brings positive prospects for plumbing manufacturers, distributors, and construction trades involved in the housing market. The United States is seeing increased population and job growth, shifting demographics, and cooling inflation, all contributing to higher home sales, although some challenges remain in the commercial and multifamily real estate sectors.

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Housing Market Recovery Predictions

Job Growth and Housing Demand

Job growth this year has been robust, driving long-term real estate demand. A strong job market typically translates to better wages, leading to increased housing demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an encouraging update in March: employers added 303,000 jobs, surpassing the average monthly gain of 231,000 over the past year.

The BLS also notes that total payroll jobs have increased by 5 million compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. Many workers who have taken new jobs this year are planning significant lifestyle changes, including purchasing a new home or car, according to a ZipRecruiter survey.

Cooling Inflation and Mortgage Rates

As inflation is expected to cool, lower mortgage interest rates over the coming months will help boost existing home sales. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) expects existing home sales to rise because 30-year mortgage rates have likely peaked, and the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index is improving.

The index is above 70 percent after bottoming out at around 57 percent in 2022, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, Ph.D. In March, he presented a positive real estate outlook at the Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) Washington Legislative Forum and Fly-In. In its April housing market forecast, Fannie Mae projected that mortgage rates will drop to 6.4 percent by the end of this year and continue declining through 2025.

Experts believe that stabilizing rent prices will help reduce the Consumer Price Index (CPI); this price relief could enable the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. Yun noted the CPI fell to 3.1 percent in January, down from its 2022 peak of around 9 percent.

Strong Housing Starts Boost Building-Related Product Sales

Following a recessionary phase that began earlier than the broader economy, the housing market is poised for recovery. Permits for single-family housing starts are rising nationwide, with some states experiencing accelerated growth. NAR expects housing starts to increase by 1.2 percent to 1.43 million in 2024 and by 4.9 percent to 1.5 million in 2025.

New home construction will be especially strong in Texas, Florida, and Indiana, where single-family housing unit permits have risen by 44 percent27 percent, and nearly 50 percent, respectively, according to ITR Economics’ Connor Lokar during PMI’s April Market Outlook LIVE presentation. This positive housing trend will lead to increased wholesale volumes and boosted customer orders for plumbing fixtures, fittings, and other construction-related products, he says.

NAR projects that existing home sales will grow by 9 percent to 4.46 million in 2024, and by an additional 13.2 percent to 5.05 million in 2025.

Local governments are getting creative to address the demand for more housing by reconsidering lot size requirements, zoning laws, and other policies. For instance, the Washington Post reports that Sheboygan, Wis., is collaborating with local employers, including PMI member Kohler Co., to build 600 entry-level homes priced between $230,000 and $250,000 to attract more front-line manufacturing workers. The county will also offer downpayment assistance to buyers.

Other cities — such as Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; and St. Paul, Minn. — have changed zoning laws to allow building up to four homes on one lot.

Growing Population and Life Changes to Sustain Home Sales

The increasing population and changing life events, such as retirement and job changes, are creating positive shifts in the housing market.

U.S. population growth is on the rise, contributing to pent-up home-selling demand. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s January estimates, the nation’s population grew by 1.6 million to a total of 334.9 million, reaching its highest level since the pandemic.

Yun highlighted life changes expected over the next two years that will boost total home sales to pre-COVID levels: 7 million births3 million marriages1.5 million divorces7 million Americans turning age 654 million deaths5 million new jobs created, and 50 million job switches.

Generational buying habits are also evolving. Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest group of homebuyers at 38 percent, and Gen X buyers are most likely to purchase multigenerational homes at 19 percent, according to the NAR 2024 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report. Baby boomers remain the largest generation of home sellers at 45 percent.

Millennials are selling because their homes are too small or their family situations have changed, while baby boomers and Silent Generation members (born between 1928 and 1945) are selling to move closer to family and friends or because their homes are too large.

Challenges Still Ahead

Some challenges and concerns remain. Outlooks in the commercial, multifamily, and remodeling sectors are less favorable, especially as the overall economy begins to soften later this year.

Currently at around 3.5 percent, the U.S. inflation rate is unlikely to return to the below 2 percent levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Lokar, due to factors embedded in the economy, such as government spending and labor costs. Commercial and nonresidential markets will lag, and multifamily housing demand will decrease in the short term.

Lokar notes a positive outcome from slow economic growth at the end of 2023 and early 2024: less supply chain pressure. While supply chain recovery is creating excess inventory issues, building material and plumbing product retail sales should start to progress in late 2024 with improved housing fundamentals.

After a challenging period of tight housing inventory, high home prices, and elevated mortgage interest rates, it’s encouraging to see rising housing starts and strong job growth. Although the economy may face obstacles, using the forecasts from real estate and financial experts can help us adapt and innovate, as our industry has done for decades.


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