The pandemic has sparked a range of significant shifts and changes in how we live, but maybe most notably, in the longer term, could be our approach to work, and what we look for in our professional career.
Homes are selling faster than ever—in less than a week in the country’s most active housing markets.
Realtor.com® released a new report revealing housing’s top 10 ZIP codes for 2021. This year’s list showed some of the most significant drivers behind the hottest markets:
- Housing affordability with asking prices that offer bigger houses for the money
- A growing number of high-income millennials
- Close proximity to local amenities and outdoor activities
“The ZIPs that make our annual hottest report are very competitive, but this year, they are white hot,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Homes in this year’s ZIPs are under contract in less than a week, which is three times faster than the contract times for last year’s hottest markets. While there’s no question that buyers have faced a challenging housing market during the pandemic, our hottest ZIPs list also highlights some of the silver linings. The rise in remote work has given some buyers more flexibility to live wherever they want, and many are finding larger homes at lower prices, as well as a higher quality of life, in the 2021 hottest ZIPs.”
Homes are selling in the top 10 markets an average of six days—31 days faster than the rest of the country. Home listing views on realtor.com® are up 156% compared to a year earlier.
The inventory shortage, which has been a nuisance for years now, is causing even greater disruption since the pandemic began. Fueling intense buyer competition and sky-high home prices, the historic supply crunch requires a “once in a generation” federal response to address decades of underinvestment and underbuilding, argues the National Association of REALTORS®.
There are areas of the country that exemplify the problem and support NAR’s urgent call. DeedClaim, an online deed preparation service, analyzed the 50 largest metros to identify the markets with the biggest housing deficits. The site crunched realtor.com® data to determine each metro area’s supply levels and analyzed population changes to find where the lowest amount of available housing is compared to demand.
Phoenix and Dallas topped the list with the biggest housing shortages. Cities in Southern states tended to have the largest housing shortages, according to the study.
2021 National Housing Market Forecast and Predictions: Back to Normal
To say 2020 was a year of surprises is an extreme understatement. What started off as a bright year for the housing market and the economy was soon derailed by a global pandemic and severe economic recession. As detailed by my colleague, George Ratiu, the economic rebound has been sharp, but is by no means complete and created distinct winners and losers among sectors in the economy. Read more detailed thoughts on the overall economic context and outlook, here. One of the big winners has been the housing market, which saw home sales and prices hit decade-plus highs following decade lows in the span of just a few months. We expect housing’s winning streak to continue in 2021 as seasonal trends normalize and some of the frenzied momentum fades thanks to fresh affordability challenges. Below you’ll find our forecast and housing market predictions on key trends that will shape the year ahead.
Realtor.com 2021 Forecast for Key Housing Indicators
|Housing Indicator||Realtor.com 2021 Forecast|
|Mortgage Rates||Average 3.2% throughout the year, 3.4% by end of year|
|Existing Home Median Sales Price Appreciation||Up 5.7%|
|Existing Home Sales||Up 7.0%|
|Single-Family Home Housing Starts||Up 9%|
Owners typically stay fewer years in their homes in metro areas with a high concentration of new residents, a NAR analysis shows.
As of 2018, the median duration of homeownership in the U.S. is 13 years1. Compared to previous years, homeowners opt to spend more time holding onto their residences. Median tenure has increased by 3 years since 2008.
Nevertheless, homeownership duration varies from area to area. Homeowners in some metro areas move more frequently than homeowners in the rest of the country. To begin our analysis, we looked at the median years of residence for owner-occupied homes located in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas. The American Community Survey provides estimates about the median year that owners moved into their homes. As data shows, homeownership duration varies from 6 to 18 years in the 100 largest metro areas. In more than half of these metro areas, homeowners spend less time holding onto their primary residences than the typical homeowner across the country.
Specifically, homeowners in the following areas typically stay up to 8 years in their homes:
In contrast, the following metro areas had a median homeownership duration of 16 years and higher:
As the data shows, many of the fastest-growing metro areas had the lowest median tenures. For instance, in Austin-Round Rock, TX, owners typically stay for 8 years in their homes while 18 percent of the total population moved within the last 12 months in 2018. Respectively, in Colorado Springs, CO the median homeownership duration was 8 years while the share of recent movers was 21 percent.
In contrast, in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA where fewer people moved recently (9%), the typical homeowner stayed for 15 years. Similarly, the median homeownership duration was 15 years in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA while 9 percent of the total population moved within the last 12 months.
Housing supply shortage and low affordability are two of the main reasons that people stay longer in their homes. Firstly, the number of building permits for single-family homes issued in 2018 compared to a year earlier was lower in the metro areas with median homeownership duration above 13 years. While there are fewer inventory options, sellers in these areas may find it harder to find and purchase their next homes. Thus, they stay longer in their homes and fewer homes are available for first-time homebuyers. On the contrary, permits increased by 4% in the metro areas where homeowners stay less than 13 years in their homes.
Moreover, housing is more expensive in the areas with the highest median tenures. Although short supply increases the seller’s profit, it also difficult for these sellers to afford to purchase their next homes. As data reveals, the median home price of recently purchased homes was 10 percent higher in the areas with a median homeownership duration above 13 years compared to other metro areas.
Homeowners staying longer in their homes can further reduce the number of homes for sale. Homeowners will likely be further locked in place because it is difficult to sell and buy a home at the same time. That being said, finding ways to build more housing will help, but the ultimate goal is to increase the number of existing homes available on the market. This can only happen if these existing owners’ homes go on the market.
However, metro areas with smaller homeownership duration are expected to have a boost of housing activity in the upcoming years. Since these areas have more homes available for first-time homebuyers than other metro areas, more newcomers will likely arrive. As first-time homebuyers become a greater proportion of all homeowners, the median homeownership duration will fall further in these areas.
Hover over the map to see how long owners of different metro areas opt to stay in their homes.
- In green metro areas, homeowners spend less time holding onto their residences compared to nationwide
- In grey metro areas, homeowners spend 13 years
- In orange metro areas, homeowners spend more time holding onto their residences compared to nationwide
- The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for the release of their Confidence Index.
- The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices, and market conditions.
- Homes across the country are selling quickly, in an average of just 31 days.
- 49% of homes sold in less than a month.