Contemplating a purchase or sale this year? I often get questions like, “Will home prices rise or fall this year?” and “What are the expected interest rates?” The truth is, predicting the future is uncertain, but the key lies in what suits you and your family.
Here’s what we do know: The recent years witnessed unprecedented developments in real estate investing. Record-low interest rates caused home prices to surge, leading buyers to submit offers well above asking prices with minimal seller concessions. In 2023, the Federal Reserve intervened, raising interest rates to counter inflation. In my view, the rate hikes were too swift, causing a market slowdown. Higher rates translated to increased monthly payments for buyers, maintaining home prices at the peak. In the last quarter of 2023, the Fed paused rate increases, and even started lowering them.
Now, looking ahead, economists suggest that if unemployment remains low and inflation is in check, rates will stabilize and decrease in 2024. Currently, most clients are experiencing around 6% interest rates, depending on credit, lender choice, and other factors. While the exact bottom is uncertain, I anticipate rates in the 5% to 6% range, and local markets in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Ludowici, Midway, and along the Georgia coast may see steady or slightly higher home prices. The post-holiday season surge in demand, coupled with decreasing rates, could drive prices up.
For sellers, higher prices are positive, yet concessions are more prevalent, covering closing costs based on days on market, location, and seller motivation.
So, what does this mean for buyers and sellers? Should you wait, buy, or sell now? The answer is what suits you and your family best. Some regret paying higher rates by waiting to buy, while others benefit from savings with lower rates. “Time in the market is more important than timing the market.”
Real estate is an investment, but it’s also about happiness and living fully every day. If renting makes you happy, rent. If owning a home brings joy, buy. Buyers staying short-term may find renting sensible, while long-haul residents may consider buying. For sellers, it’s still a seller’s market, with clients walking away from closings happy.
Need help adapting to the real estate landscape of 2024? Feel free to call/text me at 912-321-7788 for more information.