7 key trends shaping the 2021 housing market
"Insane. Crazy. Alarming. The Wild, Wild West.” These are the descriptors top real estate agents across the nation use to paint a picture of today's housing market. It's been over a year since low mortgage rates, remote work, and a surge in relocations fueled a real estate buying spree bigger than anyone could have predicted — and which America's housing inventory could not possibly satisfy.
In Q2 2021, 98% of real estate agents in our Summer / Fall Top Agent Insights Survey said it was a seller's market, up from 79% the year before. Relatedly, the entire U.S. is seeing double-digit home price gains. Although we're in a completely different context from the 2008 housing boom — and analysts aren't expecting a crash — we're once again finding out just how much heat the market can withstand.
As bidding wars continue to reach fever pitch, agents report that buyers are starting to hit a wall. New construction has proven to be unreliable as lumber prices soar and the reality of chronic underbuilding takes its toll. Vaccines have given sellers the confidence to list their homes — but where will they move to? Given the challenges ahead, our latest data points to these 7 key trends that will shape the housing market for the latter half of 2021.