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At the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) fifth annual Real Estate Forecast Summit: The Year Ahead, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun shared his predictions for 2024.

Yun predicts 4.71 million existing-home sales in 2024, up 13.5% from 4.1 million anticipated in 2023. Additionally, he is expecting the housing market to grow, and Austin, Texas, will be the top real estate market to watch.

“Metro markets in Southern states will likely outperform others due to faster job increases, while markets in the Midwest will experience gains from being in the most affordable region,” he states.

Yun also foresees 1.48 million housing starts in 2024, including 1.04 million single-family and 440,000 multifamily, and the median home price will reach $389,500, an increase of 0.9% from this year.

For rents, Yun expects prices to calm down further in 2024, which will hold down the consumer price index. He predicts foreclosure rates will stay at historically low levels, comprising less than 1% of all mortgages.

Yun forecasts that U.S. GDP will grow by 1.5%, avoiding a recession, with net new job additions slowing to 1.7 million in 2024, compared with 2.7 million in 2023 and 4.8 million in 2022.

After eclipsing 8% in late 2023, he expects the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to average 6.3% and that the Fed will cut rates four times—calming inflationary conditions—in response to slower economic activity.

In addition to Yun’s economic predictions, NAR also identified 10 real estate markets with the most pent-up housing demand, which it expects to outperform other metro areas in 2024. In order, the markets are as follows:

  1. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  3. Dayton-Kettering, Ohio
  4. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  5. Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  6. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
  7. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
  8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware
  9. Portland-South Portland, Maine
  10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland

“The demand for housing will recover from falling mortgage rates and rising income,” says Yun. “In addition, housing inventory is expected to rise by around 30% as more sellers begin to list after delaying selling over the past two years. The selected top 10 U.S. markets will experience faster recovery in home sales.”