2024 Real Estate Trends: Is It Becoming A Buyer’s Market?

The real estate market is known for its cyclical nature, constantly shifting between favoring buyers and sellers. As we move through 2024, many are asking: Is it becoming a buyer’s market? This article explores the current market status, predictions from national experts, and indicators to watch for in determining whether the market is tilting towards buyers.

Current Market Status

As of mid-2024, the housing market presents mixed signals. While affordability remains a significant challenge due to persistently high mortgage rates, there are signs that the tide might be turning. Inventory levels have shown a notable increase, with Realtor.com reporting a 35.2% year-over-year rise in available homes for sale as of May 2024. This rise is particularly pronounced in the South, where smaller, more affordable homes are becoming more common, potentially easing the pressure on buyers (Realtor.com).

Despite these gains, inventory levels are still not back to pre-pandemic norms. Compared to pre-2020 figures, the market remains down between 20% to 60% in terms of available homes, depending on the region. This shortfall continues to keep upward pressure on prices, though the rate of price increases has moderated significantly (Norada Real Estate).

What The Experts Are Saying

National experts offer varied forecasts for the remainder of 2024. Realtor.com anticipates that while home prices and mortgage rates may begin to decline, the shift will not be immediate or uniform across all markets. They expect the affordability crisis to gradually ease as inflation subsides and interest rates lower, but they caution that significant relief may not materialize until later in the year or beyond (Realtor.com).

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) echoes this cautious optimism. They highlight that as mortgage rates slowly decline, the market could see a stabilization in home prices. However, they also point out that geopolitical and domestic political uncertainties could influence these trends, adding a layer of unpredictability to the market (NAR).

Spotting a Buyer’s Market

Increased Inventory Levels

A significant rise in the number of homes for sale is a strong indicator of a market shifting towards buyers. More inventory means less competition among buyers, leading to more negotiating power.

Longer Time on Market

Homes sitting on the market for extended periods suggest that buyers have more options and can afford to be selective. This trend can pressure sellers to lower prices or offer incentives to close deals.

Price Reductions

An increase in the frequency and magnitude of price reductions is a telltale sign. If sellers are consistently dropping their asking prices, it indicates a shift in market dynamics favoring buyers.

Stable or Declining Home Prices

While slight year-over-year increases are typical, a plateau or decline in home prices signals a market where buyers hold more sway. Monitoring median listing prices and price per square foot can provide insights into these trends.

Seller Incentives

Offers such as paying for closing costs, providing home warranties, or including additional perks are strategies sellers use in a buyer’s market to make their listings more attractive.

Planning For What’s Next

While the 2024 real estate market is still in flux, there are clear signs that it may be shifting towards a buyer’s market. Increased inventory, moderated price growth, and longer listing times all point in this direction. However, potential buyers should remain vigilant, staying informed about market trends and working closely with real estate professionals to make the most of these evolving conditions.

Thinking of buying a home in 2024? Stay ahead of the market trends with expert guidance from McGrath Realty, Inc. Contact us today to navigate the changing real estate landscape and find your perfect home.