Hallelujah! Finally, Some Good News About The Real Estate Market

Key Takeaways:

– The old way of doing business is over and it’s time to prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.
– The real estate market has faced challenges such as legal troubles, inflation, and difficulty finding clients.
– The Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases have made buyers and sellers hesitant.
– Good news on interest rates has brought optimism to the market.
– Zillow predicts a “breather year” for homebuyers in 2024 with improvements in inventory and affordability.
– Americans support zoning changes to allow for more affordable housing.
– Home inventory has shown signs of life with more homes being listed in November 2023 compared to the previous year.
– Mortgage rates continue to slide, leading to an increase in applications for purchase loans.
– Brad Inman provides a list of 100 tougher, smarter must-dos for 2024.


The verdict is in — the old way of doing business is over. Join us at Inman Connect New York Jan. 23-25, when together we’ll conquer today’s market challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Defy the market and bet big on your future.

Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: You loved last week’s good news on mortgage rates, and this week brought even more smiles to the real estate market.

Y’all, it’s been a year.

From legal troubles to realignments to outsized inflation, the big picture for real estate was of fear and trembling for much of the year. But overshadowing even the commission lawsuits and the meltdowns at NAR was the simple fact that it was just crazy difficult to find clients.

As the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to combat inflation, buyers and sellers both sat on their hands — buyers due to the impact on affordability when combined with sky-high home values and sellers because they already had super-low pandemic-era interest rates and didn’t want to trade.

The result for agents and brokers was a deep pessimism and real questions for some about whether a career in real estate was even sustainable. Then, like the sunshine through the clouds, we got some good news on interest rates — and things began to shake loose. They haven’t stopped over the last week, so it’s time for an all-good-news edition of The Download.

It seems we’ve talked endlessly about the market impact of rising interest rates combined with low inventory. Higher rates not only make buyers reluctant to search; they make homeowners reluctant to list and trade in their lower-rate mortgage for a rate that’s double or even triple.

Perhaps that’s why this story by Inman’s Matt Carter resonated so strongly with so many of you, offering a glimmer of hope that the bad old days of the 2023 market will give way to sunny skies ahead. Carter’s story led last week’s installment of The Download, which, in turn, became the week’s No. 1 story.

It’s obvious that after a year of frustration, there’s an appetite for good news — and we’ve got even more of it. This week, the happy hits kept rolling in:

Zillow predicts a ‘breather year’ for homebuyers in 2024

The nation’s leading real estate listings search portal is predicting improvements in inventory and affordability for 2024.

In a forecast released Thursday, Zillow predicted homebuyers will have slightly more homes to choose from at slightly more agreeable prices in the new year. Buying a home will remain expensive, but the market will begin to become gradually better for buyers in what Zillow economists called a “breather year.”

EXTRA: 6 keys for leading into the storm during a market downturn

Americans support zoning changes to allow more housing, survey finds

Americans are broadly supportive of an array of zoning changes that have been shown to allow for more affordable housing, according to a new study from Pew Charitable Trusts.

EXTRA: Here’s how to put the commission lawsuits in the rearview mirror

Home inventory finally showing signs of life in November

According to a report published this week by Realtor.com, 7.5 percent more homesellers listed their homes in November 2023 than in November 2022 — the first time the rate of newly listed homes has recorded an annual increase since May 2022.

EXTRA: A step-by-step guide to build the life and business of your dreams

Homebuyers seizing the day as mortgage rates continue to slide

Mortgage rates continue to retreat from their 2023 highs and would-be homebuyers are seizing the day, with applications for purchase loans surging by a seasonally adjusted 5 percent last week from the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday.

EXTRA: Brad Inman’s 100 tougher, smarter must-dos for 2024

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Property Chomp's Take:

The real estate market has experienced its fair share of challenges in the past year. From legal troubles to inflation, it seemed like the industry was constantly on edge. But perhaps the biggest challenge for agents and brokers was the difficulty in finding clients. Buyers and sellers were hesitant due to rising interest rates and sky-high home values. This led to a deep pessimism within the industry, with some questioning the sustainability of a career in real estate.

However, there is finally some good news on the horizon. Interest rates are starting to stabilize, and this has had a positive impact on the market. Buyers are becoming more active, and sellers are starting to list their homes. It seems like the tide is finally turning, and agents and brokers can breathe a sigh of relief.

One of the key factors contributing to this positive trend is the increase in home inventory. According to a report by Realtor.com, there was a 7.5% increase in newly listed homes in November 2023 compared to the previous year. This is the first time in months that there has been an annual increase in newly listed homes. This is great news for buyers who have been struggling to find available properties.

Another factor contributing to the positive outlook is the decrease in mortgage rates. As rates continue to slide, more and more homebuyers are seizing the opportunity to enter the market. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 5% increase in applications for purchase loans last week.

In addition to these positive market trends, a recent study from Pew Charitable Trusts found that Americans are supportive of zoning changes that allow for more affordable housing. This is an important step in addressing the affordability crisis that has plagued the real estate market.

Overall, it seems like the real estate market is finally turning a corner. The challenges of the past year are slowly but surely being overcome, and agents and brokers can look forward to a brighter future. It's time to defy the market and bet big on your future. The old way of doing business is over, and it's time to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

If you want to stay informed about the latest market trends and get the tools you need to succeed, join us at Inman Connect New York from January 23-25. This event will bring together industry professionals to conquer today's market challenges and prepare for tomorrow's opportunities. It's the perfect opportunity to network, learn from industry experts, and gain insights that will help you meet Monday head-on.

So, let's leave the fear and trembling behind and embrace the sunny skies ahead. The real estate market is on the upswing, and it's time to make the most of it. Bet big on your future and join us at Inman Connect New York. Together, we can conquer the challenges of today and build a successful career in real estate.

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