Here are the latest housing market predictions for 2021 & 2022. The global pandemic shattered the world order and the US economy suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter. It has been roughly one year when it put the housing market on hold for several months last spring. Even with rising mortgage rates and higher prices, economists say the housing market should remain strong due to very tight inventories and increasing demand as more millennials are projected to buy houses this year.
The rate of annual job growth in August, 1.7 percent, was basically the same as in previous months. We had better get used to the idea that this is the new normal, because there probably won't be much help from the lagging government and construction sectors.
Budget difficulties will prevent any meaningful increase in government spending, even though local and state revenues are now in better shape. The recession revealed the extent of unfunded pension liabilities for public employees, which will absorb any extra dollars.
The pace of job growth in July was unchanged from the 1.7 percent annual rate of previous months, but the details suggest an economy that will do modestly better for the rest of the year. Most importantly, jobs in business services were up 3.5 percent from last year.
Business services is one of the largest sectors of the economy, on a par with health care and government, and bigger than retail or manufacturing. Earlier this year it was growing at a 3 percent rate, in the last few months around 3.5 percent; it seems only a small increase but it means that businesses are expanding again.
The economic recession only lasted a year, but there wasn't a recovery for homes because prices had climbed much too high and builders had built way too many of them. Prices had to fall, not just back to a “normal” level, but to an even lower level so that the large inventory of excess homes could be moved – a sort of clearance sale. We're not yet done with that sale – see the large number of mortgages still delinquent – but enough has been cleared out so that prices can drift up to a more normal level.
While buying single family rental properties has become the darling investment strategy of Wall Street, it may not always make sense for individual real estate investors — particularly in some markets already picked over by the large institutional investors. But there are still markets where the numbers work for the conservative, individual investor looking to purchase foreclosures and other homes as single family investment properties.