“The housing market we think is going to slow a little bit,” Duncan said. “That doesn’t mean it’s declining, it just means the pace of appreciation will be slower. We still expect a very strong year, probably stronger than 2019. It’s just that 2020 was completely historic. Last year’s house prices appreciation was at about 10%, which is simply not sustainable, from an affordability perspective. We think house price [appreciation] will come down to about half of what it was over the year as builders catch up and people who could offer their homes for sale but were fearful of the virus start to list their homes.”
He also expects rates to trickle upwards from their 2020 lows and, as we learned in 2013 and 2018, market-driven upticks of around 100 basis points can lead to 10% drops in home sales.
Duncan is still expecting positivity in the housing market, however, driven by a millennial generation that is entering peak homebuying age. That generation, too, skews towards the kind of salaried employment that usually results in homeownership.