We turned the calendar a few weeks ago and bid a not-so-fond adieu to what many felt to be one of the worst years in modern history. The year 2020 was a tough year in multiple respects, made worse by the fact that no one could see it coming. During the majority of this surreal year, a brutal pandemic made it appearance, and the shadow of COVID-19 enveloped our state, country and world. We gladly put 2020 in our rearview mirror. With a new year comes a new PSAR Board of Directors.
Ditas Yamane will serve as 2021 PSAR board president, succeeding Robert Cromer, who will serve as past president. Max Zaker and Sam Calvano will serve in 2021 as president-elect and secretary-treasurer, respectively.
Directors serving on the 2021 PSAR board will include Mike Anderson, Yvonne Cromer, Merrie Espina, Jason Lopez, Laurie MacDonald, Peter Mendiola, Rafael Perez, Amy Ruiz, Amber Tannehill and Mike White. Andrea Martino will serve as the affiliate director.
So, what should PSAR members expect in 2021? How will the 2021 housing market differ from that of 2020? What other differences can we expect in 2021?
To find some answers, we consulted 2021 PSAR board members and asked them to share in their own words 2021 housing market forecasts. You will be happy to note that the overall tone of the comments is positive. Their comments appear below.
-- “The housing market will remain seller-friendly with high buyer demand and relatively low mortgage rates. Slow housing supply will lead to rising housing prices. Home builders are expected to build more residential housing to help increase inventory even while facing higher cost of materials, longer materials delivery, labor skills shortage and especially regulatory cost burdens. With mortgage rates at their lowest, it will, indeed, be a spring frenzy. As resilient real estate professionals, it will be an eventful 2021 for us in the housing market as we continue to serve our clients, the real estate community and our neighborhood community.”
-- Ditas Yamane, 2021 President.
-- “I believe the market will continue to surge in early 2021 to fall or late 2021 due to more demand than supply of homes. If sellers want to sell, spring and early summer will be the optimal times. Even with job losses due to COVID-19, there are hundreds of thousands of millennials finally ready to buy. Why now? Most of them got married later and had kids, the number one reason for buying a home, later than any other generation before them. Because the millennials are the largest generation on the planet, they will continue to push prices up. San Diego is currently building about half as many homes as needed to just to keep up with demand. So if you are a buyer, get in asap so you can partake of the 7-to-10 percent increase we will see in 2021.”
-- Robert Cromer, 2020 President.
-- “Economic predictions are at best an opinion, but understanding the political and economic indicators could help provide some insight into what we can expect in the California housing market in 2021. The cost of money (mortgage interest rate) will remain below 4 percent offering massive financial incentive, especially for first-time homebuyers, and will continue to drive up home prices. Consumer confidence (overall job market and unemployment rate) may force and/or encourage homeowners to sell as we reach the peak in home prices, resulting in more inventory. The sun will continue to shine in California making it a desirable destination in which to live, play and invest in real estate.”
-- Max Zaker, 2021 President-Elect.
-- “Here is what I foresee: Stable values, stable demand and a slight increase in rates. Vacancy will increase for commercial and residential rental properties, which will stabilize rents.”
-- Sam Calvano, 2021 board secretary-treasurer.
-- “I don't think there's any reason to think the trends in the housing market will change anytime soon. There is still a huge housing shortage, even with so many making the exodus from California. Many first-time buyers, and it appears many move-up buyers, are looking for bigger homes, often in the suburbs further away from downtown areas and job centers. My understanding is that interest rates will remain incredibly low allowing buyers to pay the rising prices often with a lower down payment and still keep their mortgage payments in check. Perhaps we’ll have as much as a 7-to-8 percent increase in values in 2021, although sooner or later prices are going to have to level off. Builders are doing what they can to meet the demand, but they cannot keep up.”
-- Mike Anderson, 2021 board member.
-- 2021 will continue to see a lack of homes for sale. Inventory shortage has been a major issue over the past couple of years and I expect that to continue in the New Year. Currently we have about a 1 month supply of homes and that is fueling the continued price increases in the San Diego region. So, it will be a great time to consider selling as buyers are willing to pay top dollar. While the lack of inventory can present challenges for buyers and result in increased competition for homes, the historically low interest rates will continue to drive buyer demand and offset the higher prices. When you factor in the pandemic and lockdown, buyers also want some room to move around. Since many people have transitioned to remote work from home, we are seeing many leave the urban setting. After all, if one is working from home there is no need to live close to the office or commute. A good internet connection and great coffee will work just fine!
-- Jason Lopez, 2021 board member.
-- “Many homeowners affected by COVID-19 who either temporarily or permanently lost jobs or unexpectedly have reduced hours and income are on forbearance. Termination of forbearance, while homeowners are still held hostage by inability to catch up, will force sellers to sell or face foreclosure by their lenders. Their inability to qualify for any affordable option to keep their home will create new inventory. There will be more houses to sell and will lessen the competition among buyers. With increased inventory, home prices will be stable and will allow for affordability again. Interest rates are of enormous importance to virtually everyone. Most borrowers respond to low interest rates, which is a motivation to invest in home purchase.”
-- Merrie Espina, 2021 board member.
-- “My prediction for the future of our housing market in 2021 is that we will continue to see low inventory and higher demand due to low interest rates. I believe that there has never been a better time to invest in real estate and I think that people will be looking for larger homes to accommodate working and schooling from home and more usable outdoor space as well. I also believe that, in addition to building relationships, agents will need to focus on their online and social presence to set themselves apart from the pack as this is going to be a primary resource for both buyers and sellers to identify an agent with whom they wish to work.”
-- Amber Tannehill, 2021 board member.
-- “With every New Year is the opportunity to harness the energy born out of the previous year’s struggles. So, overall, I’m optimistic for 2021, although for real estate I’m expecting more of the same market conditions. My wish for everyone at PSAR is that the New Year bring renewed hope and joy as we continue on our journey one day at a time.”
-- Mike White, 2021 board member.
With more than 3,500 members, PSAR is, one of the San Diego County’s largest real estate trade groups for San Diego-area REALTORS®. Services to REALTORS® include California Regional MLS services, educational training classes, advocacy and resources for realtors, including lock boxes and signage.