National Housing Market Outlook

Where Are We in the Housing Cycle (2024)?

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Danielle Nguyen

March 5, 2024

We begin 2024 with optimism about the economy and the housing market as mortgage rates stabilize and the Fed works to tame inflation. Our mid-month check with builders confirmed that the spring selling season has come early for builders who take advantage of the low resale-supply environment and can offer rate buydowns.

So, where are we in the housing cycle?

To answer this question accurately, we must first note that local market dynamics and fundamentals drive the health of individual housing markets. Every market has its own set of influences (jobs, migration, supply, etc.) and demographic drivers.

How we get the local market view

To stay on top of local market conditions, we look to our consulting team, one of the US’s largest and most geographically diverse. Our in-house demographics team tracks the trends shaping housing demand and the economy. These two teams provide a real-time and forward-looking understanding of where we are in the housing cycle.

How is your market performing? See the graphic below to understand where some of the largest markets are positioned in the long-term housing cycle (1-year to 3-year outlook). See below for some high-level market insight.

While most markets have improved from one year ago, the dynamics are different across major markets, which fall into one of four housing-cycle stages : RecoveringGrowing/MaturingFallingand Bottoming.

Recovering phase

Markets in the recovering phase have seen stabilizing demand and a firming pricing environment. Several of these markets saw large construction volumes delivered over the last several years.

  • Jacksonville, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, and Sacramento saw significant deliveries over the last several years. Many recovering markets benefitted from in-migration and work-from-home (WFH) policies, namely from buyers relocating due to relative affordability.
  • Many markets have seen housing demand and pricing normalize/stabilize from peaks in the last several years. Incentives, namely rate buydowns, continue to drive sales—though builders have eased concessions recently. We are watching for signs of improvement heading into the spring selling season.
  • Capital investment continues in this phase, though not at the pace of growing/maturing markets.

Growing/Maturing phase

Markets in the Growing/Maturing phase have seen rising volumes and prices. Mature markets are seeing limited volume growth. Several of these markets are attracting capital investment.

  • Several markets in the growing/maturing phase (Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, Tampa) experienced significant home price appreciation, in-migration, and job growth. Several of these markets are seeing a resurgence in demand at the start of the spring selling season in 2024.
  • Capital investment has picked up for many of these markets, especially as buyers search for relative affordability compared to other markets and a diverse job market.
  • Houston and Orlando (plus outlying submarkets near Orlando) benefit from available, developable land, which will drive volume growth. These markets successfully diversified their economies outside of oil and tourism, respectively.
  • Orange County and San Diego are rated Very Strong , based on new home sales and pricing conditions, making them our strongest-rated markets in the country. Both markets benefit from anemically low new and resale supply, which boosts prices and props sales for any home brought to market. Despite domestic household out-migration, demand from international buyers has bounced back.

Falling phase

Markets in the falling phase of the housing cycle saw flat or declining prices, limited capital investment, and shrinking demand for housing. This is not to say there is no growth or that you cannot perform well in these markets; there just may be more risk because of where we are in the housing cycle.

  • Austin and Salt Lake City were standouts for in-migration and robust tech employment demand and job growth throughout the pandemic. This has reversed course quickly—especially as rising interest rates impacted hiring and growth across all sectors (most notably in tech). After years of robust home price appreciation during the pandemic, these markets have seen flat to declining home prices. The new home market has recently found its footing, with builders finally reaching a price floor and sales starting to pick up in 2024.
  • San Francisco faced an exodus throughout the pandemic to more affordable markets, and this trend still exists. Supply constraints limit any potential housing market growth.

Bottoming phase

A handful of markets have reached the Bottoming phase of the cycle, characterized by low volumes and stabilizing/weak pricing. There are still opportunities to grow in these markets, especially at the right price and pace.

  • Denver and Nashville experienced significant but slowing in-migration in the last several years. New home prices are flat to stabilizing in these markets, as builders hope to improve sales in the spring selling season. We rate the new home sales and pricing conditions in both markets as Slow.
  • We are monitoring the forthcoming impact of apartment projects set to deliver in Denver, Nashville, and San Jose over the next several years. These three markets are offering elevated concessions to drive occupancy.
  • San Jose historically lacks new and resale supply, creating a floor for home prices. Recent tech sector layoffs are a risk for housing demand and employment growth.

How can our team help you?

Our Metro and Regional Research Package includes analysis of the latest supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals for each metro and region. Our boots-on-the-ground consulting team constantly evaluates market feasibility, absorption/pricing/product recommendations, and overall investment/expansion strategy in markets nationwide. Combine these two areas of expertise, and you get the qualitative and quantitative insights for smart decision-making.

Also, stay tuned for the upcoming launch of our Burns Demographics Analysis and Forecast report—a one-stop shop for demographic insights and projections to further support strategic decisions.

Housing markets across the country have recovered or performed at different paces and have different outlooks. Our research and consulting teams track these differences and can help you make informed decisions based on your growth strategy. Please reach out with questions about how we can best advise you on your markets.

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About The Author

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Danielle Nguyen
Vice President of Research
Danielle manages, implements, and analyzes the housing market with a specific focus on for-sale and for-rent research. She is a research content creator who produces high-quality, insightful, and forward-looking housing research and a trusted resource (connector) for clients and those interested in JBREC’s research.

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