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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently held its second annual Real Estate Forecast Summit, featuring several economists, including NAR Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research Lawrence Yun.

NAR President Charlie Oppler opened up the event, stating, “If you had told me that last year in 2019, we would finish the way we did and that in 2020, the housing markets would finish ahead of where we were, I would have been surprised. To think about what’s happened with the pandemic, I’m shocked.”

“After this year, I think our shock thresholds have all been reset,” Oppler continued. “Much of the success our REALTORS® have had in 2020 comes from the economic research and analysis we’ve provided.”

Yun agreed that 2020 has been full of surprises, stating “When the pandemic began, there was a tremendous amount of uncertainty. To our surprise, the housing market not only recovered, and then some, but it went roaring past the pre-pandemic levels.”

So, what’s to come? Yun said REALTORS® can expect a post-pandemic rebound, including improved job conditions and stable interest rates into 2021.

According to an NAR survey of more than 20 top U.S. economic and housing experts, we can expect:

– GDP growth of 3.5 percent in 2021 and 3.0 percent in 2022
– An annual unemployment rate of 6.2 percent next year with a decline to 5.0 percent in 2022
– Average annual 30-year fixed mortgage rates of 3.0 percent and 3.25 percent for 2021 and 2022, respectively
– Annual median home prices to increase by 8.0 percent in 2021 and by 5.5 percent in 2022
– Housing starts of 1.50 million next year and 1.59 million in 2022
– The share of the U.S. workforce working from home to be 18 percent in 202—down from 21 percent in —and 12 percent in 2022
– Small declines in office and hotel vacancy rates in 2021, with a slight increase in retail vacancies next year

Additionally, NAR identified 10 markets that have shown resilience during the pandemic and which should perform well in a post-COVID environment:

– Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Ga.
– Boise City, Ida.
– Charleston-North Charleston, S.C
– Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
– Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
– Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.
– Madison, Wisc.
– Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Ariz.
– Provo-Orem, Utah
– Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash.

“Some markets have been performing exceptionally well throughout the pandemic and they’ll likely carry that momentum well into 2021, and beyond, because of strong in-migration of new residents, faster local job market recoveries and environments conducive to work-from-home arrangements and other factors,” Yun said.

“As we look toward 2021 and beyond, expect these 10 markets to perform strongly with potential buyers finding conditions particularly favorable to purchase a home,” said Oppler. “Overall, residential real estate will continue to be an important driver of our nation’s economic recovery and the activity in these markets will help lead the way.”

Both Yun and Oppler will be speaking during RISMedia’s “Real Estate’s Rocking in the New Year,” co-presented by NAR and being held virtually on Jan. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Click here to register for a 50 percent discount! All registrants will receive a complimentary digital copy of RISMedia’s “Ultimate Team Guide” as a holiday giveaway ($50 value).

For more information, please visit