A Glimpse into the Crystal Ball: @properties Christie’s International Real Estate Co-CEOS Predict a Strong 2024 Market
The tables are turning for the many would-be home buyers and sellers who spent 2023 waiting for a more favorable real estate market. According to @properties Christie’s International Real Estate co-CEO’s, Mike Golden and Thad Wong, relief is on the way in 2024.
What else should buyers and sellers expect this year? In this interview, Golden and Wong dive into their predictions for Chicagoland’s real estate market in 2024 and how buyers and sellers can prepare for success.
What do you expect for the overall housing market for 2024?
Wong: I’m extremely optimistic for 2024, and I predict a very strong spring market. We were lucky to get some relief with interest rates at the end of last year. This year will be big for first-time buyers. They’re not disappointed that rates aren’t 5%. They’re excited that they’re not 7.5% or 8%.
Golden: Overall, I think 2024 will be a good year, but it’s still going to be challenging in terms of the number of homes for sale in the market at any given time. I do think we’ll see inventory levels move back up slightly in 2024 in Chicagoland, but it’s still going to be tight throughout the year, which will fuel slight price increases.
What advice would you give to someone who is buying a home in 2024?
Wong: Competition is still fierce, so you should make sure you’re well-positioned before you begin your search. Simple things like getting a mortgage pre-approval and working with a well-connected agent who takes the time to educate you on the market and purchase process are more important than ever.
Golden: Although rates are likely to end the year lower, if I’m a buyer, I’m not trying to time that. If rates come down, we’re likely to see more competition from buyers and therefore higher prices. So, I’m getting in the market as early as possible, knowing I can always refinance if rates do come down more.
What advice would you give to someone who is selling a home in 2024?
Wong: Make your home look as picture-perfect as you can. Most buyers right now are searching for turnkey properties where there is little work to be done.
Golden: Resist the temptation to overprice your home. While it’s a seller’s market, the sellers who are having the most success are the ones who are pricing accurately, which allows competition to create the best sales price and offer terms.
What hurdles will the market face in 2024?
Golden: I’m concerned about the proposed changes to Chicago’s transfer tax, which will be on the ballot in March. Proponents are calling it a “mansion tax,” which makes it sound like it’s just a tax on the rich. But it’s really a tax on commercial and residential property, and it’s going to impact all Chicagoans. It could deter investment, hit property values, and raise property taxes and rents on the people who can least afford it. I’m a very optimistic person, but all the studies and the evidence point to an adverse result. We have a chance to vote this down in March.
Wong: Presidential elections tend to freeze the market. The one exception was 2020, when people never stopped buying homes. I would expect a slowdown in the fall, and then a strong finish to 2024 no matter what the results of the election are.
What is one home amenity or feature that will dominate 2024?
Wong: I’ll give you two. I’ve been reading articles and talking to designers who say cozy spaces are in, and I totally agree. It’s something I’ve always cherished in my home. A room that’s calming and comfortable, where you can be alone or with family, reading, playing games or doing work. The other one is walkability. The pleasure of walking to restaurants, shops, walking the dog, taking a walk after dinner; it’s totally underrated. I predict people will be taking a lot of walks in 2024!
Golden: Dedicated health and wellness amenities will be very popular in 2024. Homeowners are prioritizing spaces within their homes specifically designed for rejuvenation. In luxury homes, features like infrared treatments, cold plunge pools, and meditation rooms are popular, in addition to state-of-the-art home gyms. Connectivity is a big trend in wellness too, so tech is being integrated into a lot of these amenities.