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Housing market forecast: Predictions and tips from the pros

If you’ve been hunting for a home lately, you know well the many challenges buyers are facing — including limited inventory and persistently high prices. Problems may linger for a while, but some local experts remain hopeful and maintain that the perfect property is within reach. Here’s what they expect to see in the short term and their best advice for those in the market.



Realtor, Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty


The market remains competitive because of solid demand and low inventory, even though mortgage rates are high. Multiple factors have caused an affordability crisis that prevents some home buyers from taking the plunge. Meanwhile, those with low mortgage rates are moving less than before.

Despite the affordability crisis, the Coast offers excellent opportunities for home buyers. This region is known for its beautiful and desirable locations, vibrant communities and a high quality of life. Paired with a lower-than-average cost of living, I believe we will continue to have an influx of out-of-state buyers eager to invest in a home on the Coast.

With that said, homeowner equity is at the highest level in decades, and many homeowners have gained significant value. If you find a home that you like that meets your family’s needs and is affordable, don’t be afraid to put your house on the market.


• Be prepared; you need to act fast in a tight market. Make a list of your current monthly expenses to determine a payment you are comfortable with. Don’t forget to add taxes and insurance. Before shopping, get pre-approved and have the letter ready to submit with any offer.

• Location, location, location — If you find a home you love that needs a little TLC, list what work is needed to see what is necessary now versus what can wait. You can always change the home, but not where it is.

• Sellers, prepare your home for the market as soon as you decide. When showing a house, fresh paint and a deep cleaning go a long way. Remember to boost your curb appeal; first impressions matter.


Owner/Broker, HL Raymond Properties


The real estate market over the next six months is likely to maintain its current trends of high demand and limited inventory. Sellers should take advantage of the favorable conditions while pricing their homes realistically. Buyers should be prepared to act decisively, get pre-approved and consider a variety of options. As always, staying informed and working with experienced professionals will be the key to navigating this dynamic market successfully.


• Act swiftly. In a market with low inventory and high demand, sellers shouldn’t delay putting their property on the market, and buyers must act swiftly when they find a suitable property. Delaying decisions may result in missing out on excellent opportunities.

• Market flexibility: The real estate market can be unpredictable. Both buyers and sellers should be prepared to adjust their strategies based on changing market conditions.

• Remember that real estate is a long-term investment. Avoid making decisions solely based on short-term market fluctuations.


Owner/Broker, Owen & Co. LLC


I feel the home prices will be a little lower than they are now. We have had a drop of about 3 percent, and it’s been said it will drop another 2 percent. The interest rates will increase again; it’s been said they will continue to rise to 8 percent.

We have such a shortage of homes on the market. The new construction will stay at a minimum due to the incentives they are offering. With lower supply and the cost increase in labor, material, interest and insurance, it seems extremely difficult for your average buyer.

I think it is the best market for sellers to get the highest price for their homes. They can purchase and take the current rate and probably will have additional equity to invest in their new purchase or to build.

Our local and state governments could set some incentives for young clients with college debts and senior citizens with limited incomes that would help our market. Builders could build more senior living and gated communities as well.

It is basically supply and demand. We need to be more creative and push for building incentives with our local and state representatives.


• If you’re in the market now to purchase, find an experienced Realtor. Ask for advice, but be detailed in what you’re looking for. That realtor will help you; that is her or his duty.

• If you’re thinking of selling, do it now to get the best price for your property. You need to look at sales in the past six months, though. The market has changed.

• Buyers, make sure you look at the current data of sales in the area you’re looking in. Also check the school district, get insurance quotes and verify if it is in a flood zone. The most important thing is to call a lender to see what you qualify for.


Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Panoramic Properties


While we don’t have a crystal ball, we have been thrilled to see that home values have remained steady and even risen in the aftermath of the pandemic real estate boom. The Gulf Coast is in an ideal position thanks to our strong labor force, commodities-based job market, multiple military bases and, of course, our retiree attraction. There is still limited inventory and will continue to be so for the next 18 months. We have seen area builders adapt to provide a more affordable, accessible product. I believe we will also see more boutique builders start to fill the need.

We also see the trend that buyers will continue focusing on investment properties such as multi-family opportunities, as well as single family homes they can occupy today and rent out tomorrow, and the increasingly hip vacation rental investments. One newer segment of the market we find interesting is children purchasing homes for their aging parents to bring them closer. We will start to see more generational real estate planning in the coming years.


• This is a great time for those homeowners planning to sell in the next few years to take equity from their home (without overleveraging) and make timeless improvements to their property that will help with the next sale. Reach out to a trusted agent to discuss a game plan so you don’t over-improve relative to your neighborhood.

• Today’s buyer must be certain to have a pre-approval letter from a lender in order to submit a bona-fide offer upon finding the perfect house and know the do’s and don’ts when qualifying for a mortgage, such as not financing a new car, appliances or other major purchases.

• In selling a home, get a head start on packing to minimize clutter, complete needed repairs, freshen up paint, and keep your lawn mowed and trimmed with a little seasonal color.

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