It’s a great time to be a real estate agent! Low unemployment, a reduction in regulatory issues prohibiting developers from building affordable housing, low interest rates and a booming economy, it may not get any better than this. That was the sentiment of Brad Inman’s talk at this year’s 2020 Inman Connect.
Let’s go through the numbers:
- Unemployment: In December 2019, the unemployment rate held at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was unchanged at 5.8 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was 6.3 million. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Regulatory: In January, the Trump Administration proposed new regulatory reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act that will boost infrastructure projects that are needed to support residential land development projects. NAHB’s grassroots building codes campaign,One and Done, encourages one member of each HBA in the U.S. to contact one code official with information supplied by NAHB. If this happens, codes will be more favorable to builders.
- Interest Rates: In 1971, the same year when Freddie Mac started surveying lenders, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hovered between 7.29% to 7.73%. The annual average rate of inflation began rising in 1974 and continued through 1981 to a rate of 9.5%. This year, interest rates are expected to stay around 3.8%. Source: ValuePenguin
- Booming Economy: The U.S. economy headed into 2020 on a solid footing, with growth settling back to the roughly 2% pace that has prevailed during the decade-old economic expansion. Gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—grew 2.3% last year, after rising at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Year-over-year growth of 2.3% was the slowest pace since 2016, but in line with the average pace that has marked the expansion that began in mid-2009. Source: The Wall Street Journal
The overall mood at Inman Connect was positive. Every broker I spoke with was positive about the market. In our own REAL Trends Broker Sentiment Survey for Q4 2019 and Q1 2020, the mood was optimistic. As Inman says, this is your time, so go out and make the most of it!