Given what happened in 2020, making predictions for 2021 seem like a wild gamble, but here goes!
Consolidation among brokerage firms will continue at a fast pace. More major deals will have been done in the fourth quarter of 2020 than in any quarter of the last 10 years, and it will continue. First, brokerage and core services earnings are coming off a record year for most, and that trend will likely continue. Second, there are more firms with more capital chasing growth through mergers and acquisitions. We count no less than seven major firms seeking to grow through acquisitions. That number is likely to grow. Further, the variety of deal structures is far higher than ever before—from total buyouts to majority stakes, and from total brand conversion, to partial-to-no-brand changes.
Housing sales are predicted to be up 5%-7% by unit count with prices continuing to rise. While mortgage rates are forecast to rise, they will still be very low by historical standards.
The real estate tech segment will continue to receive inflows of significant amounts of capital and consolidation. CoStar’s potential acquisition of Homesnap and Stone Point Capital’s acquisition of Lone Wolf Technologies are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. And don’t forget the pending public offering of Compass.
For most Americans, a return to normal feels like it’s just around the corner. With the COVID-19 vaccine and the natural course of viruses based on history, 2021 is set to be the next iteration of the Roaring ‘20s!