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Forecast: Home sales to rise, prices largely flat in region for 2024

Bright MLS believes inventory crunch is likely to ease as year continues

Total home sales across the Washington region are expected to rise next year but remain lower than any other year since the pandemic, according to new projections from Bright MLS.

The organization, which serves as the region’s multiple-listing service, is anticipating 52,500 sales of existing homes across the region. That’s up 11.2 percent from a projected 47,200 this year, but still well off from figures recorded in 2022 (62,400), 2021 (80,600) and 2020 (71,000).

Figures represent expectations for the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia; and Montgomery, Prince George’s and Frederick counties in Maryland.

Median sales prices are expected to rise, but not much. The projected 2024 median home-sales price of $569,930 represents an increase of just 1 percent from $564,340 in 2023, which itself is expected to be up just 1.5 percent from 2022.

The report expects the super-tight housing inventory of the past two years to ease in 2024, which may help buyers. “However, there are no signs to suggest that prices will fall in Bright MLS markets,” the analysis noted.

Like other prognosticators, Bright MLS believes that some homeowners who have been sitting on mortgages with extra-low interest rates, and thus far have refused to budget, will start to change their minds.

“Even homeowners with super-low mortgage rates will increasingly find that changing family and financial circumstances will compel them to move and list their home for sale,” the analysis noted.

(That, however, is predicated on mortgage-interest rates falling back to the 6% range in coming months.)