With the year coming to a close in less than three weeks, we’re at that point where we all finalize our 2011 goals and spend time being introspective. It’s natural this time of year. I decided to make my predictions for 2011 and you’ll see more predictions here on AG.
This list is by no means complete and I had to stop myself at only 20 predictions so you would read the entire list instead of getting A.D.D. and seeing a shiny distraction… seriously, I could make it a lot longer.
Tell us in comments which predictions you agree or disagree with (and please, let’s be civil).
- Mortgage rates will remain low. Analysts expect the Federal Reserve board to keep the federal funds rate below 0.25% for the entire year with 30 year fixed rate loans to remain under 5%.
- Housing will remain affordable. Affordability rates will remain high in most American cities given the downturn in values which is not expected to rise dramatically in 2011.
- 2011 might be rock bottom. With house values and sales stats in decline, we haven’t quite hit bottom, but we’re pretty close and we’ve been bouncing at the bottom for a while, so 2011 could be the year of rock bottom.
- Foreclosures will continue to rise. Whether you believe in shadow inventories or not, with the robo-signing scandal freezing most foreclosure activities, 2011 will see an increase in foreclosure listings when the freeze ends.
- Home sales will continue to suffer. With a high volume of foreclosure activity, existing home sales will have to be reasonable and competitive in order to meet their asking prices.
- Social networks will be a staple in all listing agents’ tool belts. With most buyers beginning their search for a home online, agents will be expected to list homes on as many websites as possible, especially those claiming to be tech savvy.
- Real estate blogging will become more competitive as more agents come online. Most blogs coming online in 2011 are late to the party and rather than forge new ground will likely regurgitate others in an effort to keep up.
- QR codes will be all the rage. Despite the rise in curiosity and use of QR codes, this technology will be short lived as technologies like Google Goggles will obsolete QR codes.
- Web browser use will shift. Despite most MLS systems only running on Internet Explorer (IE), most agents will follow the trend away from IE toward more stable and fast Google Chrome and Firefox.
- Mobile devices will be upgraded in 2011. Agents will continue to free themselves from the horrendous Palm Treo of the past in favor of iPhones and Android apps with flip phones becoming a thing of the past.
- Mobile web use will continue to increase. Real estate professionals will join the bandwagon of video creation and web-ready blog sites in an effort to meet consumer demand.
- Social awareness will rise. With the web enlightening consumers, people are becoming more aware of philanthropic causes and are mobilizing via social networks like Twitter. Green real estate will become a more common factor in buying.
- The number of Realtors will dip. NAR membership has dropped considerably over the last two years and we anticipate this decline will continue given a down market.
- The brokerage model will continue to shift. With agents looking for the next best thing, the Redfin (discount) and Goodlife (agents responsible mainly for negotiations and hand holding) models will become more mainstream.
- Short sales experts will increase in number. With the aforementioned rise in foreclosure activities, as a survival mechanism, more agents will become certified and focus on short sales as they take over their local markets.
- Key real estate search sites will merge. Real estate megasites will acquire or merge with others and make their offering more complete in 2011, much like Twitter acquires companies like Twitpic.
- Pocket listings will be more in demand. Because some consumers are wary to list for a variety of reasons in a normal market but even more reasons in a down market, we predict that pocket listings will rise.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be a headline stealer. With Barney Frank calling for abolishing the two and having named a new director in November, the FHFA will undergo a major makeover in 2011.
- “Realtor ratings” will be a phrase you’ll be sick of in 2011. We’ll cover it here so you’re aware of it, but in 2011, we promise you’ll be tired of hearing about ratings as the remaining big dogs add ratings systems to their search sites.
- Web ad spends and investments in real estate sites will increase. Many investors have been on the fence, as have companies willing to spend, but 2010 has primed many for finally spending what they’ve been withholding.
Is any of this surprising to you? If you’ve been reading AG, it shouldn’t be- this list is an extension of our real estate and technology coverage this year.
Tell us in comments what you think about these predictions!