According to research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, the current strength in real estate may prove to be transitory. Currently, the housing market has remained resilient despite higher rates due to a demographic bulge and low inventory of available homes.
However, Indiana University’s research indicates that demographic-driven demand is at a peak. Coupled with low supply, this is likely to drive prices higher in the near-term. However, there is likely to be long-term slowing in demand due to slower population growth and an aging population, barring an unforeseen surge in immigration or household formation.
Additionally, baby boomers are likely to start downsizing, while lower fertility rates also mean that demand for housing will be structurally less. Due to the pandemic and increase in remote work, there was a surge in household formation that exceeded population growth over the last couple of years. This trend is also unsustainable given demographic realities.
The rise in mortgage rates has also artificially constrained supply as many would-be sellers are not selling due to locking in low rates. Yet, this is simply ‘pent-up’ supply that will be released into the market once rates decline or through the passage of time.
Finsum: Real estate has continued to hold up well despite deceleration in economic growth and higher rates. However, this state of affairs looks unsustainable in the longer-term.