Is the Real Estate Market Cooling Down Nationwide? Expert Insights for Investors in 2024

Explore nationwide real estate trends in 2024. Discover why now might be the best time for investors to sell or seize new opportunities.

Is the Real Estate Market Cooling Down Nationwide? Expert Insights for Investors in 2024
Photo by Mohd Elle / Unsplash

I just got back from a fantastic vacation at Long Beach Island (LBI), a beautiful barrier island in Ocean County, NJ, south of Seaside Heights. LBI is a hidden gem, offering peace and quiet with a family-friendly vibe, unlike the bustling boardwalks where kids often get up to mischief. It's the perfect spot for retirees or soon-to-be retirees—assuming you have the budget for it.

Real estate on LBI is wild. You’re looking at a cool million for an entry-level, single-story Cape Cod home. The house we stayed in, a cozy two-bedroom, two-bath with a one-car garage and views of Manahawkin Bay, is valued at over $1.5 million. A quick glance at Zillow shows we were surrounded by homes worth $2 million or more.

And it's not just the housing that's pricey. Yes, vacation spots are always a bit steep, but food prices here are through the roof. When dinner for four at a modest restaurant hits around $150, it’s a bit much.

Given this, I dug into the latest Federal Reserve data to see if there’s any relief in sight. It looks like the real estate market might be peaking or entering a period of price consolidation.

Currently, the median sales price for homes nationwide is $420,800 (Q1 2024), down from $442,600 in Q4 2022.

(c) FRED

The average sales price has also dipped, from $525,100 in Q2 2022 to $513,100 in Q1 2024.

(c) FRED

So, while prices are still high, they're starting to soften a bit.

As a former real estate investor (REI), I think now could be a strategic time for those who are underwater or near break-even to sell. The median days on market is 44 days, which means savvy investors should act before prices dip further and properties take longer to sell as we head into winter.

(c) FRED

Could we see a wave of foreclosures? It’s possible, and I’m betting on it. I’m hoping to snag a bargain on LBI during the downturn.

So, if you're considering entering or exiting the real estate market, keep a close eye on these trends. This could be a prime opportunity to make a move before the market shifts further.