Time for The Blueprint’s year-end roundup!

Looking back on 2021’s utterly wild housing market

Grace Townsley
December 27, 2021

Good morning!

We’ve never seen a housing market quite like this year’s. Between unbelievable bidding wars, single-family home shortages, 3D-printed neighborhoods, virtual real estate, and ongoing catfights among the biggest industry tech companies… this was a year nobody saw coming. 

Today’s newsletter will be a little different because, frankly, we all need a break from the news frenzy now and then. So sit back, relax, and dig into the stories we’ve rounded up below. They’re some of the biggest trends and changes that will continue to shape the market into 2022. Real estate may still be unpredictable, but when you’ve got your finger on the industry pulse, every change becomes your golden opportunity. 

After you read this, wrap up your last week of the year on a strong note. Then spend time with the ones you love! At the end of the day, they’re the ones you’re hustling for.

- James and David

The top 10 stories and trends that defined 2021

source: unsplash.com
  1. This was the strongest housing market in 15 years. Chalk it up to high demand, rising wages, a healthy stock market, remote work, and historically low interest rates. 
  2. Home prices skyrocketed 18% YoY. Not to be dramatic, but that’s the biggest yearly price jump in the 45 years since CoreLogic began tracking this statistic. 
  3. A record number of investors got in on the action. In Q1, an estimated one in four homes were sold to investors. For individuals, funds, and institutions, it’s been a popular way to hedge against rising inflation. 
  4. Landlords are cashing in on rising rental rates. In cities across the country, rent rose at a record-breaking pace. As of August, the average rental rate was up 10.3% YoY.
  5. CoStar elbowed its way into the residential market. The company purchased Homes.com in early 2021 and wasted no time challenging Zillow to a fight-to-the-death duel. 
  6. Zillow’s iBuying division went down in flames. At one point, 64% of Zillow’s properties were listed at a loss. Soon after, the real estate giant laid off a quarter of its staff. 
  7. The biggest land boom is a virtual one. Investors spent hundreds of millions in cryptocurrency on metaverse real estate. This trend emerged in late 2021 but will continue picking up speed next year.  
  8. Home inventory levels tanked. The number of houses for sale dipped to just 1.38M in June. That’s a drop of 23% YoY to the lowest level in recorded history. 
  9. The stock market was not so friendly to real estate companies. Shares of real estate tech companies were hit particularly hard mid-year. The prices of many major stocks, including Zillow and Compass, have yet to recover.
  10. The NAR found itself in hot water. The association faces antitrust lawsuits and legal pressures from the DOJ. These battles are likely to heat up in 2022.

The top 10 priciest deals of 2021

Source: Los Angeles Times
  1. $200M: Southwest Montana
  2. $177M: Malibu, California
  3. $157M: New York, New York
  4. $136.25M: Three Forks, Montana
  5. $122.7M: Palm Beach, Florida
  6. $109.6M: Palm Beach, Florida
  7. $105M: Southampton, New York
  8. $95M: Palm Beach, Florida
  9. $94.2M: Palm Beach, Florida
  10. $90M: Manalapan, Florida
  • The luxury markets in Florida and New York surged ahead in 2021.
  • Nine out of the top 30 biggest sales of the year took place in Palm Beach.
  • New York City was close behind, representing six of the top 30 sales.
  • Inman’s year end report covers the details of these top sales and the proud new owners of the nation’s most expensive properties.

We’ll be back in your inbox next week with the top stories, industry insights, and career-making tips you need to be at the top of your game. 

Before we head out for the year, we just want to say thank you for helping us build this community from the ground up. There’s no doubt 2022 is going to be 🚀 🚀 and we can't wait for you to be a part of it!

- James and David

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