BAM Key Details: 

  • Goldman Sachs released updated housing and economic forecasts for 2024 through 2027, revealing bearish predictions on home sales over the next four years, along with bullish predictions on home prices. 
  • Appearing on CNBC, Goldman Sachs’ chief economist Jan Hatzius updated his prediction regarding Fed rate cuts, saying he now expects Fed Chair Jerome Powell to announce a rate cut in quarter three of 2024—rather than quarter four.

This week, Goldman Sachs shared updated housing and economic forecasts. And they extend all the way through 2027. 

Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, Goldman Sachs’ chief economist Jan Hatzius explained why he expects a soft landing for the U.S. economy, with unemployment remaining low and the inflation rate slowly dropping to the Fed’s stated target of 2.0%. 

Given persistent affordability challenges in the housing market, he expects a continued suppression of existing home sales through 2026, with total transactions not reaching 5.0 million until 2027. 

During the CNBC segment, Hatzius responds with a yes when asked whether the market has gotten ahead of itself with its expectation of a Fed rate cut in the near future. 

He elaborates on that in the video clip below (01:52) and also explains why he believes Fed Chair Jerome Powell is more likely to announce a rate cut in the third quarter of next year (03:07)—which is a slight upgrade from his earlier estimate of Q4 2024. 

Hatzius also pushed back against some of his more bullish Wall Street peers who expect the first Fed rate hike sooner—some as early as next quarter (March 2024).

March at this point is half-priced [for a Fed rate cut], and I think a lot would have to happen for them to go that soon.

Jan Hatzius

Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs’ core economic forecasts for 2024–2027

Hatzius’s team released their housing and economic forecasts on Monday, December 11. 

Goldman-Sachs-Core-economic-forecasts-2024-2027

The above chart shows a steady progression toward the Fed’s target for inflation, along with minimal change in the unemployment rate. 

While Goldman Sachs analysts are forecasting a soft landing for the economy, they don’t expect that or Fed rate cuts to bring about a significant drop in the 10-year Treasury yield. They expect an average of 4.55% in 2024 and 4.50% in 2026 and 2027—which is above today’s (December 14) rate of around 3.96%

If they’re right, it will mean mortgage rates will stay elevated for the next few years, at least. At today’s spread (285 bps), a 10-year Treasury yield of 4.50% would translate into an average 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 7.35%. 

With a spread closer to historical norms (175 bps), the same 10-year Treasury yield (4.50%) would give us an average 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 6.25%. 

The closing average for Wednesday, December 13, dropped to 6.82% (from 7.02%) in reaction to the Fed’s announcement of rate cuts in the coming year. 

Goldman Sachs housing forecasts for 2024–2027

According to the Goldman Sachs forecast model, housing affordability challenges will likely remain with us for the next several years, suppressing existing home sales

Projected sales for the next few years: 

  • 3.83 million in 2024
  • 4.24 million in 2025
  • 4.37 million in 2026

Goldman Sachs analysts don’t expect a meaningful recovery for the housing market until 2027 when projected existing home sales reach 5.0 million. And that’s still below pre-pandemic levels (5.34 million in 2019), not to mention sales numbers for the pandemic homebuying frenzy (6.12 million in 2021). 

Goldman-Sachs-Housing-forecasts-2024-2027

Compare the bearish projections of Goldman Sachs to recent forecasts from Redfin’s recent forecast, which sees existing home sales rising to 4.5 million by the fourth quarter of 2024. 

Redfin-home-sale-projections-2024

Source: Redfin

Fannie Mae expects home sales to reach 4.04 million in 2024, and the Mortgage Bankers Association is predicting 4.40 million for the coming year. 

But so far, NAR’s predictions are the most bullish of them all, forecasting 4.71 million home sales in 2024. 

What the Goldman Sachs’ forecast model means for home prices

Despite the bearish numbers for existing home sales, Goldman Sachs does not expect U.S. home prices to fall. In fact, the forecast shared by Hatzius on Monday shows prices rising for the next four years:

  • +0.6% in 2024
  • +3.8% in 2025
  • +4.9% in 2026
  • +4.9% in 2027
Goldman-Sachs-home-price-trajectory

They have a seasonal drop, which we are going to go through over the next couple of months, according to Goldman Sachs, before they have a four-year acceleration on home prices—up and to the right of the chart. So, Goldman Sachs, while they are maybe the most bearish I’ve seen on total transactions over the next four years, they expect U.S. home prices to certainly soar once we get to the end of 2024.

Byron Lazine

Those home value appreciation figures are values that compound year over year, which is how so many homeowners and investors have generated massive wealth through real estate. 

So, while Goldman Sachs is bearish (comparatively speaking) on total home sale transactions over the next four years, they’re very bullish on U.S. home prices. 

It’s worth noting, too, as Lance Lambert pointed out, that if Goldman Sachs is correct, and home prices increase by a slim 0.6% margin in 2024, we’ll likely see several regional markets with year-over-year declines. 

The best way to stay informed of changes in the housing market is to tune into the daily Hot Sheet, as well as the weekly episode of the Knowledge Brokers Podcast on Fridays. 

BAMx members have access to the daily slides and show notes for every Hot Sheet episode, as well as our growing library of value-packed online courses and livestreams—and the best Facebook community for real estate agents.