The year has so far been a promising one for would-be home
buyers as home prices started to level off and mortgage rates
dipped to unexpected lows. While first-time buyers can expect less competition than last
year, it’s still very much a seller’s market in most places. But
overall, it’s a good time to move forward with a home
purchase. Here’s what industry experts predict for the remainder of
2019 and beyond.
Millennials will drive the market.
Consider it the year of the first-time home buyer.
More than half of all mortgages originated by Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac went to first-time buyers last
year, and with Millennials hitting their prime
home buying years, those numbers are only
going to grow.
Inventory will improve –but not by much.
Total housing stock is well below
the nation’s pre-recession
volumes. Although recent data
shows that inventory is rising for starter homes and trade-up
properties, it’s likely not enough to satisfy demand. Housing
supply has increased compared to last year, but overall
inventory levels are still quite low, especially in the lower
Home prices are headed up.
Prices have been on the rise since 2012, outstripping their
pre-recession peaks early last year. The slowdown in price
appreciation and the escalation of wage growth is helping to
improve affordability for many would-be buyers. Still,
experts warn that home prices aren’t done rising yet.
Increasing demand and the limited inventory of homes for
sale suggests continued price appreciation.
Mortgage rates will stay low.
Mortgage rates recently hit their lowest point in three years,
averaging 3.80%, according to Freddie Mac, causing a surge
of refinancing. Experts expect that rates could go even lower.
Experts predict that the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate will finish
out the year between 3.9% and 4.1% – lower than 2018’s full-year
average of 4.54%.
Buyers can take their time.
Despite an influx of younger buyers,
competition isn’t going to be as stiff as in years
past. National data shows that just 15% of offers
in April sparked a bidding war – down dramatically
from 60% in April, 2018. Nationally, the overall inventory of available homes is
expected to remain stable this year, so buyers shouldn’t feel
as pressured to move quickly.
Some markets are better than others.
Overall, the signs aren’t overwhelmingly pro-buyer or proseller.
Industry experts don’t foresee an extreme dip or a
major spike in prices or rates. And at the end of the day,
housing conditions vary by market.
Give me a call to discuss our local market conditions and
your plans to buy or sell!
Source: Aly J Hale, contributing writer for Forbes