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What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2019?

As we begin another year, everyone wants to know: “Where is the housing market headed in 2019?”

It’s not only buyers, sellers, and homeowners who are impacted. The real estate market plays an integral role in the overall U.S. economy.  Fortunately, key indicators point toward a stable housing market in 2019 with signs of modest growth. However, shifting conditions could impact you if you plan to buy, sell, or refinance this year.

 

HOME VALUES WILL INCREASE

The value of real estate will continue to rise. Freddie Mac predicts housing prices will increase by 4.3 percent in 2019.While the rapid price appreciation we witnessed earlier in the decade has slowed, the combination of a strong economy, low unemployment, and a lack of inventory in many market segments continues to push prices higher.

“Ninety percent of markets are experiencing price gains while very few are experiencing consistent price declines,” according to National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.2

Yun predicts that the national median existing-home price will increase to around $266,800 in 2019 and $274,000 in 2020. “Home price appreciation will slow down—the days of easy price gains are coming to an end—but prices will continue to rise.”

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a home, act fast. Prices will continue to go up, so you’ll pay more the longer you wait. If you’re a current homeowner, real estate has proven once again to be a solid investment over the long term. In fact, the equity level of American homeowners reached an all-time high in 2018, topping $6 trillion.3

 

SALES LEVELS WILL STABILIZE

In 2018, we saw a decline in sales, primarily driven by rising mortgage rates and a lack of affordable inventory. However, Yun isn’t alarmed. “2017 was the best year for home sales in ten years, and 2018 is only down 1.5 percent year to date. Statistically, it is a mild twinge in the data and a very mild adjustment compared to the long-term growth we’ve been experiencing over the past few years.”2

Yun and other economists expect home sales to remain relatively flat over the next couple of years. Freddie Mac forecasts homes sales will increase 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.1

“The medium and long-term prospects for housing are good because demographics are going to continue to support demand,” explains Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist for LendingTree. “With a slower price appreciation, incomes have an opportunity to catch up. With slower sales, inventory has an opportunity to normalize. A slowdown in 2019 creates a healthier housing market going forward.”4

What does it mean for you?If you’ve been scared off by reports of a market slowdown, it’s important to keep things in perspective. A cooldown can prevent a hot market from becoming overheated. A gradual and sustainable pace of growth is preferable for long-term economic stability.

 

MORTGAGE RATES WILL RISE

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three times this year, resulting in a rise in mortgage rates.5While no one can predict future mortgage rates with certainty, Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale estimates that the rate for a 30-year mortgage will reach 5.5 percent by the end of 2019, up from around 4.62 percent at the end of 2018.6

While mortgage rates above 5 percent may seem high to today’s buyers, it’s not out of line with historical standards. According to Hale, “The average mortgage rate in the 1990s was 8.1 percent, and rates didn’t fall below 5 percent until 2009. So for buyers who can make the math work, buying a home is likely still an investment worth making.”7

What does it mean for you?If you’re in the market to buy a house or refinance an existing mortgage, you may want to act quickly before mortgage rates rise. To qualify for the lowest rate available, take steps to improve your credit score, pay down existing debt, and save up for a larger down payment.

 

AFFORDABILITY ISSUES WILL PERSIST

Although the desire to own a home remains strong, the combination of higher home prices and rising mortgage rates will make it increasingly difficult for many first-time buyers to afford one.

“Buyers who are able to stay in the market will find less competition as more buyers are priced out but feel an increased sense of urgency to close before it gets even more expensive,” according to Hale. “Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, which is an improvement for buyers, the majority of new inventory is focused in the mid-to-higher-end price tier, not entry-level.”6

What does it mean for you? Unfortunately, market factors make it difficult for many first-time buyers to afford a home. However, as move-up buyers take advantage of new high-end inventory, we could see an increase in starter homes hitting the market.

  

MILLENNIALS WILL MAKE UP LARGEST SEGMENT OF BUYERS

“The housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continued rising mortgage rates and surging millennial demand,” according to Odeta Kushi, senior economist for First American. “Rising rates, by making housing less affordable, will likely deter certain potential homebuyers from the market. On the other hand, the largest cohort of millennials will be turning 29 next year, entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand.”4

Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, predicts the trend will continue. “Millennials are also likely to make up the largest share of home buyers for the next decade as their housing needs adjust over time.”6

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market for a starter home, prepare to compete for the best listings. And if you plan to sell a home in 2019, be sure to work with an agent who knows how to reach millennial buyers by utilizing the latest online marketing techniques.

 

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2019, contact a real estate professional now to schedule a free consultation. They’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.

 

START PREPARING TODAY

If you plan to BUY this year:

1.     Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you plan to finance part of your home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a jump-start on the paperwork and provide an advantage over other buyers in a competitive market. The added bonus: you will find out how much you can afford to borrow and budget accordingly.

2.     Create your wish list. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How far are you willing to commute to work? What’s most important to you in a home? We can set up a customized search that meets your criteria to help you find the perfect home for you.

3.     Visit a professional. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget, all at no cost to you. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

 

If you plan to SELL this year:

1.     Call your professional for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it will also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help determine which repairs and upgrades may be required to get top dollar for your property, and it will help us price your home correctly once you’re ready to list.

2.     Prep your home for the market. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs and upgrades. Your professional can help you determine which ones are worth the time and expense to deliver maximum results.

3.     Start decluttering. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up personal items and things you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or storage locker. This will make your home appear larger, make it easier to stage … and get you one step closer to moving when the time comes!

 

Sources:

  1. Freddie Mac Economic & Housing Research Forecast –
    http://www.freddiemac.com/research/pdf/201811-Forecast-04.pdf
  2. National Association of Realtors 2019 Forecast –
    https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/2019-forecast-existing-home-sales-to-stabilize-and-price-growth-to-continue
  3. Bankrate 2018 Year in Review –
    https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/year-in-review-for-housing-market/
  4. Forbes 2019 Real Estate Forecast –
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2018/12/06/2019-real-estate-forecast-what-home-buyers-sellers-and-investors-can-expect/#a98b80a70d9a
  5. Mortgage Bankers Association Forecast –
    https://www.mba.org/2018-press-releases/october/mba-forecast-purchase-originations-to-increase-to-12-trillion-in-2019
  6. com 2019 National Housing Forecast –
    https://www.realtor.com/research/2019-national-housing-forecast/
  7. FOX Business –
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/where-mortgage-rates-are-headed-in-2019


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What’s Up With Housing?

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If you’re like the vast majority of home buyers, you will choose to finance your purchase with a mortgage loan. By preparing in advance, you can avoid the common delays and roadblocks many buyers face when applying for a mortgage.
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Exterior maintenance matters. Here are four projects that will boost your home’s curb appeal while curbing the need for costly maintenance down the road.
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The tax reform bill also might be contributing to the growth in home plans. Eighteen percent of the respondents doing projects said they have increased their remodeling budget as a result of their taxes getting lowered.
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In the next few years it might become fast and easy to secure a mortgage as blockchain technology quickly ties all financial accounts into the home transaction.
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It’s anyone’s guess what the coming years will bring in terms of home layouts. For now, here are the five hottest home design trends impacting floor plans in 2018.
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Mortgage Rates FallMortgage Rates Fall For The First Time This Year…
The average rate on a 30-year FRM slipped to 4.44% from 4.46% last week due, in part, to a government report that inflation pressures may be easing.
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Multi-Family TrendsThese Trends Are Radically Disrupting Multifamily Housing.
Renters’ desire for personalization and less stress, integration of AI and IoT into apartment infrastructure, concentration of 35+ age groups will drive multifamily in next 12 years.
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What’s Up With Housing?

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Self-directed IRAs are the only retirement accounts that allow investors to pursue alternative investments. Among those alternatives, the most popular is real estate—a broad asset class that includes many different investment opportunities.
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“Tight credit, lack of inventory and high demand are the major factors that tell us there’s no housing bubble, despite rapid price increases.” ~ Redfin
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NFIP ExtendedNFIP extended for six weeks – to March 23
As part of the just-passed continuing resolution to keep the government open, the National Flood Insurance Program now won’t expire until March 23
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Scrimping and saving to come up with a down payment is no easy feat. But one generation is having the hardest time doing so to become homeowners.
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Home Design Trends to Watch in 2018…
Whether you’ve planned a simple refresh or a full-scale renovation, making smart and informed design choices will help you maximize your return on investment.
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The #CFPB says it will do everything necessary “to fulfill the Bureau’s statutory responsibilities but go no further.” Limiting CFPB’s future actions will “serve as a bulwark against the misuse of our unparalleled powers,” says Director Mulvaney.
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There continues to be a steady flow of capital, although the big banks have tightened their hold on construction loans.
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What’s Up With Housing This Week?

 

Millennials May End Up Competing with Baby Boomers in Housing Market.
These two groups make up different segments of the home buyer market but they are searching for similar things.
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Kitchen Remodeling TrendsThinking About Remodeling Your Kitchen?
Homeowners generally wanted new flooring, countertops, cabinets, sinks, and faucets when they had their kitchens remodeled, says a new report.

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Flood InsuranceShould Congress raise the cost of flood insurance? How much?
The National Flood Insurance Program expires Sept. 30 and is $25 billion in debt. NAR has made flood insurance renewal a top priority, and lawmakers are now considering some dramatic program changes to keep it solvent and operational.

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Low Mortgage Rates30-year mortgage rate falls below 4%.
Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest levels of the year: 3.95%.
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Housing’s Clean Bill of Health…
All things considered, the state of the housing industry right now is pretty good.

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http://www.TitleSecurityFL.com

 


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What’s Up With Housing This Week?

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Dodd-FrankDodd-Frank Law Is Falling Short…
New evidence shows that on a few key measures, the Dodd-Frank law hasn’t put new market pressure on large banks, and that it’s also failed to protect consumers.
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Mortgage MathMortgage math doesn’t have to be intimidating!
Here are the numbers you need to know, broken down into simple terms:
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Ex Fed Chairman GreenspanGreenspan: Axe Dodd-Frank and Watch Economy Soar
“If you get rid of Dodd-Frank, it’s going to have a very significant positive impact on the economy,” ~Greenspan
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Lower Mortgage RatesCheaper Mortgages Could Spur Housing Market.
Will the drop to 3.97% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage encourage home buyers?
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Seller's MarketHomes are flying off fast this spring in the ‘strongest seller’s market ever’
Spring homebuyers are pounding the pavement at a furious pace, but the pickings are getting ever slimmer.

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http://www.TitleSecurityFL.com 

 


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Could Rising Mortgage Rates Be Good For Housing?

Federal ReserveRick Sharga | HousingWire:  Much of the commentary surrounding the Federal Reserve’s decision Wednesday to raise the Fed Funds rate by 25 basis points has been about how this is likely to increase mortgage rates, have a negative effect on home affordability, and potentially derail the still-wobbly recovery of the US housing market.

Respectfully, I disagree, and think the Fed’s actions might actually be good for the housing market for several reasons.

First, there will be an effect on consumer psychology: having now seen the Fed raise rates in 2017, and with two more rate increases considered very likely, potential homebuyers will get off the fence and into the market, in order to buy a house before rates go any higher.

Best case, this will increase the number of homes purchased in 2017; but in any case, it will almost certainly pull home sales that might have occurred later in the year into the spring and summer, which will have a stimulative effect on the economy.

Second, lenders will very likely loosen some of the ridiculously tight lending standards that have prevented millions of credit-worthy borrowers from getting mortgages.

This will happen partly just due to higher mortgage interest rates, which will provide a bit of a cushion for lenders to take on a little more risk. And higher rates will also drastically reduce the number of refinance loans being issued, which lenders will try to offset by doing more purchase loans.

Finally, the 25 basis point hike was well within the range that most industry analysts had expected, which means it’s possible that today’s hike won’t cause mortgage rates to rise significantly from current levels, which are already the highest they’ve been in several years.

In this scenario – motivated buyers, relaxed lending standards, and marginal mortgage rate increases, coupled with what appears to be strong wage and job growth – the spring-selling season could be the strongest one we’ve seen in many years.


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What’s Up With Housing This Week?

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Skinny HomesSt. Petersburg’s middle-class housing dilemma may have an answer: Skinny Homes
It’s a new name for an old concept found in many other cities like Chicago, Charleston, New Orleans and Nashville. Think of a two-story gussied-up shotgun house.

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Suburbia's FutureThe American Dream of suburbia is evolving — here’s what it’ll be like to live in the suburb of the future.
Since the 50s, the American Dream of suburbia included a huge home, white picket fence, and shiny car. How will that dream change over the next decade?

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Mortgage RatesEven with Mortgage Rates Inching up, Now is Still the Time to Buy.
Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

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National Association of Home BuildersBuilder Confidence Hits 12-Year High…
“Builders continue to face a number of challenges, including rising material prices, higher mortgage rates, and shortages of lots and labor.”

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MortgagesWhy are there so few mortgages in Tampa Bay these days?
Along with the dramatic drop in Tampa Bay foreclosure filings has been this equally striking if less-noticed trend — a huge decline in new mortgages.

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Spring Buying SeasonWhat Can Buyers Expect in the Spring Housing Market?
Higher mortgage rates and low inventory among the things the potential buyers can expect to see.
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http://www.TitleSecurityFL.com