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9 in 2019: Housing Trends to Watch


9 in 2019: Housing Trends to Watch

December 18, 2018
Inner Sunset, San Francisco, United States
Photo: Unsplash/Peppe Ragusa

A new ranking reveals 9 challenges, welcome developments, and housing's most wanted in 2019. While housing inventory and financing is expected to remain tight, more entry-level homes should be coming online. 

Due to rising interest rates for fixed mortgage loans, NerdWallet's 2019 report anticipates that adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) will grow in popularity among buyers seeking solutions to ease their financing. ARMs offer lower introductory rates than traditional fixed-rate loans; when using this borrowing product, buyers take on the risk that their rates and monthly payments may rise when their loan's rate is adjusted. According to loan processor Ellie Mae, ARMs are gaining steam, with an 8.2 percent share of total mortgages in October 2018, up 2.7 percent annually.

2019 will remain a seller’s market, where would-be buyers outnumber the supply of homes they can afford. But that doesn’t mean home sellers can expect bidding wars from desperate buyers. That’s especially the case with people who are selling homes that are priced above the median for their local market, Realtor.com economist Danielle Hale says. First-time buyers dominate most markets, and they tend to shop for homes priced below the median. As a seller, Hale says, “if you’re in that above-median price point, you’re going to have to price competitively and offer incentives for buyers. Surprisingly, it’s going to be more difficult for buyers and sellers in 2019.” 

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