Experts' Housing Predictions: 2019

January 7, 2019
Housing forecast for 2019_housing experts weigh in_image: front door with wreath
Photo: Unsplash/Jez Timms

With the start of the new year, seven housing and real estate experts are weighing in on what's in store for the the market in 2019. 

While National Association of Realtors' chief economist Lawrence Yun anticipates stable, or flat home sales and slowing price appreciation to continue, Realtor.com researchers anticipate a 2 percent drop in sales. Due to the shortness of for-sale inventory, the real estate platform's chief economist Danielle Hale tells The Washington Post, "we don’t expect a buyer’s market on the horizon within the next five years.”

The National Association of Home Builders expects new-home sales to be roughly the same in 2019 as they were in 2018, about 628,000, and that single-family construction will grew by almost 2 percent from 2018 levels to 900,000 units. NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz says there is growing activity in townhouse construction, an affordable single-family option, “The market has been moving away from higher-end, higher-priced, larger homes over the last two or three years to more entry level,” adding, “Our surveys show we’ve gone from a new construction market that had been less than 20 percent dedicated to first-time home buyers to now closer to 30 percent, which is closer to historic norms.”

A year ago, several experts predicted the new tax law would cause a slowdown in the housing market. So far, the limitations on mortgage-interest and property-tax deductions haven’t had a negative impact. Instead, rising mortgage rates and home prices are doing more to put a damper on the market.

Economic uncertainty brought on by global trade tensions, stock market volatility and the government shutdown also isn’t helping. In this environment, potential homebuyers can be reluctant to make a large purchase such as a house. The last sustained government shutdown in 2013 saw a slump in home sales.

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