How 2018 Conditions Shape 2019 Housing Trends

January 10, 2019
Green clock on table
Photo: Unsplash/Badhon Ebrahim

As housing conditions change, so do buyer and renter attitudes about the market. New analysis looks at how shifting sands in 2018 will affect Americans' housing outlook in 2019.

One of the key takeaways from Trulia's survey was that while many adults still consider homeownership as part the American Dream, up from 72 percent to 73 percent, younger adults are slowly letting go of the dream, down to 71 percent for Americans aged 18 to 34 years old. The greatest obstacle to owning a home cited in the report was money, including but not limited to saving up enough for a down payment, closing costs, and monthly housing costs.

Home sellers, for their part, are also starting to doff their rose-tinted glasses as home values appreciate more slowly--the gap between sellers saying it will be a better year to sell in 2019 and those who think it will be worse compared to 2018 was slashed in half, as market conditions begin to tilt in buyers' favor. The share of Americans aspiring to buy a home within the next two years increased 7 percent to 40 percent.

In 2017, when Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria swept through the southern states and wildfires raged in California’s Napa, Sonoma and Ventura counties, it’s likely many did not consider these disasters to be mere prelude. And yet, 2018 was an arguably worse weather year: Hurricane Michael—the third-most powerful Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in U.S. history—swept through Florida and Georgia, leaving destruction in its wake. Wildfires, including the Camp, Woolsey and Hill fires, destroyed thousands of homes in Northern and Southern California.

A majority of Americans (52 percent) said they are no more or less concerned than in years past about the potential threat of a natural disaster affecting their home. In fact, 11 percent of Americans said they are somewhat or much less concerned about natural disasters than in the past, more than double the share from a year ago (5 percent). Perhaps Americans are simply resigned to what California Governor Jerry Brown calls “the new abnormal” when referring to the increasing rate of devastating natural disasters.

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