Home sales data for December 2018 had a lot of industry economists and experts scratching their heads, and two real estate professionals are offering insights.
Lou Barnes, a Fed watcher and senior loan officer with Premier Mortgage Group in Boulder, Colo., recently told local real estate agents, “I have a feeling that what happened in the stock market was at play." Volatility may have scared off buyers, as the Dow Jones Industrial average fell 8.6 percent in December, while the S&P 500 dropped 9.2 percent, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 9.5 percent, The Denver Post reports.
The impact of the government shutdown on the housing market is another thing to consider, said JP Piccinini, owner of the real estate brokerage JP and Associates in Frisco, Texas. “The public is so susceptible to news and fear. The government shutdown will impact January sales as well,” he predicted in an email. If Barnes and Piccinini are right, then pent-up demand should hit the market when whatever was behind the caution in December goes away. Major U.S. stock indexes are up 5 percent this month, so January is looking a lot better than December.