Now that we are nearing the end of 2018, market experts are calculating what trends they think will dominate the industry in the coming year. Realtor.com® recently released their annual report and according to Forbes, we can expect rising mortgage rates to impact affordability, a slowing market, and rising home prices—albeit at a lesser rate than we’ve seen in recent years.
Mortgage rates are expected to rise by 5.5 percent next year, which translates to an approximate 8 percent monthly increase in the cost of ownership. Home sales will likely decline, though only by about 2 percent or so. As Forbes reminds readers, declining stats are not cause for alarm, particularly as annual data comparisons are of the “boom times of the past few years” rather than that of a balanced, healthy market.
As Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com® said in a statement, “Unfortunately, it’s only going to cost even more to buy, especially in the entry level market. To be successful, buyers should think through how they’ll adapt to higher rates and prices. Some buyers will be thinking I can’t even afford a home. They will have to struggle with the decision of what they want versus what they really need.”
Though inventory is expected to increase in the new year, the growth will remain low at less than 7 percent. Higher-end homes in growing markets will follow a different trend, however, as Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue was named as one of a few markets with “potential double-digit inventory gains.”
While it is still expected to be a seller’s market, it will be one that behaves differently than the frenetic, run-up bidding war one we saw through most of 2018. As Forbes outlines, increasing days on market and more options for buyers will mean that sellers need to price their homes right so they don’t “languish on the market.” There are still great profits to be made, just “not the huge windfalls we’ve been seeing.”
One trend that is more difficult to predict? The implications of President Trump’s new tax plan. It won’t be until April that buyers and sellers will discover just how new regulations will help—or hinder—their bill to Uncle Sam.