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Top 4 Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2019

Kevin Leatherman

Your enthusiastic home advisor...

Your enthusiastic home advisor...

Jan 15 6 minutes read

Welcome to 2019, where you're likely to hear, "Let the old year end and the New Year begin with the warmest of aspirations, Happy New Year". With that being said it's a time to look ahead, form new ideas, make new goals, & achieve prosperity.

If those goals entail buying your own home, be on the lookout for today's changing market. Identifying the housing markets’ leading indicators is the key to predicting future price movements.

Take a look at what the forecast for 2019 might hold for buyers and sellers.

1. More Inventory On The Market

As the years pass we've been keeping a close eye on homes for sale. Its true, homes have been hitting the market but not nearly at a rate to keep up with demand. In fact, last winter in the United States inventory hit its lowest level, but this year it finally began to recover. We expect inventory growth to continue into the next year but not at an astounding rate - less than 7%. 

While this is great news for buyers, sellers are faced with a humbling reality. 


As more inventory enters the market, sellers now have to think more about their competition. It's not going to be as easy as it has been in recent years.

As inventory growth is expected to be low, not the same thing can be said for the more expensive markets. These markets typically have strong economies and most of the expected growth will be directly from luxury home listings.

The areas that will experience the biggest increase in high-end inventory is in the metro areas of Boston, Nashville, Worchester, and Seattle. All of these metro markets and the surrounding towns could potentially see double-digit gains in 2019.

2. Tough Buyers Market

Its been a seller's market for the past few years. Have we seen a shift that may change to the buyers' favor?

On one side of the coin, home buyers life will be easier as they have a plethora of options. On the flip side, the future for home buyers is concerning as mortgage rates continue to increase. In addition to mortgage rates, we will see home prices climb and affordability will continue to be a touchy topic for buyers moving into 2019.

Mortgage rates are currently at 5% and are expected to reach 5.5% in 2019. Household incomes are only growing at a rate of 3%. The monthly average mortgage payment on a typical home is expected to be 8% higher next year. A very scary stat for new homeowners, who tend to borrow the heaviest and have no equity to put down.

 3. A Dominating Generation

Who do you think is the biggest generation group for home buyers? - Yup, you guessed it, Millennials account for nearly 45% ( compared with 37% Gen X and 17% for baby boomers). It wasn't too long ago that millennials were barely old enough to afford their own homes and now some are even moving up from their starter homes.

As we stated above, it will be very difficult for first-time buyers. Homeowners that leveled up will reap the benefits of their home equity and the prudent decisions they made in the market.

This leading generation of home buyers is going to have to be more price-conscious than any generation before. Mainly due to the fact that they are carrying massive student debt and want the ability to indulge in life experiences such as traveling. Money that should be put aside for a down payment or mortgage payments.

Millennials choose experiences over material possessions and they need to maintain a certain lifestyle. But they still see the value on owning their home. 

Due in part to heavy debt, 70% of Millennials own property that's less than 2,000 square feet. They're more likely to settle on distance from certain amenities or urban areas.

2020 is where we anticipate the pinnacle of millennial home buying - at the age of 30. For the next decade, millennials will acquire the largest share of home buyers.

4. Uncertainty In The New Tax Law

At last year's forecast, the tax code was still being battled around Congress. The talks were believed to discourage home buying but nobody really knew it would impact the real-estate market.

Well here we are... still uncertain. Most taxpayers will be filling under the new law in April 2019. Some people may have the luxury to have a tax adviser to discuss the ramifications on what to expect, but for many, the information will come in the form of a larger tax bill - or if you're lucky a hefty refund.

Renters are the most likely to have lower tax bills and won't be pressured to buy while affordability is up in limbo.

Those who currently own a house or want luxury market homes are going to pay a lot more with the new tax plan. Sellers of pricier homes are also going to take a hit as buyers are expecting bigger tax bills and aren't as willing to meet demands to pay a lot more for a high list price.

As a result of the new tax law, we expect mortgages to take the biggest hit since people are less willing to take out large mortgages. Mortgage bankers have the most to lose.

- Danielle Hale, realtor.com's chief economist

How the home buying process should be. 

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