Rising mortgage rates and home prices may prove a bigger thorn to home buyers in 2019 as buying a home gets more expensive in the new year. Meanwhile, as more homeowners list their homes, sellers will face greater competition, possibly increasing the need for concessions.
Mortgage rates are forecast to reach 5.5 percent by the end of the year, and monthly mortgage payments will increase 8 percent. That could put homeownership more out of reach to first-time home buyers, realtor.com® researchers predict.
“Inventory will continue to increase next year, but unless there is a major shift in the economic trajectory, we don’t expect a buyer’s market on the horizon within the next five years,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Unfortunately for buyers, it’s only going to get more costly to buy, especially the most-demanded entry level real estate. To be successful, buyers should think through how they’ll adapt to higher rates and prices.”
2019 Predictions for Home Buyers
Buyers who are able to stay in the market will find less competition as more would-be buyers get priced out, realtor.com® notes. But home shoppers likely will still feel a sense of urgency as buying a home gets more expensive.
“Their largest struggle next year will be reconciling wants, needs and budget versus the heavy competition of 2018,” realtor.com® notes in its report. “Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, which is an improvement for buyers, the majority of new inventory is focused in the mid- to higher-end price tier, not entry-level.”
2019 Predictions for Home Sellers
The market is largely expected to remain a “seller’s market” in 2019, but homeowners will start to see greater competition from others looking to sell. They “shouldn’t necessarily expect to name their price and get it in full—a change from the past few years,” realtor.com® notes. “Above-median priced sellers may find it will take longer to sell and require offering incentives, such as price cuts or other offerings.” But for those sellers who price their homes competitively, they’ll “still walk away with a handsome amount of profit,” just not with the price jumps seen in previous years, realtor.com® notes.
The following is a chart from realtor.com® of sales and price forecasts for the 100 largest markets.