The housing landscape over the past couple of years hasn’t exactly been friendly to buyers between the bidding wars, eye-popping prices, and the houses that sold before there was even a sign in the yard. It’s enough to make any of us put our search on hold until we have a fighting chance at landing a home, without draining our bank accounts.
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, we’ve got good news and bad news: Things are finally slowing down, but they might not slow down fast enough for your liking. Don’t despair, though, this year still stands to look better than last for aspiring home buyers.
If your resolution is to buy a home in 2019, you’ll have some challenges to contend with, but also some opportunities. The devil is in the details, though, and there are quite a few factors that could dictate whether this is your year to buy.
There Will Be More Available Homes
Tight home inventory sidelined would-be buyers for several years now. Even if you could afford a home, too few of them were hitting the market to keep up with demand. Or, when they did, there was a good chance they were snapped up before you could even call your Realtor.
House hunting felt especially bleak last winter when nationwide inventory hit its lowest level in recorded history. By the end of 2018, though, things finally started looking up, and in 2019, experts predict more opportunities and less frustration for buyers.
Skyrocketing Prices Will Slow Their Roll
While inventory went down, down, down over the past few years, home prices did the opposite. Will we still staggering dollar amounts throughout 2019? It’s another mixed answer: Expect home prices to continue to rise but at a slower pace than they have been.
Mortgage Rates Are Lower Than Expected
There was a lot of discouraging talk at the end of 2018 about increasing rates and caused reason to be nervous. Rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular home loan, were approaching 5% and expected to trend upward throughout 2019. However, that hasn’t happened. In fact, rates have been falling, perplexing the pros but creating a prime opportunity for home shoppers. Rates did tick up slightly to 4.46%, but that is still historically low.
Rents Are Rising And Won’t Be Falling Anytime Soon
Buying a home is a scary-expensive endeavor in the best circumstances, and when prices are climbing, it can get even scarier. However, keep this in mind, rent is on the rise as well. In fact, they very rarely decline. While home buying is generally going to cost you more in the short term than renting, you have to look at the bigger picture. Buying means you’re building equity and not forking over your hard-earned dollars to a landlord. The challenge will be finding a home that fits your needs, some wants, and still stays within the monthly budget. If you can afford to buy now, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.