It’s hard to believe we’re more than halfway through 2019. For those of you who are
thinking of buying or selling a home this year, you might be wondering how the real estate
market is shaping up so far this year. While all real estate is local, a few trends have emerged nationwide.
INVENTORY SHORTAGES. Baby boomers are choosing to age-in-place and aren’t downsizing
at the anticipated rate, so their homes are not opening up for new buyers. Concurrently,
homeowners who refinanced or purchased their home with mortgage rates in the low 3%
range are sitting tight because they don’t want to lose those rates. Those conditions have
led to declining number of homes for sale.
DECLINING MORTGAGE RATES. Industry experts predicted mortgage rates would rise
above 5% this year, but the opposite has occurred, with interest rates on a downward trend
in 2019. At the end of June, Freddie Mac reported a 30-year fixed rate mortgage average of
3.73%, compared to 4.55% around the same time the year prior. Global market conditions
and foreign investments in the U.S. economy are driving these declines.
HOMEOWNERSHIP GROWTH. Homeownership rates in the United States have been rising
since late 2015, holding steady at around 64% of Americans. We’re in a healthy place now,
where regulatory control ensures that those who qualify for a loan can truly afford to repay
it and moderate price appreciation keeps homeownership possible for more buyers.
If you want to know more about what’s happening in the market, let me know. I can share
with you one of Long & Foster’s many valuable market reports, providing you expert insights
on hyper-local conditions down to even the neighborhood level.