Danielle Hale, chief economist with Realtor.com, said, “If your resolution is to buy a house in 2019, you’ll have some challenges to contend with but also some opportunities. This year, the devil is in the details.”
In an interview with Rachael Stults for Realtor.com, Hale pointed to four reasons to buy a home this year.
- This year, unlike last year, there will be more, if not at least the same, homes available to buy. Though most inventory increases are currently in higher priced homes, the number of homes priced at approximately $300,000 “is not decreasing anymore.”
- Home price appreciation continues to rise but at a much slower pace. Hale predicts a 2.2% increase this year as compared to a nearly 5% increase last year. Hale said, “We do still anticipate rising home prices, particularly for below median-priced homes, so buyers in that price range may have some incentive to buy sooner rather than later. Buyers who have not been knocked out of the market may have less competition to contend with than they saw in 2018.”
- Mortgage rates continue to fluctuate but are still lower than anticipated. Hale warns buyers to “not get complacent…I do think that the long term direction of mortgage rates is going to be back up.” Ali Wolf, the director of economic research with Meyers Research, said, “Consumers should take advantage of the returned purchasing power…”
- Rental costs continue to rise and rarely decline, according to Hale. “Buying means equity building,” said Hale. “The challenge will be in finding a home that fits one’s needs and wants and still stays within the monthly budget.”