It’s a good news/bad news scenario for home buyers next year, according to Realtor.com.
The sort-of good news: Inventory is expected to rise nationally. However, inventory is anticipated to increase by less than 7 percent, and most of the new listings will be high-end houses in expensive housing markets rather than property affordable to first-time buyers.
More sort-of good news: Home prices are anticipated to rise by 2.2 percent, according to Realtor.com, a slower pace of growth than the past few years.
The bad news: Mortgage rates are predicted to rise to 5.5 percent, according to Realtor.com, which cuts into affordability.
Millennials have been long anticipated to increase the number of first-time buyers in the market. But first-time buyers were just 31 percent of all buyers in October, down from the previous month and from last year, according to the National Association of Realtors, a reflection of the difficulty of finding and affording a first home.
For sellers, competition for buyers will be more heated, particularly for expensive properties, according to Realtor.com. Owners of median-priced homes will be more likely to sell their homes quickly as long as they price them appropriately.
In the Washington area, Realtor.com predicts that the number of sales will be 2.8 percent lower than in 2018 and that prices will drop by a minimal 0.8 percent.
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