Okay, 2018 was quite the tease in the housing market. The year started out hot, only to taper off halfway through. But plenty of Americans still traded their For Sale signs for Sold ones, and they’ll usher in the new year from the comfort of their new homes. So will 2019 bring more of the same results? How will the housing market shake out in the current economic climate?

Whether you’re selling, buying or staying put, here are the 2019 real estate trends you need to know!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that during the course of 2017 and early 2018, home prices made a giant 10% jump. Wow! This year, however, may be a different story. Home prices are estimated to rise in 2019, but at a much slower pace, and the number of homes for sale is expected to increase by a mere 1%.(1)

What’s the reason? Well, part of the slowdown is due to increased mortgage interest rates and another part is because of overall economic uncertainty. That combination is enough to discourage many buyers who are on the fence about purchasing a home.

What Higher Prices Mean for Sellers

A nice profit may be on the horizon! The number of homes sold next year is still expected to rise, even if it’s at a slow pace. That’s great news for sellers! But keep in mind that a lot of buyers are being priced out of the market, which could lead to fewer offers for your home.
 
So what should you do about this? Be aware of your competition. With less offers to go around, you want your home to really stand out from similar ones in your area. Prepare your home for potential home buyers and work with a real estate agent to help you list your home at the right price.

And be sure to wait for the right offer. Some buyers may try to gut punch you with a low number. If you aren’t in a hurry to move, wait for an offer that gives you the most profit. Remember, the less desperate person always has the upper hand when negotiating!

What Higher Prices Mean for Buyers

If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford. Crunch the numbers yourself with our free mortgage calculator and figure out a monthly payment your budget can handle.

Commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market. You could screw up your finances!

If you can’t put down at least 10% on a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan, then you probably can’t afford a house in this market. A down payment that’s less than 10% will strangle your budget with massive monthly mortgage payments. But if you want to get prepared to buy and you’re committed to your budget, here are some options to consider:

  • Keep saving. If you stay patient and motivated, you can save for a five-figure down payment by this time next year.

  • Sacrifice some wants. If you can’t afford to buy the house you want, be willing to give up some “nice-to-haves” for your “must-haves.” Find the least expensive home in the best neighborhood you can afford and you can upgrade as your income and savings increase over time.

  • Expand your search. What if the location where you’re planning to buy is what’s busting your budget? You might be surprised at the gem you can find in a less popular neighborhood. Getting connected with a real estate agent who really knows the area is the best way find a home that fits your budget and lifestyle.

Buying a home can be stressful, but our Home-Buyer’s Guide will streamline the process! It’ll help you think through all the important parts so you can rest easy when your dream home is officially yours.