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Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2019

Needless to say, the real estate market has been a hot-button topic for several years.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have been historically low since 2010, hitting a record floor of 3.35% in late 2012. The Federal Reserve raised the rate several times in 2018, but it still comes in at just under 5%. These low rates would seem to benefit the buyer, right? Well, at the same time, housing prices soared to new heights across the United States the past few years, especially in cities like Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco. Even with a recent cooldown, sellers are still getting top dollar for their homes.

What does all this mean for potential homebuyers and sellers in 2019? Can we expect the same? Or is the bubble about to burst? Opinions run the gamut—a crash is inevitable; no it’s not—but the following three real estate trends will ring true in 2019.

“We haven’t been in a normal housing market in a decade,” said SELCO Mortgage Manager Mike Lavender. “But look for 2019 to be similar to the past couple years. Inventory will remain low, rates are moving up but still below historical averages, and the number of buyers will continue to increase.”

Interest rates not flying south

In 2018, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose nearly a full point, from 4.03% to 4.9%. Zillow predicts that number to jump to 5.8% by the end of 2019 (highest since the Great Recession of 2008); other leading housing authorities are more modest, projecting the rate will flatten at about 5%.

"We haven't been in a normal housing market in a decade."

“Small changes in rates won’t make monumental differences in the real estate market,” Lavender said. “So if you’re considering buying, 2019 might be the right time for you.”

Demand still outpacing supply

Inventory of new and existing homes is expected to creep up in 2019 but will remain modest at a less than 7 percent increase. Home prices may continue to go up, but sellers won’t be able to simply “name their price,” the way they’ve been able to the past few years.

“Buyers shouldn’t try to ‘time the market’ but instead be active in the market,” Lavender said. “You’ll want to be prepared by getting preapproved for a mortgage and have the right realtor working for you.”

SELCO Mortgage can help with those decisions. Schedule an appointment with a SELCO representative to see if it’s the right time for you to buy a home or remodel your current one.

Oregon is the place to be

Oregon has a lot going for it—the seemingly endless natural beauty, vibrant city life in Portland, lack of a sales tax, and a growing economy. More and more people can enjoy all that while working from home, as well. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Oregon is consistently one of the top moving destinations in the country.

That desirability also has affected the real-estate market. The current median listing price for a home in Oregon is $380.000, eighth-highest in the nation. (Portland leads the way at $425,000, Deschutes County is $387,000, and Lane County’s median price is $300,000.) The increase in population and housing prices also boosts income and property tax revenue for our government agencies. More homeowners also means more money being spent in our communities.

“Oregon is such a great place to live and work. As our communities continue to grow, we should expect our housing market to remain strong,” Lavender said. “The fundamentals of supply and demand are still there.”

All in all, 2019 is shaping up to be a healthy year for the real estate market. A slow-down has already begun, but a crash doesn’t appear to be on the horizon, either—the market is merely tapping the brakes a little. Which may be your sign to hit the gas and enter the market.

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