Real Estate Blog by Windy Crutchfield, REALTOR®

Happy and Healthy Market Forecast for 2019!

The housing market appears to be suffering from some bipolarity as we close out 2018! I had to give you a more in-depth diagnosis because if you read the headlines, you will have, frankly, an irrational fear about entering the housing market in the coming year.  At the end of 2017, I told you the absorption ratio was the highest it's been since the Recession.  You read also this year about multiple offer situations and offers going way over asking price with few, if any, seller concessions.  And most recently, you've heard some consistently inconsistent economic news. The stock marketed plummeted, only to close out the year with the highest one-day recovery on record in the midst of a government shut down. Unemployment levels are at their lowest in 50 years but wages are still stagnant. Mortgage rates reached their highest point in 9 years and the Fed increased rates for the 4th time in December, but then mortgage interest rates eased down to at 4.63%.  Price gains for sellers have limited affordability for buyers, keeping many willing first-time buyers and move-up buyers/sellers on the sidelines, yet there is still a shortage of homes. Price appreciation reached nearly 6% last year is expected to give way to 3% in 2019 and 2.4% in 2020 as sales cool.  The general economic news is very strong but the housing market predictions for 2019 are overall rather negative nationally.  Do you also feel like hibernating a bit after reading the day-to-day headlines and my recap of the year?

I have a different perspective and am excited about the prospects for buyers and sellers in 2019.  Yes, we have indications that the imbalance in the housing market is surfacing as a correction.  If you keep up with my monthly review, you knew already that our sales in Southside Hampton Roads (SSHR) took a nosedive between August and Sept, but ticked back up to typical off-season levels in October & November. The number of new...