The 3 Best Reasons to Buy a Home in 2018
(but You’d Better Hurry)
New predictions for 2018 forecast more moderate gains in home prices and rising inventory levels, while low unemployment and record levels of consumer confidence mean more buyers are feeling good about their finances.
A lot depends on where you live (and how much you plan to finance), but these factors combined could mean 2018 will be your year to take the buying plunge.
1. Rates are going up
After years of record-low interest rates, the rates are finally making some noticeable increases. In fact, the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage broke the 4% mark last year. And with economic growth continuing to carry momentum, Vivas predicts we’ll see at least two to four more rate increases throughout 2018. Rates are anticipated to hit 5% by the end of the year.
2. Prices are climbing, but not crazily fast
Home prices have risen over the last few years. But in 2018, price increases are expected to moderate.
Vivas forecasts a home price increase of 3.2% year over year, after finishing 2017 with a 5.5% year-over-year increase. Existing-home sale prices are predicted to increase 2.5% year over year.
Of course, it all depends on where you live. While red-hot markets such as San Francisco are predicted to finally lose some steam, sales numbers and home prices are poised to climb in Southern states such as Texas and Florida, where economic momentum continues chugging along and new construction is happening in the right price points.
So what does that mean? Basically, home prices will still increase, but not at the same pace as they have over the past few years.
3. Inventory levels will begin to increase
An inventory shortage has plagued the U.S. housing market since 2015, forcing some buyers to settle and keeping others out of the buying game entirely. But by fall 2018, the tides will begin to turn, with markets such as Boston; Detroit; and Nashville, TN, recovering first.
It is predicted the majority of inventory growth will happen in the middle- to upper-tier price point, in the ranges of $350,000 and $750,000 and above $750,000.
As we head into 2019 and beyond, we expect to see the inventory increases take hold and provide relief for first-timers and drive sales growth.
The wildcard: Taxes and politics
When the Republican tax plan was introduced, the proposed elimination of the mortgage interest deduction was all anyone could talk about: While the new limitations on the deduction will affect only 2.5% of all existing mortgages in the U.S., it will have a disproportionate effect on Western markets, where 20% to 30% of mortgages are above the new threshold.
Across the board, experts agree that the new tax plan decreases incentives for homeownership and reduces the tax benefits of owning a home—particularly in highly taxed, expensive markets such as California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. But on the flip side, that means that if fewer folks are motivated to buy, then there’s less competition for those who want in the game. Plus, some taxpayers—including renters—will see a tax cut. That increase in buyers’ disposable income could spur demand from folks who are looking to build equity as a homeowner, rather than flushing away their savings in rent.
- The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
- Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.1% by 2019.
- CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.3% over the next 12 months.
- If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!
If you have any questions or want more information, get in contact with me TODAY at 951.704.6370 or Kristi@KristiHardenRealEstate.com
*Information provided by kcm.com and realtor.com