Last year’s dramatic shift in the market, from overwhelmingly favoring sellers to
buyers now seemingly having the advantage, has led a lot of people to wonder what’s in
store for 2019. While it seems to me many Realtors® are hesitant to express any of
their own opinions, possibly for fear they might be incorrect or be held responsible for
decisions people might make, I’m going to offer my thoughts with the confidence that
all who read this understand it’s my view of the market. I don’t suggest or recommend
anybody make important decisions based on this alone and always encourage
consultation with licensed professionals in relevant fields.
Opinion #1: Normal seasonal patterns return this year
For the last couple of years, sales activity was brisk in January and early February as
buyers aggressively gobbled up limited inventory. With higher inventory levels this
year, buyers have more choices and less pressure to make quick offers. Because of this,
I think sales activity will noticeably pick up mid to late February, which is the normal
seasonal pattern. The seasonal patterns are likely throughout the year.
Opinion #2: Sales prices not likely to increase on year-over-year basis
I believe the market will try to establish a new “norm” on pricing for the next few
months. During the last few months of 2018, inventory increased while unit sales
decreased. I believe a big reason for that was sellers priced their home based on how
much they wanted instead of what the market was willing to pay. They wanted prices
from earlier in the year even though the market was no longer making offers at those
levels. I don’t have any reasons to believe demand will return to push prices
aggressively back up this year. Hence, I believe prices will have a hard time matching
or exceeding numbers for the same time last year.
Opinion #3: “Balance” during the latter part of the year
Once sellers adjust and accept market prices, the flow of sales will be more in rhythm
with inventory. I believe demand is still strong enough to support a healthy
transaction rate once prices reach the right balance point.
Final Thought: If the interest rate environment becomes more favorable, which I
suspect it will, demand should stay strong enough to support fair prices. The absence
of wild swings in the market could prove to be good for both buyers and sellers. Follo