How Will Interest Rates Affect the Market in 2019?

How Will Interest Rates Affect the Market in 2019Forbes and other reputable publications have predicted a continued rise in interest rates over 2019. The initial shock of the Fed’s action caused a slowdown in real estate markets over the final part of 2018. As the shock wears off, experts are divided as to whether more expensive money will continue to translate into lower housing starts and occupancy rates for primary markets.

Many experts believe that the rising 2018 interest rates have not yet baked themselves into the real estate market. They point to past instances of relatively high real estate hikes and the slower uptake into the property market the following year. Proponents of fast action uptake point to a much closer relationship between federal interest rates and the consumer real estate market.

The Edge Of The Housing Affordability Curve

Most consumers were hanging on the edge of housing affordability during the time of low interest rates, this set of experts argues. The second that the Fed raised interest rates, a portion of Millennials immediately became unable to buy a first house or even retain occupancy in more expensive real estate markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

The Fed’s Limited Reach?

The Fed controls short-term rates, but the market controls long-term rates. Over time, these long-term interest rates will be much more influential on how the real estate market will perform over the next five years. Most experts expect commercial banks to try to hold down long-term interest rates to maintain a balance between supply and demand in new housing starts. They stand to lose money over the next few quarters if they cannot accomplish this. However, the banks may struggle to control long term interest rates due to news of the Fed raising interest rates which may scare some people out of the market.

Millennials and Secondary Markets Run The World

For those who want to draw a trend line moving forward, real estate activity in secondary markets may be a good leading indicator of how the rest of the market will behave. Watching cities such as Nashville, San Diego, San Jose and Dallas may provide insights as to just how many displaced Millennials will be able to access the housing market in the United States over the next few years. This is the core group that will control housing prices in America, so they are definitely the ones to watch in terms of movement.

For up to date financial information, be sure to contact your trusted mortgage professional.

U.S. Wage Increases Could Help Home Buyers

U.S. Wage Increases Could Help Home BuyersThe struggle to achieve the American homeownership dream often feels like it happens in a vacuum. Everyday people work hard, save money and polish up their credit to get a low mortgage rate.

But there are powerful forces at work that are far beyond each person’s control. And until recently, the gap between American wage growth and rising home prices was widening. According to data coming out of the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment recently hit a 49-year low and wages are enjoying the greatest uptick in nearly a decade. That is good news for prospective home buyers.

American Wages On The Rise

The 2018 economic news has seemed like one long greatest hits album. Historic-low unemployment for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans has spurred confidence among these groups and the national unemployment has been steadily under 4-percent. The stock markets are booming, and the GDP growth has been impressive.

But there has been some frustration over stubborn wages that haven’t kept pace with other metrics. A report following stagnant salaries in February pointed to no slow down between rising home prices and wallowing pay rates. The growth rate was reportedly a modest 0.1 percent gain in February and that put Americans behind the curve in terms of buying homes.

But numbers coming out of the second quarter jobs report point to a 10-year high wage increase. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported wages are rising as employers compete to fill positions and the 12-month increase stands at 2.9 percent through August.

These are key numbers that may put a smile on potential home buyers’ faces.

  • Wages rose 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Through August, wages rose 2.9 percent over the previous 12-month period.
  • Private industry compensation increased by 2.9 percent.
  • Government compensation increased by 2.3 percent, down from 2.6 in 2017.
  • Sales jobs gained by 3.5 percent.
  • Transportation jobs increased by 3.4 percent.

Experts are also claiming that setbacks from hurricanes likely blocked wage growth from topping the 2.9 high in 2009.

Where The Housing Market Stands

There’s little doubt that the surging economy put a higher number of Americans in position to purchase homes. However, inventory has remained well behind demand and that created a seller’s market with rising listing prices. But home prices are coming within reach for more people in 2018 and possibly 2019 market.

Since bottoming out in 2102, today’s home prices reportedly stand at about 6 percent higher than they were at their 2006 peak. That is not necessarily an indication that another housing bubble exists. Rather, the uptick in home prices is a natural reaction to an inventory shortage and economic growth.

The optimistic news for prospective home buyers is that wage growth appears to be gaining on home costs. As the gap closes, it’s likely that more and more people will be financially able to secure the American Dream of owning a home.

If you are in the market for a new home, contact us to start the pre-approval process.