A new year brings new trends. Check out our compilation of insights for the real estate market in 2019.
Market Trends: Predict all you want but who knows?
The happy dissonance of a strong economy and recession era low interest rates has been fading slowly in the rear view mirror. As rates hiked twice in 2018, additional increases are set to land mortgage rates in the neighborhood of 5% in 2019, causing home value gains to slow. This could set the stage for current homeowners to stay put and would-be first time buyers to remain reluctant.
Renters find more choices in apartments but no pathway to break into the housing market
That reluctance, however, won’t necessarily pay off for renters. Current median rent costs for Americans are at a lion’s share of 28% of monthly income, too close to that 30% threshold that spells trouble for households who devote too much to housing. First time buyers this year will be the lucky few who scrounge enough for a down payment while the rest remain apartment bound in 2019. The silver lining might be that apartment construction is expected to remain bountiful and true to form, millennials won’t fit the trend. In 2018, this group finally began to enter the consumer pool, despite being laden with student debt they will continue to move out of their parents’ basements in 2019.
Can Builders find profit in a strategy that responds to the forgotten middle class?
Builders face troubles of their own as material costs continue to rise and planning schedules are often delayed.To meet consumers at their readiness level in 2019, new builds will have to creatively embrace density focused projects in order to introduce a competitive ‘third option’ for those faced with weighing the existing choice between the often too low inventory “sweet spot” fixer-upper home found just beyond the the boundaries of the trendy metropolitan area versus the ever-crowding, commute complaining suburbanite lifestyle.
Developers have data to inform and refine master planned communities
Master planned communities might be the key to such a variable choice millennials and other first time buyers seek. New projects have the opportunity to offer not just housing but also proximity to health, wellness, coffee and other amenities that cause buyers to take the leap into home ownership. 2019 will mark a continued trend for homebuyers to favor proximity to nature preserves, trail systems, club-like centers with WiFi powered community workspaces, and even neighborhood gardens. Such trends might be the wise focus of industry leaders who collaborate with architects, trades, and investors to build for unique value proposition from spacious bonus rooms, vaulted ceilings, innovative floor plans and even multiple entry points for potential secondary revenue streams from space rental through airbnb. These creative builds will help to serve a buyer pool that is more informed than ever.