Ask any real estate expert about the 2018 market and they’ll tell you about the highs and lows: Home prices rocketed during the first half of the year before gradually leveling out, and historically low mortgage rates have recently risen to their highest in almost a decade. But will those trends continue to dominate or disappear in 2019?
“I think 2019 will find us somewhere in between a seller’s and buyer’s market,” noted Ron Molcho, broker and owner with American Homes Group in West Brighton. “An increase in inventory and leveling off of pricing will certainly offer buyers more of a selection. Staten Island is the most affordable borough for homeownership and I believe in 2019 the market will remain steady as long as interest rates stay favorable.”
It’s a forecast based on trends that are currently dominating the real estate market.“We are seeing more reductions as of late, but some of the reductions can be attributed to homes that were overpriced from the onset,” Molcho continued. “In 2018, we experienced multiple offers and over asking price was not uncommon. That trend seems to have disappeared. Average days on the market – which has increased slightly – coupled with an increase in inventory has contributed to price adjustments, particularity in resales. New construction pricing and sales remain strong.”
And 20- and 30-somethings are the target buyer. “Millennials have become the largest buying sector, accounting for 45 percent of mortgages,” Molcho said. “As they are getting older and settling down, they are moving from renters to homeowners. That trend will continue to rise as millennials are likely to make up the largest segment of buyers for the foreseeable future.”
All trends that Molcho defines as “common sense.”
“Real estate is cyclical so the rise in inventory – specifically in the last quarter of 2018 – is not surprising,” Molcho concluded.
“I think there will be additional opportunities for many existing homeowners looking to upgrade in 2019, but there is still a dire need for entry-level housing for the first-time buyer.”
Sandy Krueger, president and CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR), agrees.
“The market has definitely cooled a little bit – we don’t have people fighting over properties the way we did last year – but at the same rate, prices are going up,” Krueger noted. “Buyers are more particular and more properties are expiring and not selling the first time around because of that factor. But statistically, the market is in an upswing.”
And since prices have dropped slightly and flattened out, Krueger says it’s important for sellers to be more thoughtful about pricing when selling their home.
“If you’re selling your home, you need to be more cognizant of where the market is,” he concluded. “We can’t call it a buyer’s market, but it’s also not a seller’s market either. It’s balanced. And I think it will continue in that direction for most of 2019.”