Some real estate analysts speculate that the housing market will see some improvements in 2018. However, 2018 could be challenging for homebuyers if mortgage rates rise and inventory remains low. Here are some likely trends for the housing and mortgage markets in 2018.
Housing prices could cool down after several years of rapid acceleration. The Federal Housing Finance Agency says home prices will have risen 6 percent by the end of 2017. Home prices rose by 6.3 percent in 2016. However, leading lender and industry groups estimate that existing home prices will only rise by 4.1 percent in 2018.
Homebuyers in 2017 struggled to find homes affordable homes for sale because of an inventory shortage. However, that trend could end in 2018 as Realtor.com predicts inventory will rise by the end of the year.
Leading real estate analysts speculate that existing home sales will rise by 2.5 percent in 2018. New home sales will rise by 7 percent in 2018, and the south will experience the biggest spike in home sales, according to Realtor.com. Cities in the south with strong regional economies such as Little Rock, Dallas, Tulsa and Charlotte should see up to a 6 percent jump in home sales.
Most leading financial institutions and lenders expect mortgage rates to increase in 2018. CoreLogic, who provides data for real estate professionals, estimates that the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will average 4.7 percent by the end of the year.
However, mortgage rates continue to prove they are resistant to analysts estimates and predictions. Most people expected a continuous rise in interest rates throughout 2017, only to stay below 4 percent for most of the year.
Homeownership might be out of reach for many Americans in 2018. If rates and housing prices rise, many potential homeowners, especially first-time homebuyers, will get priced out of the market. Although the U.S. economy continues to show signs of improvement, many Americans are not seeing any significant increases in their incomes.