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Five Housing and Mortgage Trends for the Rest of 2019

By Michael Bischoff, CFP®

Mortgage rates fell in the first half of 2019, the opposite of what experts had predicted. This is welcome news for home buyers, sellers, and homeowners. There are five housing and mortgage trends that NerdWallet has identified to watch in the second half of 2019:

1. More homes for sale: Freddie Mac estimated that in 2017, 370,000 fewer homes were built than needed to satisfy demand. More would-be buyers existed than homes for sale, giving sellers a stronger negotiating position. But the balance of power is finally moving in the buyer’s direction and a higher number of homes are now available for sale.

2. Home prices will keep going up: In the first four months of 2019, the year-over-year price increases for resold homes were less than 4%. A year ago, prices were more than 4.5% higher. “Home price appreciation will slow down – the days of easy price gains are coming to an end – but the prices will continue to rise,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

3. Mortgage rates will remain low: Mortgage rates have tumbled this year. The average APR for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.09% by June 2019, according to NerdWallet. The forecasters now predict that the 30-year fixed will remain steady through year’s end, not changing by more than a couple of tenths of a percentage point.

4. Affordability continues to be a concern: Mark Boud, chief economist of Metrostudy, calls the national housing market “top-heavy.” Plenty of homes, nationally, are available for buyers who can afford to pay $800,000 or more. Buyers outnumber sellers of homes priced $400,000 or less. “We’re still very short of supply in this lower price range,” Mark says.

5. More people could save by refinancing: Every time rates fall, there’s an increase in the number of homeowners who could save money by refinancing. Black Knight, a technology provider for the mortgage industry, estimates that 5.9 million homeowners could cut 0.75% or more from their mortgage interest rate by refinancing. Even if you bought your home recently, it’s worth checking whether you should refinance.

Your home is an important asset that has value, provides a solid foundation and security in your life.

Based on the Star Tribune Business Section from June 26, 2019

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