Why 2019 is a Good Time to Buy or Sell your Home
CONTRIBUTED BY DR. ERIK TAMMARU, REALTOR WITH THE ERIC STEWART GROUP OF L&F
When speaking with prospective clients or friends, I’m often asked about the outlook for real estate in the coming year and whether it’s a good time to buy or sell.
From my personal experience as a Realtor, being a part of the excellent and knowledgeable team here at the Eric Stewart Group of Long & Foster, and a bit of research, my answer now is, I’m bullish for real estate in 2019. In other words, I think the market looks good this year in the greater DC region. While it’s impossible to accurately predict what any future will bring, we can look at trends from the past to reasonably project an outlook.
Here are a few trends from 2018:
- Nationally, home prices were up 6 percent1, even as sales were slightly down, but prices will continue to rise.
- Houses sold quickly, with the average time on the market only 29 days.
- Buyers encountered competition when making offers on homes, and multiple offers tend to raise prices.
- Millennials made up the largest segment of buyers, accounting for 45 percent of sales, compared to 17 percent of baby boomers, and 37 percent of Gen Xers.2In fact, 31 percent of buyers were first-time buyers in 2018 and that trend will likely continue this year.1
- In Maryland, homes appreciated at an average of 4.05 percent.3
- Amazon announced a plan for HQ2 in Arlington, which will have an effect on the DC market.4 While it is still an unknown, Builder Magazine’s “Amazon Effect Projection,” (based on how the Seattle market was affected over seven years after Amazon’s rise) indicates the average price of an existing home in the DC area could reach over $1 million in seven years.5Ben Sage, the director of the Mid-Atlantic region for Metrostudy, isn’t quite as emphatic but has said, “The resale market will likely be where there is an immediate impact.”
- The Federal Reserve increased interest rates twice in 2018, and rates may rise to 5.5 percent2 this year.
So why should you be excited about 2019?
For buyers - 2019 seems to be a good time to buy before interest rates increase again, and homes appreciate due to the “Amazon effect”.
I recently helped a husband and wife downsize into a beautiful home in Frederick. Their kids had all moved out and they didn’t need as much house to take care of. I had sold their home in Gaithersburg, MD for a great price after only 21 days on the market. As we began their search for a smaller place, they were excited and felt the need to act quickly, as interest rates had just gone up. We were able to make a solid, but below-asking price offer, it was accepted, and everyone walked away happy!
For sellers – 2019 will still be a seller’s market like 2018, especially in median and lower priced homes, as the projected first-time millennial buyers will again dominate the market. Higher-end homes may be on the market a bit longer, with inventory expected to remain limited in most markets2, but sellers in that range who price competitively can still walk away with a handsome profit.
As 2018 began, I had just listed a nice median-priced townhome in Laurel, MD. I was hoping for a good response for my sellers, but was astonished when, by the end of the first weekend on the market, we had nine solid offers on that house. Guess who the buyers were? Millennials with their first-time buy.
Are you considering buying this year?
Here are three things you can do right now:
- Pay down debt and increase your FICO score to obtain a better interest rate and give you a smaller payment each month.
- Increase your savings for a bigger down payment. This means a smaller mortgage and monthly payment.
- Please call, email, or text me! We can discuss your situation, come up with a plan, and I can put you in touch with reputable and reliable lenders.
Are you considering selling this year?
Here are three things you can do right now:
- Get a free Comparative Market Assessment (CMA) for your home. I will show you what your home is worth, as well as provide a free consultation on how to get top dollar for your home.
- Begin assessing your home’s condition. I’d be happy to go over possible repairs and/or updates and recommend vendors to get you going.
- Start downsizing and de-cluttering. One of the most productive ways to increase value and sell your home is by decluttering. Plus, it feels so good to live in a peaceful and clean environment!
I’d love to set up a time to talk about your individual needs and our local market. Even if you are a long way off from buying or selling, please give me a call or shoot me a text so I can help you prepare. Here’s to a blessed and prosperous 2019!