Coming off 2018’s incredibly strong real estate market, predictions for the state of the market in 2019 are much anticipated. As we head into the spring — traditionally the hottest season for real estate — we asked a couple of experts to weigh in on what they expect this year’s housing market will bring.
“I don’t think we’re going to have the crazy market that we had last spring, but I do think we’re going to have a strong market,” said Kirsten Robertson, managing broker for The 425 Group. “I also think we’re going to see a lot more inventory come on. How that balances out remains to be seen.”
Michelle Cooper, a real estate broker at Home Smart Real Estate in Bothell, agreed that we probably won’t see last year’s escalation or bidding wars, in part because of rising interest rates and the fact that there is more inventory listed.
“It won’t be such a seller’s market,” Cooper said. “I’m not saying it will be a buyer’s market, either, though. It will probably balance somewhere in between.”
Peak season, Cooper said, will be from March to September. To get the most money for their property, she recommended that sellers get their house on the market within that time frame. She also predicted that the multiple offers that became a kind of status quo in 2018 will likely be rarer.
Buyers are looking a little bit more hesitant than they were last spring, according to Robertson. Cooper attributed this reluctance to being discouraged by the bidding wars, then signing short-term leases in the meantime. But Cooper warned against staying on the fence for too long: Both women agreed that housing prices will only continue to rise.
“A lot of buyers think that there might be a crash in 2020, and that they might be able to get a deal then,” Cooper said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. From everything I can tell, it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. If you wait, you’re just throwing away money on rent, and you’ll end up paying more for that same house because of inflation and interest rates — which are also going to slowly continue to climb. It’s better to just get into something than to wait around for a crash.”
For real estate this year, then, it looks like there’s no time like the present to get into — or out of — a home.