Real Estate Predictions for 2018

Every year, investors and financial companies like to pay attention to the housing market and make predictions for how it will do in the upcoming year. Will the trends we have seen in the previous year continue to develop or will they take an unexpected turn?

Of course, not many people see things coming that are truly unexpected. One notable exception to this is depicted in the film The Big Short with our housing market and its eventual demise.

In any case, what’s interesting is that the experts don’t agree. They are predicting some wildly different things, according to an article in Market Watch. Part of the reason for this, according to Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics and cited in this article, is the housing market collapse and “messy” recovery.

Some experts think we might even still be in a housing bubble. Another reason he cites for such divergent opinions on the market is social media - media outlets sometimes report based on anecdotal evidence rather than more factually based evidence.

An example he states is reported from a few years ago that millennials suddenly lost interest in being homeowners. He says these kinds of reports can have unintended consequences. In reality, millennials are the fastest growing sector of homeowners and are much more likely to own homes as singles than previous generations.

Here are three other predictions for 2018 that seem grounded, based on how the market did in 2017:

Inventory Will Continue To Be Low

This may be crushing news to a lot of people, given that the inventory has been in a crunch for a couple of years now. This has given rise to bidding wars and rising home prices in many areas of the country.

Superficially, this can seem like good news but it just isn’t sustainable. Home prices can’t rise faster than wages forever. New homebuyers are leveraging themselves at a higher rate than they were - and will continue to do so - but it won’t be sustainable.

We may see a slight increase of inventory as some sellers will have no choice but to sell and builders are starting to swing more toward single-family homes and away from apartment complexes, however, it won’t be very big.

Mortgage Rates Will Be Around 4%

Last December, the Federal Reserve increased short-term interest rates by 25 basis points, which usually has a corresponding effect on mortgage rates. However, there were three such bumps in 2017 and two in 2016 which didn’t make much of a difference - only slightly raising the cost of a home loan.

The three bumps projected for 2018 by Federal Reserve policy makers may just have very little effect on mortgage rates. Most experts agree that by the end of this year, rates will only be around 4.5% at the highest, which is still historically low.

People Will Keep Renting In More Expensive Areas

This one has to do with the new tax law, which makes it more expensive to own a home in high tax and high price areas of the country. Home prices are rising faster than wages, salaries, and even inflation. It all adds up to mean that, for some of the most expensive areas of the country, it makes more sense to rent than to buy.


Even though not all the experts agree, these three trends seem to be in keeping with how the housing market is shaping up in the last few years. It certainly can be a volatile time to buy or sell a home. We hope to make your experience as pain-free as possible.

If you are ready to buy or sell, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!