for the month of January 2019
You know that cliché “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? The real estate market can be a little like that. We can never say for absolutely certain what will happen in the marketplace from one home sale to the next, as only hindsight reveals things that clearly. However, comparing data from one year to the next, or even one month to the next, can supply a perspective that allows for educated insight into what to expect.
The outlook for 2019 is off to a very optimistic start. Although low inventory levels have plagued the market for all of 2018, and in spite of a few doomsday reports crying “bubble, bubble”, the facts show we are in much better condition now than the market was in the year 2000.
Mortgage rates remain low, job statistics are high, and long-term prospects are looking rather rosy. In the last four months of 2018 inventory has increased year over year. The slowing of existing homes sales appears to be a short-term trend, based mainly on concerns over affordability. The Federal rate hike at this point does not appear to have adversely affected mortgage rates, so it is expected that sales will not only pick up moving further into 2019, but that sales will flourish month over month this New Year.
19 homes were available for sale in Mountain Suburbs during the holiday season 2018, and 56 happy buyers availed themselves of the opportunity to begin 2019 in a new home. While Days on Market of 41 reflected the slowing of sales that we have come to expect in December each year, the average sales price of $602,840 reflects continued price gains year over year.
Speaking of forests, that makes me think of wood and wood puts me in mind of building things. Besides the building of new construction homes, badly needed to help with inventory issues, a recent survey asked people who were thinking of buying a home in 2019 what they most wanted to see in those homes they’ll be considering for purchase. The answer was a one-word surprise.
WALLS. We think it’s safe to predict a brisk remodeling trend of adding walls back to existing homes. We will see new home builders design in favor of living spaces with walls to separate living, dining and private areas in new homes.
Other trends we forecast we’ll see this year include natural wood cabinets making a return to kitchens over the all-white themes of the last decade. Along with family rooms transitioning into hobby or craft spaces expect home offices to remain high on the priority list of 2019 buyers. No longer simply a convenience, thanks to technology advances, working from home is an expanding employment option for many.
Asked about architectural stylings, among millennials Colonial and contemporary are topping the list of preferences for those expressing a preference. Most telling, adequate storage solutions, three or more bedrooms, and a garage are still the top three on almost every home buyer’s wish list.
The top priority on the wish list for sellers is price, and rising sales prices are surely a welcome trend to those considering selling property this year. Fast sales times are helping spur the uncertain into action and those additional resale homes will be welcome additions to the inventory throughout our Front Range marketplace as we advance into this New Year.
From the foothills to the highest peaks of the Rockies our housing outlook for 2019 is bright indeed!