As St. Cloud plunges fearlessly into the New Year, it’s the perfect time to present a roundup of the experts’ predictions for 2019 real estate. Last year’s national forecasts turned out to be more-or-less accurate for St. Cloud real estate—probably because nothing very surprising happened. Throughout the year, despite several onslaughts by Mother Nature, the overall economy continued to bolster optimism—even counting the stock market gyrations at year’s end.

What do the majority expect for the coming year in real estate? Here’s what they are willing to commit to on the record:

MarketWatch predicts that there will be a general tilt away from seller’s market conditions to favor buyers—but just. Although acknowledging that such shifts often “lead to fewer offers and bidding wars;” this one will be mild enough that homeowners are “still likely to walk away with a decent profit in 2019 if you sell.”  

Forbes foresees that mortgage rates should continue to rise, but even so, Millennial-aged buyers will keep buying homes. The reason is oft-repeated: as they reach the age when peak household formation takes place, their need for housing will trump the price obstacle. Although first-timers will struggle, older Millennials will “have more optionsin higher-end tiers.”

The Realtor website agrees—so much so that it makes a rare longer-range prediction: 2020 is expected to be “the peak millennial home buying year.” Nationally, home prices will continue to rise—but slow to a U.S. average of 2.2%.

Fannie Mae believes that mortgage interest rates will continue to rise (and who should know better?). But among home loan forecasters, Fannie was the most optimistic, believing that rates will top out at a livable 5% by year’s end.

That looks to be in synch with TradingEconomics.com, which cited “the Federal Reserve’s lowered forecast for interest hikes in 2019.”

For investment-minded St. Cloud real estate watchers, one of the most interesting predictions came from Housingwire. If all goes as foreseen, higher prices and interest rates will “drive an increase in rental rates.” That resurgence in rents should fuel interest by investors—tomorrow’s landlords-to-be.

The award for safest forecast goes to RISMedia, whose headlined projection for housing (“Not Better for Buyers, but Not Worse”) certainly has the least likelihood of being far off base. It summed up its vision for the coming year in one word: “balanced.”

Actually, all the major predictions are as lacking in drama as were last year’s—but when it comes to St. Cloud real estate activity in the coming months, that’s hardly a bad thing. Here’s hoping your own year is stable, prosperous—and equally lacking in unnecessary drama. I’ll be standing by to help with any and all your 2019 real estate needs!

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