4 Reasons to "Yes" Buy a Property in 2019

The housing landscape over the past few years has not been very buyer-friendly: bidding wars, inflated prices, properties selling before the "For Sale" sign is even hung. For these reasons, most buyers have put their search for a new home on "hold." If you were one of those people, we have good news and we have bad news: Things are finally slowing down. But they may not be slowing down fast enough for you to get involved, too. But don't despair - this year still looks to be better than the last for aspiring homebuyers. Here are 4 reasons why we think so:

1. There will be more homes - or at least not fewer

The low availability of properties for sale has put off potential buyers for the past few years. Too few affordable properties were coming on the market to keep up with demand. Or, when they did, there was a good chance they would be snapped up before buyers could even call their real estate agent.

Towards the end of 2018, however, things finally started to get back to normal, and we foresee more opportunities and less disappointment for buyers in 2019. But there's a catch: not everyone will be able to afford these opportunities. That's because the markets seeing the biggest increases in available housing are more expensive.

But if you don't have the money available or aren't willing to pay the high prices, all is not lost. The news is still good - just tempered. The supply of affordable homes for sale (under €50,000, which is around the average house price now) may not be increasing dramatically, but it's certainly not decreasing any more.

2. Rising prices will slow their rise

While availability has been declining over the past few years, house prices have been going in the exact opposite direction. How will prices move in 2019? Expect home prices to continue rising, but at a slower pace than they have been. Our forecast is a 2% increase in home prices this year - compared to a nearly 9% increase last year.

3. Mortgage rates are still low

At the end of 2018, there was a lot of discouraging information about rate increases - and there was good reason to be nervous - the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its prime rate several times, resulting in the cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular home loan in the states, approaching 5% - and expected to rise further in 2019, which would inevitably affect the cost of money here at home as well.

But that never happened. In fact, the rate is falling - to 4.46%. This is definitely a huge opportunity for buyers because it dramatically improves affordability, and if these low rates continue for a while, we'll see stronger sales than we originally predicted.

4. Rents are rising and won't fall anytime soon

Buying a home is a scarily expensive endeavor in the best of circumstances, and when prices are rising, it can be prohibitively expensive. But keep this in mind: rents are also rising. In fact, they rarely go down. And while buying a home will usually cost you more in the short term than renting, you need to look at the bigger picture. Buying means you're building assets - not transferring your hard-earned money to a landlord.

The challenge will be to find a home that fits the need and still has something left within the monthly budget. If you can afford to buy now, your decision will pay off in the long run.

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