Real estate agents and brokers across the country have reported lower than average numbers so far in 2019. The national housing market has been impacted by two major factors: a decreased supply of existing homes for sale and a slowdown in new construction. Between the two factors, home prices have been pushed to extremely high levels, putting homeownership out of reach for many would-be buyers.
In the second quarter of 2019, agents at Redfin reported that potential buyers were stepping back from homes that were priced out of their ranges, which is something that hasn’t been such an issue in the last few years. As a result, the third quarter of 2019 is poised to present continual challenges for both buyers and agents. One of the challenges associated with new construction slowdowns is a crackdown on immigration, which impacts labor in this industry. Additionally, new and higher tariffs on imported wood for construction has posed a challenge for home builders to get the materials needed to build new homes.
The success of the economy has also played a role in the second quarter’s lower home-buying rates. Although jobs are plentiful and unemployment rates are down, mortgage rates have fluctuated drastically, and the Federal Reserve has been part of the higher interest rates at various times of the year. The goal of raising interest rates is to keep inflation under control.
According to a forecast from Freddie Mac, the housing market is likely to remain on the slow side for the rest of 2019. However, the slowdown doesn’t seem to be cause for major alarm, as the strong economy and healthy labor market should continue to support demand among buyers.