After nearly six years of rising home prices, what’s next?
Will 2018 be the seventh year home prices go up? Or the year the market stalls? Will this be the year that tenants get the upper hand over landlords? Or will rent hikes just keep coming?
In other words, will the seller’s market of the past 69 months continue in 2018?
We interviewed 10 economists and reviewed nine forecasts to find an answer to that question. It can be summed up in one word.
Yes, home prices and home sales are projected to keep rising in the year ahead, although the gains will be smaller.
Yes, the supply of homes for sale will fail to keep pace with demand, fueling more cutthroat bidding wars.
And yes, rents will keep rising while apartment vacancies stay near all-time lows.
The economists all cite the same reason: “As long as the economy keeps growing, that’s going to give a push to the housing market,” said Anil Puri, director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting at Cal State Fullerton.
Jerry Nickelsburg, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, put it this way: “When you have increases in employment, you have increases in household formation, and that increases demand for housing. That’s what we’ve been seeing.”
To get a grip on the year ahead, we highlighted five topics: Prices, sales, mortgage rates, number of homes for sale and rent.
The picture that emerges shows a market that still has more room to grow.
Ultimately, we ask the question on the minds of those still seeking to buy a home but are worried they missed their chance: How long will this crazy, runaway train of a market last? Is it too late to buy a home?
Here’s what we learned.