2019 was a year of change both nationally and in the local real estate market. Nationally, sales of existing homes were up 4.6% and home prices were up 3.5%. Locally, our market was very similar, as 2019 saw more homes for sale, and modest appreciation. Both of these were welcome after a few years of historic lows for inventory and rocket-powered price escalation.
What is fueling the continued interest in real estate? Interest rates made a move back down after several months of increases. Buyer’s incomes have increased, leading to an all-time low payment as a percent of income of 15.2%. Part of this is buyers being more frugal and less willing to extend themselves. This has driven strong demand for house under $300,000 where quality inventory remains challenging.
New construction saw a resurgence with permits issued at the highest level since the start of the economic decline in 2007.
Millennial buyers are purchasing their first of second homes, and Gen Z buyers are starting their first home search. 35% of homebuyers in 2019 were under 35 years old.
Check out the graphic below for some more interesting facts.