Spring Signals Rebound For Buyers
The kickoff to spring suggests peak homebuying season is set to commence. Obstacles last year to home ownership, while still in place, are expected to be less severe in 2019.
Most experts, according to BankRate, predict housing starts to increase by around 2.5 percent. Although those are modest gains, when coupled with a strong job market and increasing wages, buyers will have a little more momentum going into the buying season.
“This is going to be a pretty good spring, we’re seeing growth relative to last year in home sales. Not a blowout year but increasing by a couple of percent relative to where they were last year,” says Michael Fratantoni, Mortgage Banker Association chief economist, told BankRate.
However, not all buyers are convinced that the economy is going to stay on course. Despite unemployment falling to the lowest levels in almost half a century, dropping below 4 percent in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, a dismal 20,000 jobs were added in February. These low jobs numbers might reflect a weariness that’s apparent in the sluggish housing market.
Mortgage rates depend on many factors but economists are expecting little change this year, giving buyers time to lock in a sub-5 percent rate. This is good news for folks who were on the fence last year, as the low-rate train is lingering at the station.