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Rising mortgage interest rates to slow home sales in 2019

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2019 | Residential Real Estate |

Homebuyers in California have struggled with affordability for years, and real estate insiders do not expect 2019 to bring any relief. Mortgage interests rates, which had already increased throughout 2018, will continue their upward climb this year. Economists are saying that people shopping for homes will face higher borrowing costs.

Based on figures from Freddie Mac, the New Year opened with the average rate for 30-year home loans at 4.55 percent. A forecast from Realtor.com and Redfin predicts that the 30-year fixed rate will climb to 5.5 percent by the end of the year. Half of a percentage point raises monthly payments and increases the overall cost of financing by tens of thousands of dollars.

Economists believe that a modest growth in the inventory of homes for sale will continue and provide buyers with more choices. A slight uptick in inventory, however, is not sufficient to reverse the trend in dropping home sales. From November 2017 to November 2018, homes sales fell by 7 percent, and analysts at Realtor.com foresee another 2 percent loss in sales volume in the upcoming year.

Even when real estate markets slow down, transactions still take place. An individual involved in a real estate deal might want legal advice. A lawyer who represents people involved in land development could inform a buyer or seller about issues and liabilities associated with any particular deal. Legal counsel could study factors like the terms of a purchase agreement, zoning, lack of disclosure or title issues. An attorney could also examine the documents at a real estate closing and strive to protect the client’s interests.