As we sit just a few days from 2019, the inevitable predictions, top ten lists, and trends to watch for in 2019 have appeared like magic. Most are inconsequential ramblings for amusement purposes — the kinds of things for which no one is really going to hold anyone accountable.

When it comes to the mortgage and housing industry, most of what we see as it relates to 2019 are really “no duh” revelations carried over from 2018 lists.

2019 — as in 2018 — will likely be a seller’s market. The right home in the right location will attract more than one buyer in fairly short order. While we should see more homes come on the market and builders start to meet demand for smaller more affordable new homes, demand will continue to outpace supply. That will keep prices rising, at a slower pace, but still rising. Those rising prices, along with the likelihood we are going to see rising mortgage rates, will make affordability even more of a factor as we enter the new year.

So what good things might we see in 2019 that are notably different from 2018? Maybe “notably different” is an exaggeration — flipping the calendar doesn’t really change much. But there are some things that might become more noticeable in 2019.

  • Look for more homebuyers to be first-time homebuyers.
  • Look for those smaller “hopefully” more affordable new homes to be built.
  • And look for ARM loans to become more accepted by consumers, even if forced on them by the fact that the lower rates ARMs initially make homes more affordable than the more common fixed-rate mortgages.

So, let’s get excited about 2019. Even if it only moves us a little further from the past and that much closer to truly understanding today’s homebuyer and mortgage consumer, it will be a huge success. Have a Happy New Year!