For Costa Mesa real estate buyers and sellers who occasionally track national trends and predictions, last week was a good one…to take the week off! In a week crammed with news that ranged from tragic (Minnesota) to triumphant (America’s superbly art-directed return to space), real estate received scant attention. It mattered little: with so many economic factors bouncing from all-time this to all-time that, expecting stable guidance would have been overly optimistic in any case. A snapshot:
On Friday, Realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu offered his analysis of the buying public’s mood, yielding the headline, “Economic Indicators Are Down, but Consumer Confidence is Up.” If that seems to lack consistency, it might be because the consumers aren’t watching economic indicators. Mr. Ratiu noted that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product showed a “deeper decline than originally measured,” and called the worker joblessness situation “painful.” Yet, “amid the uncertainty,” he pointed to a rising consumer confidence index due to the general public’s confidence in “a quick return to normalcy.” He ended the podcast, urging viewers to “stay tuned for next week’s update from the economic scene…”
Meantime, Realtor.com’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale was on the record with a revised 2020 housing market prediction update. It estimated that home sales this year would hit 4,500,000—which may sound like a lot, but is actually down 15%. But wait! She continued with “You may be surprised to see that we expect home prices to eke out a small gain.” The predicted uptick was modest—in the neighborhood of 1.1% through 2020.
The predicted rise would be due to the limited number of homes being offered (“that helps to keep prices up”). But even high prices would reflect an improving deal for buyers due to the expected continuation of bargain-basement mortgage interest rates—which might even be expected “to trend lower.”
And about that 1.1% predicted price rise? Already by the end of the same update, that version of the future was already wavering. More inventory could become available, “so by the end of the year, prices could drift slightly lower.”
Fortunately, Costa Mesa real estate buyers and sellers aren’t dependent upon consistency from the experts—they act according to their own imperatives. When personal circumstances dictate that it’s time to sell or time to buy, people look for a deal that makes the most sense. Helping clients find one that does exactly that is where we come in. Do call!