Low inventory and a possible recession? What real estate agents see for the 2019 housing market

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Asking agents

If you ask real estate agents, 2019 will be riddled with housing cost concerns, inventory shortages and high home prices thanks to Amazon’s HQ2. Despite all this, agents expect home sales to remain largely steady (or even increase) over the year.

Verify your new rate (May 24th, 2019)

Survey says

According to a recent survey of real estate agents form TD Bank, nearly 80 percent of agents think home sales will hold steady or even increase in 2019.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be a few speed bumps along the way, though. More than 40 percent of agents are concerned with inventory shortages in the coming year, while nearly a quarter worry a recession may be on its way.

At the client level, agents say unexpected costs will be the biggest concern this year. Agents also cite financing, appraisals, inspections and overall paperwork confusion as top-of-mind client worries.

Agents also have opinions regarding the HQ2 effect. According to the survey, about half think higher home prices will be the biggest impact of Amazon’s entrance into the D.C. and New York housing markets. Others cite increased development and more renovations as the top change.

Verify your new rate (May 24th, 2019)

Going digital

It seems digital mortgages are going to stay front and center this year, with about 90 percent of agents saying their buyers are either moderately, very or extremely interested in a digital loan process. Only 3 percent of agents said their clients aren’t interested in a digital mortgage.

Another recent survey from J.D. Power showed that digital processes and tools actually improve buyer satisfaction with their mortgage lenders.

Mortgage lender satisfaction up, thanks to digital processes

But digital capabilities aren’t the only thing agents say their buyers are looking for. Agents also cite responsiveness, overall guidance/advice and competitive rates as top priorities.

Buyers dread the mortgage application, but love their lenders

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