NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expected existing-home sales will finish 2018 with 5.345 million transactions, down from last year’s 5.51 million, and he predicted next year’s sales will increase by 1 percent to 5.4 million. Yun also expected the national median existing-home price is expected to rise to approximately $266,800 in 2019, a 3.1 percent increase from this year, with the price going further to $274,000.
“Ninety percent of markets are experiencing price gains while very few are experiencing consistent price declines,” said Yun. “The year 2017 was best year for home sales in 10 years, and 2018 is only down 1.5 percent year to date. Statistically, it is a mild twinge in the data and a very mild adjustment compared to the long-term growth we’ve been experiencing over the past few years.”
But Yun added that his forecasts were predicated on an increase in home production.
“All indications are that we have a housing shortage,” Yun continued. “If you look at population growth and job growth, it is clear that we are not producing enough houses.”
On the bigger picture, Yun defined the national economy as “good” with record low unemployment and increasing wages.
“This type of activity in the economy should support the housing market, even as interest rates rise,” said Yun.