Drone neighborhood shot

Nationwide, real estate agents are bracing themselves for the coming slowdown in the housing market. Rising home values paired with stagnant wages, along with the upward trend in mortgage rates have created the perfect storm of conditions that will lead to a cooling off of the red hot housing market of 2017 and 2018.

Here in Livingston Parish we are already seeing less sales and more time on the market. November 2018 sales were down 17% when compared to November 2017 and a whopping 41% from the previous month.

While the overall market in our area remains healthy, the market appears to be shifting from a seller’s market to one that favors buyers. Sellers may need to temper their expectations on pricing and be prepared for more negotiations and conditions. This is good news, of course, if you are a buyer. Though affordability will be negatively impacted by rising mortgage interest rates, increased inventory and time on market will mean increased options and negotiating power when shopping for a home.

If you need to sell your home in 2019, time is of the essence and you will definitely want to get your home on the market sooner, rather than later. These changes in the market are usually cyclical and we are at the beginning of the housing slowdown. History tells us it will likely get a little worse before it gets better, and the bounce back could be at least a few years away.

Making a move sooner, rather than later, is also good advice for buyers. There is plenty of debate about how high interest rates will go, but very few people think they will be headed significantly downward any time soon. Locking in a mortgage now while interest rates are still comparatively low could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

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Melanie Coker is a real estate broker and owner of Property Sprocket. She can be found on Twitter, @melanie_larae; or via e-mail, melanie@propertysprocket.com

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