Rent Control and Other Real Estate Trends To Watch Out For

Staying on top of current trends is an important part of successful real estate selling. What will buyers, sellers, investors and construction firms be doing in the new year? Experts offer these predictions on real estate trends to keep an eye on in 2020.

1. Mortgage rates continue to drop.

At the close of 2019, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at an average of 3.99%, making it a good year for first-time buyers and refinancers. With trade wars going strong and global economic growth stagnating, there’s a good chance the Fed will cut interest rates at least twice. As of mid-January, average rates were already at 3.79%.

2. Rent control spreads to more areas.

As many people struggle to find affordable housing, several states are turning to rent control. Oregon, California and New York all passed rent control bills in 2019. Other high-cost housing states such as Illinois and Washington are on a “watch list,” while rent control has become a talking point for a number of Democratic presidential candidates.

Rent control has already caused multifamily housing investors in affected markets to rethink and even reduce their investments, an issue that’s likely to occur in other states as they enact legislation.

3. Builders remain focused on starter homes.

Post-recession, builders turned their efforts to the more profitable segment of custom homes for well-to-do buyers. As a result, demand by first-time home buyers has remained strong, but the inventory of starter homes has dried up.

Builders specializing in entry-level properties saw double-digit percentage increase in sales last year, a trend likely to continue as supply tries to catch up with demand.

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