Realtor.com forecast projects tough U.S. housing market in 2020

Dec. 4 (UPI) — A tight housing market in the United States next year could lead to a decline in sales, negligible price growth and some difficulty for home buyers, a new industry forecast said Wednesday.

Realtor.com explained in its 2020 National Housing Forecast that construction of single-family homes will rise by 6 percent next year, but that won’t address a housing shortage that’s partly resulted from an influx of young buyers.

The report projected buyers will be motivated in the market by mortgage rates under 4 percent.

“In 2020, there will be an opportunity for buyers,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. “But in many ways, the challenges they’ve faced for years are going to persist — challenges like difficulty finding the home that’s right for them and competing with other buyers, especially in affordable price points.”

Prices next year, however, are expected to decrease in a quarter of the United States’ top 100 markets — including Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, St. Louis, Detroit and San Francisco.

The forecast projected sales of existing homes will end up with a 1.8 percent decline by the end of 2019, and grow by just 0.8 percent next year.

“A slowdown in consumer spending, coupled with rising global uncertainty and market volatility, can be expected to lead companies to contain costs and trim employment goals,” Realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu said. “In turn, consumer confidence will soften during the year.”