Looking at the local real estate market in 2018, we see some marked shifts from recent years. Prices went up another 7%, but inventory rose roughly 25% and is now surpassing 2015 levels. Sales are down 10% and mortgage interest rates are now approaching 5%, a sharp climb, and the highest they have been in nearly 8 years. Other external factors at play include continued strong local employment numbers, and two major wildfires bookending the year which created massive property damage and added more pressure to already tight rental market.
Going into 2019, we already have some important information to help us see where the market is likely to be heading. Mortgage interest rates are likely to continue a slow climb, barring any major economic shock. Also the new tax laws passed will start to have real effects for consumers, as they weigh tax deduction caps for state taxes, and mortgage interest, and how that affects their personal purchasing power.
The Conejo Valley itself continues to be a highly desirable community, and with a negligible number of new construction options available, our resale market is expected to continue to see increasing prices, growing at roughly half the rate of last year. Inventory appears to be leveling off at the end of the year and should remain fairly static throughout the year. We are now beyond the days of multiple offers the weekend a property is listed and seeing sellers dominate negotiations. The market should be more balanced between the number of available properties and demand, much as we saw in the closing months of 2018. This is good news for both buyers and sellers.
For details on how to help you in your home ownership goals in 2019, whether buying or selling, contact us today!