Lower mortgage costs boost housing outlook for 2019

Lower mortgage rates are a shot in the arm to the U.S. and Texas housing markets.

But affordability issues and a lack of low-priced homes for sale are still big hurdles for homebuyers in the Dallas area and across the country, top housing sector analysts say.

The number of houses for sale in North Texas this year has grown by about 20%. Dallas-Fort Worth is on Realtor.com’s list of cities seeing the biggest inventory increases.

“Essentially home sales have been moving sideways,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, said last week at a meeting of the National Association of Real Estate Editors in Austin. “Consumer confidence about homebuying has been weakening.

“Nationally, housing has been underperforming compared with the overall growth of the economy,” Yun. “A key reason is lack of inventory.”

Dallas is one of the markets CoreLogic considers overvalued. 

The recent flattening of home purchases comes at a time when demand is very strong.

“We are short in my estimate by 5 million or 6 million housing units today,” Yun said. “We are looking for housing shortage conditions lasting possibly another four years.”

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Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor

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