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Stessa Weekly Newsletter for December 26, 2018

The Stessa Weekly Newsletter is hand-curated every week to bring you insightful accounts of new features, investing tips, business insights, and market trends from the real estate ecosystem. This week, we will cover your year-end rental property checklist, predictions for 2019, and why next year may be easier for investors to find deals.

Organize all those old property transactions

The QIF file uploader is the best way to get a lot of data into your Stessa account quickly. Give it a try by using the new “Import” button on your Transactions page.

Lists: Naughty or nice, and your end-of-year checklist

This is the time of year for taking a step back and reflecting on the year that has passed—what you accomplished, what you didn’t, and what you aim to achieve next year. Were you a naughty or nice investor this year? Did you procrastinate? Were you disorganized? Or, did you achieve your goals, organize yourself with digital tools, and on-point with due diligence? It’s time to take stock!

 

Equally important is finishing off 2018 with a bang, by ensuring you take care of all key end-of-year items related to your rental properties. Here’s a short checklist of key decisions, smart preparations, and friendly gestures you may want to make before January 1, 2019.

Real estate predictions 2019

With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time for the experts and analysts to start pontificating about the coming year. Here is a round-up of some of the more interesting real estate predictions for 2019:

 

Aaron Terrazas, Director of Economic Research for Zillow, notes that “Despite steady climbing for the past two years, mortgage rates remain lower than they were during most of the recession and below average for the type of strong economic growth we’ve been experiencing. That will change in 2019, as the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage reaches 5.8% — territory not seen since the dark days of 2008 when rates were racing downward in response to the housing crisis.”

 

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, predicts that home price growth will continue to slow, inventory increases will remain moderate, and millennials will account for 45 percent of mortgages in 2019. Hale also had a few other noteworthy predictions:

 

Source: Realtor.com

 

Among seven predictions for the housing market in 2019, Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather notes that “We predict that the housing market will continue to cool into the first half of 2019. Inventory will rise back up to 2017 levels, and price growth, while likely still positive, will be the lowest we’ve seen since 2014 or possibly even 2011. Investors and house-flippers will back away from the cooling market, and real estate companies that buy homes from consumers to quickly sell at a profit (including our own RedfinNow) will face their first serious test.”

 

Julien Bonneville, CEO of The Guarantors, believes that “Commercial property managers will hop on the shared space bandwagon — or bring in top amenities to make up for it.”

 

Eman Hamed of Mashvisor predicts that “property investors could see a decline in home sales in the coming months. This, nonetheless, won’t have a major impact on real estate sales.” Further, Hamed notes that given “the strong economy, growing demand, and rising mortgage rates and home prices all indicate that the US real estate market will remain a seller’s market in the coming year.”

 

Janna Herron of USA TODAY believes that 2019 will see a slow-down in the housing market, noting “Forget bidding wars and snap home-buying decisions. Slower and steadier will characterize next year’s housing market.”

 

Ruben Gonzalez, Chief Economist at Keller Williams noted the following: “As we look toward 2019, we are anticipating home sales to decline around 2%. We’re expecting it to be another slightly slower year as buyers continue to wrangle with higher mortgage rates after contending with several years of rapid price growth.”

Stocks crashing, but not all bad news to end 2018

With the equity markets having one of the worst drawdowns in recent memory, it’s hard to stay positive as we leave 2018 behind. But it’s not all bad news!

 

Sho Chandra of Bloomberg reports that new home construction rebounded in November at its best pace since the summer, with permits rising to a 7-month high. Chandra notes that this is “a sign homebuilding is potentially stabilizing even as higher prices and borrowing costs pose headwinds,” but that this increase is primarily due to higher multifamily starts rather than single-family home construction.

 

Barry Ritholtz from The Big Picture points to the fact that home sales rose by almost 2 percent month-over-month in December, up from the previous 1.4 percent rise.

 

Finally, data released today from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indice, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that U.S. home prices continue to increase, albeit more slowly. “The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 4.7%, down from 4.9% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.0% year-over-year gain, down from 5.2% in the previous month. Las Vegas, San Francisco and Phoenix reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities.”

 

Source: CoreLogic

 

So yes, there are some bright spots in the national real estate picture, however home prices are softening. But, as real estate investors we find opportunities in all types of markets—bear or bull. Entering 2019, with the softening of markets, you may find it easier to find your next deal and ultimately expand your portfolio.