By Kathy Orton | The Washington Post
A year ago, several experts predicted the new tax law would cause a slowdown in the housing market. So far, the limitations on mortgage-interest and property-tax deductions haven’t had a negative impact. Instead, rising mortgage rates and home prices are doing more to put a damper on the market.
Economic uncertainty brought on by global trade tensions, stock market volatility and the government shutdown also isn’t helping. In this environment, potential homebuyers can be reluctant to make a large purchase such as a house. The last sustained government shutdown in 2013 saw a slump in home sales.
It is too soon to tell whether the recent decline is a temporary lull or a major pullback.
In their forecasts for 2019, real estate experts anticipate the housing market slowing down, but not stalling, with prices and mortgage rates moderating.
“If mortgage rates trend sideways next year, as we anticipate, and home price appreciation continues to moderate, improving affordability should breathe some life into the housing market,” said Doug G. Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.