If we could only have a crystal ball that could see into the future of the real estate market! That said, the market is somewhat cyclical. Projections and instincts of industry professionals can be quite accurate.

According to Realtor.com, one of the nation’s top real estate sources, rising mortgage rates will play an even greater part in housing affordability. It’s expected to slow down the market for sellers, and impact buyers. Mortgage rates are predicted to hit 5.5% by the end of 2019. In real money terms, it means that the average home will cost a buyer 8% more per month than in 2018.

Housing inventory is expected to increase, which is good news for buyers that have delayed buying, hoping for a greater selection of homes. The days of multiple offers and bidding wars will probably be history in 2019. Sellers believing they can get their top price and sell quickly may be disappointed, as the market begins to soften.

Millennials, those reaching adulthood in the early 21st century, are making up the majority (approximately 45%) of buyers, as their income and families grow. The Generation X segment of buyers, persons born in between 1965 and 1985, is predicted to make up 37%, with baby boomers at 17%. Single women are expected to be a growing market in 2019.

Some industry experts believe that by late 2019, home valuations will likely start to fall. Buyer demand should remain about the same or better, as frustrated buyers may enter back into the market. Listings at the entry-level market will remain tight.

Should you buy a home in 2019? A key rule of thumb is to keep your total debt-to-income ratio below 43%. With interest rates expected to gradually rise this year, buying in the first half of the year may be the wise thing to do.

Should you sell a home in 2019? If you’re considering selling in 2019, it might be prudent to list your home in the 1st or 2nd quarters, before interest rates rise, more homes flood the market, and the industry softens.

Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s best to connect with a trusted real estate agent. Professionals can help navigate the new contract and other legal requirements that have come into effect this year.