Mortgage Industry Preparing Itself for More Real Estate Doldrums in 2019

A combination of rising interest rates and low housing affordability have hurt real estate in 2018, and mortgage lenders are preparing themselves for what could be another year of hurt in 2019. The Federal Reserve just raised interest rates again last week and the previous year’s tax cuts that gave the markets a slight boost will be tempered.

“We’re still seeing above-trend GDP growth that is likely to slow as the impact of last year’s tax cuts wears off with higher interest rates,” said Calvin Schnure, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts’ senior vice president of research and economic analysis.

At the post-rate hike presser, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was more dovish in his assessment of more rate hikes in 2019. As opposed to the initial three forecasted for 2019, the central bank now is expecting two rate hikes.

However, while the stock market voices its concerns with rising rates as volatility and sell-offs rack the major indexes in December, this outlook could change again.