Just last month, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index hit a three-year low. A combination of rising interest rates and low home affordability dented the housing market for much of 2018.

However, builder confidence rebounded as the index went up to 58 in January compared to the 56 reading in December. Furthermore, the central bank has been sounding increasingly dovish as of late, which could mean that less rate hikes than anticipated for 2019–something that could help give the sector a much-needed boost.

New homeowners should also be wary if they also carry student debt. O’Leary says paying off the mortgage and student debt should be both high on the list.

“Those are the two big ones. You want to pay off that student loan, and you don’t want to get stuck in too big of a mortgage because you have to pay that one off too. Pay those off as fast as you can, and your savings will start,” said O’Leary.

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