Welcome to 2019 and our review of the previous year, 2018, in conjunction with the current luxury market in North America (US and Canada).
In a snapshot, 2018 – despite pessimist forecasts in the 4th quarter – gave us a year of fairly strong consistency with no dramatic up or down swings in sales, inventory and pricing. Some markets certainly fared better than others, but in general terms 2018 should be remember as the start of “change” in terms of purchasing power, preferences, and demand.
At The Institute’s premier networking event in November, Lesley Appleton-Young, Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORS®, gave the attendees a larger picture analysis by comparing 2018 against the previous 10 years. Her masterful in-depth review of the current real estate market highlighted all the variables from inventory and pricing to equity markets, job growth, home equity, inflation, and personal wealth, all of which impact the demand and supply, coining our current situation as moving from “Great to Good.”
President of The Institute, Diane Hartley, emulated these thoughts, adding “2019 will actually be a year of opportunity for both sellers and buyers provided that they remain agile, innovative and adaptable to their local market influences.”
A review of December 2018’s Market Statistics for North America.
In review of December’s luxury property sales there was seemingly a significant decline of 7.5%; not unexpected as this is typically one of the slowest months of the year. More importantly, when compared to December 2017 there is very little difference in the number of sales, consolidating predictions that the market is changing its demand – perhaps there is a slight softening, but certainly no dramatic decline.
Inventory decreased month over month, again this is not unexpected for the time of year, but is significantly higher against December 2017. Predictions are that this now offers opportunity for buyers who previously found it difficult to compete, which could result in increased sales in 2019.