Andy McDonough has more than 20 years of experience in
the mortgage industry and is currently a senior vice president
at HomeStreet Bank, which is headquartered in Seattle and
is one of the top companies in purchase-loan market share
in the Pacific Northwest. HomeStreet offers consumer, commercial and private banking services, investment and insurance products, and originates residential and commercial
mortgages and construction loans for borrowers located in
the Western United States and Hawaii. Reach McDonough
A Buyer’s Market Can
Be a Bear for Originators
There are no crystal balls, but trends can be seen
that are challenging for the industry
By Andy McDonough
It seems that no matter the year or state of the housing market, potential homebuyers always ask mortgage originators the same burning ques- tion: “Is now the best time to buy a home, or
should I try to time the market bottom and wait for
prices to drop?”
It’s a great question, and it’s absolutely something
they should be asking. After all, buying a home is one
of the most significant investments and achievements
of a lifetime.
Unfortunately, though, there is no crystal ball for
the housing market. Timing the market is a difficult, if
not impossible, feat. The fact is, there are too many
forces at play. As 2019 arrives, that’s no different.
But trends can be spotted, and those can be used in
an attempt to gauge where the market is headed.
In 2018, after years of surging home prices, dwindling inventory and historically low interest rates, the
market took a turn midyear. Suddenly, in booming
markets such as Seattle — where homes would sell in
a matter of hours or trigger exhausting bidding wars
— there has been a distinct shift. Homes are sitting
on the market longer — the result of higher inventory,
rising interest rates and buyer fatigue.
While Seattle isn’t a carbon copy of the nation’s