Eugene Robinson: If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home this year, it’s important to know Eugene Robinson: what Charlotte real estate market will look like in 2019. Colleen Odegaard: Here with more is Nancy Braun. Nancy’s the owner of Showcase Realty. Colleen Odegaard: Nancy, great to see you. Thanks for coming today. Nancy Braun: Good morning. Colleen Odegaard: Okay first off. Let’s start with this. Colleen Odegaard: How did Charlotte do in the real estate market last year? Nancy Braun: It was a strong market. We saw a shortage of the inventory which means we had greater amount of buyers than there was homes to sell to them. Nancy Braun: And, we still saw some multiple offer situations and prices kept on going up. Nancy Braun: So we do see an appreciation which also can affect affordability. Nancy Braun: So, it ended strong but we actually had less homes on the market at the end of the year than we did in the previous year. Eugene Robinson: So, what is the expectations for 2019, Nancy? Nancy Braun: So, we anticipate a continuation of shortage, and we also expect some affordability issues Nancy Braun: coming up because interest rates will probably rise, maybe 1 or 2 more times. Nancy Braun: And they’ve already risen since last year, so we’re now hovering on just under 4 ½%. Nancy Braun: We anticipate possibly going as high as 5% on a conventional. Colleen Odegaard: Okay, so with that being said, what does that mean for buyers, sellers and investors? Nancy Braun: Right, so as prices keep going up but wages stay flat, and interest rates go up, now, Nancy Braun: what buyer can qualify for is going to change – obviously it’s gonna go down. Nancy Braun: So, if interest rates keep rising and inventories still out there, Nancy Braun: we might not see a continuation of home selling for a lot more than they had been. Nancy Braun: If you look back to 2014, some homes in Charlotte have doubled. Nancy Braun: You know, we’ve seen such enormous price gains, and, how much more are people really Nancy Braun: making today than they were in 2014? It’s actually not matching up. Eugene Robinson: Well how would this impact first time buyers? Nancy Braun: It impacts them the most, cause they’re usually just qualifying barely for certain amount. Nancy Braun: So they may have to reduce their qualification – how much they can afford to buy. Nancy Braun: Maybe instead of a hundred and eighty thousand, they can get a loan for a hundred and fifty thousand. Nancy Braun: Well we all know, it’s barely anything out there in the Charlotte inner city area for a hundred and fifty. Nancy Braun: So that means they might have to go out further into the suburbs, which is what we’ve seen. Colleen Odegaard: So what is Showcase Realty, your company, doing to help these first time home buyers? Nancy Braun: So, our first time home buyers, we have really great preferred lenders that we work with, Nancy Braun: and they know all the different programs that are out there, including forgivable down payment assistance programs. Nancy Braun: So you can have someone who has great credit, graduated from college, but not a lot of money saved; Nancy Braun: you know, they just came out of college. Nancy Braun: So we can find them a program that can give them the downpayment assistance, Nancy Braun: and then we can ask in the offer for the seller to pay closing costs. Nancy Braun: So in certain situations, they can come into this with $500 and buy house. Colleen Odegaard: That’s great. Eugene Robinson: So what mistakes should buyers and sellers avoid this year? Nancy Braun: Well, overestimating your value. There are a lot of sellers, when they keep on hearing that Nancy Braun: prices are going up, prices are going up, they’re gonna think their house is worth a lot more than it is. Nancy Braun: And if you overprice, overshoot the market, you’re inevitably going to have to drop your price over time, Nancy Braun: and end up selling your house for a lot less than had you sold it in the very beginning. Nancy Braun: Cause the first two weeks of your marketing, that’s when you really wanna get your offers. Nancy Braun: So if you’re not getting showings, or you’re not getting offers, it’s down to price. Colleen Odegaard: You have to price it right. Yes, cause the biggest question on everybody’s minds: Colleen Odegaard: are we heading for a real estate bubble again? Nancy Braun: Well, I don’t know. I’m not an economist, but, there’s such strength in Charlotte’s market, Nancy Braun: we see cranes all over the city, in the suburbs. Nancy Braun: Everything’s growing, growing, growing, lots of companies are moving here. Nancy Braun: I don’t anticipate a bubble, but maybe a softening of this, increase in prices. Nancy Braun: And, we certainly aren’t seeing multiple offers in the level that we used to see. Nancy Braun: Those investor hedge fund groups that were coming in right after 2014 and just, taking half the market up, Nancy Braun: they are really in play right now. They’re kinda holding still until prices drop again. Nancy Braun: So we’re not competing with the huge amount of hedge funds that have unlimited cash. Nancy Braun: So it’s more of a traditional market, I would suppose. Colleen Odegaard: Nancy, great information. Thank you so much. Colleen Odegaard: To learn more, Nancy has a free report called “What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2019?” Colleen Odegaard: Visit Carolina Property Report for your copy, CarolinaPropertyReport.com is the website to go to. Colleen Odegaard: You can also call Nancy directly. It’s 704-488-3109. Colleen Odegaard: Again 704-488-3109. Nancy Braun, thank you. Nancy Braun: Thank you.