December Market Watch

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Real Estate

December, 2016


Housing Opportunities Await!


    The year is drawing to a close and many people are wondering what 2017 will bring for the real estate market. Real estate industry experts have reported several factors that bode well for the 2017 housing market based on positive momentum in late 2016.

    In its latest report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales in October hit their highest pace since February 2007. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes this positive momentum to economic growth and increased wages.

    Demand for real estate appears to be carrying momentum into the holiday season, according to Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for Vivas expects the economic foundations to remain strong heading into 2017, encouraging more and more buyers to enter the market. Mortgage interest rates creeped up above 4 percent this December, which could push even more buyers to move forward with their home purchases.

    While demand has been healthy, there is a limited supply of properties for sale in most regions, according to NAR (see accompanying “homes sold” analysis for local inventory data). The result is that the average home stayed on the market for only 41 days (16 days less than a year ago) and sold for a median price of $232,200 (6 percent more than a year ago), according to NAR’s October existing home sales report. Home prices nationally have increased year-over-year for 56 straight months. (In Bridgewater, the average home sold for a median price of $453,949 in October, a 8.2 percent increase from a year ago.) This creates incentive for sellers who stand to benefit from this increased level of demand and fewer for-sale properties in the market with which to compete.

    Unique among investments, housing retains a prominent place as something to which Americans continually aspire. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reported that 82 percent of home buyers view a home purchase as a good investment. The primary motivating reason for buying a home, cited by 31 percent of those surveyed, was simply the desire to own a home of their own. Home ownership continues to be a central component of the American Dream, and the underlying factor that drives the market through its ongoing cycles.

    Another fact reported in the Profile is that 89 percent of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home. Eighty-five percent of sellers said they would definitely recommend their agent. Additionally, homes sold directly by their owners sold for a median price of $185,000 compared to $245,000 when using an agent.

     For any questions about today’s market as a buyer or seller, please contact me. I can provide in-depth analysis and skilled navigation of your local market that can help you achieve the best deal in any season.

     Al Fross is a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Sales Associate based in the Bedminster/Bridgewater office. Al has lived in the Bradley Gardens section of Bridgewater since 1993 and has been an active volunteer in many recreational and community organizations including serving as a current member of Bridgewater’s Board of Adjustment and as past Chairman of the Township’s Planning Board. His knowledge of the Bridgewater and surrounding areas makes him the perfect “partner” when selling your existing property or buying your new home.