Optimism Continues In New Year!
Happy New Year! I and the rest of the real estate industry are very happy to ring-in 2017. Many real estate industry watchers and economists agree that the real estate market continues to be a bright spot in the economy.
While the results are still coming in, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing sales are still expected to close out 2016 at a pace of around 5.42 million, which is a 3 percent increase over 2015 (5.25 million) and will be the highest since 2006 (6.48 million).
One question is still at the forefront of many minds. Will the housing market continue to improve in 2017? It is not easy to predict what the market will do in the coming year. However, NAR forecasts that in 2017, sales are expected to grow roughly 2 percent. Additionally, there are some key indicators to follow, and while the recent uptick in mortgage rates and low inventory levels (see accompanying piece on home sales in Bridgewater) have been challenging, the overall industry indicators are positive.
Most agree that growth in the housing market is largely based on the stability of the job market. As reported by The New York Times, the U.S. Labor Department has determined that the U.S. labor market is healthy. In fact, as reported for the week ending on December 24, the Labor Department said it was the 95th straight week that claims were below 300,000, the longest stretch since 1970.
For buyers, the message is clear. If you want to own a home, you should act now. Mortgage rates have risen, rents are increasing, and home prices are gaining momentum. NAR forecasts that the national median existing-home price is expected to increase around 4 percent in 2017. If you are thinking of purchasing a home, it is important to start your research right now.
For home sellers, the time to market your home could be in your favor as well. With lower levels of inventory, you face less competition. With prices steadily rising, you may also find yourself in a position to take advantage of increasing equity.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, it is important to discuss these factors now so please feel free to contact me. I can explain how pending sales, mortgage rates and inventory levels will impact your home buying or selling goals.
I look forward to welcoming in the New Year and assisting you with all of your real estate needs in 2017 and beyond. Have a Happy and Healthy 2017!
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.