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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for the Housing Market

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Posted 12-31-2016 at 10:33 AM by Roy Sanborn

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for the Housing Market

There were 104 single family residential home sales in November 1016 in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $319,840 and the median price point was $205,000. Those numbers are well above last November's 88 transactions at an average of $297,347 and median of $189,950. Pretty exciting!

With 2016 winding down everyone is focusing on the joys of the holiday season and spending time at home with the family and friends. It’s a time of reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new one. It will be a fun holiday weekend to kick back, relax, and watch classic movies like Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and a Christmas Story. And there will be plenty of football to watch! The Patriots, the dreaded Oakland Raiders and my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, all have had good seasons and all are in the hunt to go to the Super Bowl

It also has been a good year for the real estate market and I expect next year to be even better! And so do lots of other people! Even home builders!

Every month since January of 1985 The National Association of Home Builders does a survey of its members to gauge their view of the demand side of the single-family housing market in the US. In December, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, or HMI, rose 7 points from 63 to 70. The index has not jumped this much in one month in 20 years and it now stands at the highest level since July 2005. This index is a measurement of the home builders’ confidence in the new construction single family home market with 50 being the break point between negative and positive opinion. The index stood at 60 last December and has bounced around that level all year.

According to a recent CNBC article “ ’This notable rise in builder sentiment is largely attributable to a post-election bounce, as builders are hopeful that President-elect ***** will follow through on his pledge to cut burdensome regulations that are harming small businesses and housing affordability,’ said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois.” Brady also stated that according to an NAHB study regulatory costs affecting home building had increased 29% over the past five years. Whether or not this is a one month bounce or the start of continued confidence only time will tell, but it is clear builders are looking forward to doing business in a less restricted business environment.

A quick whirl around the internet reveals a lot of optimism in general for the 2017 housing market. That’s a pretty nice Christmas present in itself. And while interest rates will no doubt rise a little, that shouldn’t be a deterrent to qualified buyers. Kipplinger predicts that “by the end of 2017, expect the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage to rise to 4.6%, with 15-year fixed rates at 3.8%.” While the millennials might be worried about a bump in the rates, that still ain’t bad. Those of us a bit older remember the 17% interest rate days. We are probably the ones that will be watching Miracle on 34th Street, right?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
Posted in Real Estate
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