The unexpected outcome of the 2016 presidential election has shaken up the conventional wisdom of what to expect, pretty much across the board, including the 2017 real estate market. But for now anyway, most forecasters are still saying they don’t expect our unpredictable new president to create too much turbulence in the real estate market.
In fact, some experts are cautiously optimistic that he will have a positive impact on the 2017 real estate market, since real estate is his game and he has expressed a desire to loosen up lending regulations.
Forbes is predicting a slight cooling of the market in general as interest rates rise, but still some moderate growth. According to the National Association of Realtors 4th quarter survey, “The national median existing-home price is expected to rise to around 5 percent this year and 4 percent in 2017. By the end of next year, mortgage rates are expected to reach around 4.6 percent, and the Federal Reserve is expected to raise the Fed funds rate a few more times to 1.25 percent.”
The market has been uneven in different regions, with some areas faring better than others in 2016. The best predictor of whether the 2017 real estate market will bring you fortune or pain is to analyze your local market indicators, and see what’s happening in your neck of the woods.
As the November 2016 market reports for The Triangle show, demand continues to be very strong for Triangle real estate. There were healthy increases in closed sales in all markets, and good price increases in most markets (except Orange County, including Chapel Hill/Carrboro and Hillsborough, which saw a price decrease versus November, 2015). YTD remains strong for other measures across all markets. One stand out metric in the Triangle market is the extremely low inventory, or number of homes for sale, in Durham County. Expect bidding wars, fast sales, and rising prices. And most likely, frustrated buyers and happy sellers.
A recurring prediction for 2017 is that looser lending regulations will mean millennials will jump into the market as first time buyers. If you are in that group, or thinking about moving up to a bigger home in 2017, now is the time to get on board with a lender and start monitoring your fav neighborhoods. If inventory is low, you will need to be quick to act when the right house comes along.
If you are planning to sell your home next year, now is the time to prepare. Jump on any deferred maintenance, as buyers will definitely be turned off by leaky faucets, rotted siding, detached gutters, etc. Minor updates or renovations should happen in Jan & Feb, so you will be ready for buyers when the selling season begins in March. Contact a Realtor for a complete list of repairs, updates, and a pricing recommendation, and get the jump on the competition.
While no one can definitely say what the 2017 real estate market may bring, it is undoubtedly wise to be prepared, well informed, and take advantage of the resources available to you. For most of us, our homes are a sizeable portion of our nest egg, and no one should just roll the dice when it comes to buying or selling.