Housing inventory has been below normal for more than two years now. That’s been true of new homes and existing homes, and the forecast for the new year is not a whole lot better.
According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of existing homes for sale had dropped more than 9% year over year from November 2015 to November 2016, to a total of 1.85 million, the lowest total since 2000.
New home building has picked up since reaching a trough of about 350,000 seasonally adjusted single-family home starts in early 2009. But the number of starts has yet to reach 1 million a month, a level it held reasonably steadily from the early 1990s until about 2008.
Housing prices rose nationally by around 6% in 2016, but the expected increase in 2017 ranges from 3% to 5%.
With inventory of existing homes at historic lows and a rise in interest rates thanks to the Federal Reserve, housing inventory for 2017 is almost certain to rise. For prospective sellers that means that if you were planning to sell your home this year, it’s time to get cracking.
Real-estate website Trulia Inc. (NYSE: TRLA) prepared a list of six reasons to get your house on the market now, rather than waiting for the spring selling season to arrive.
We’ve already discussed this one in general, but if you live in an area where buyers are thick on the ground getting listed now could result in a quick sale.
Generally speaking, buyers looking to purchase a home in the dead of winter are doing so because they have to, and the sooner the better.
Spring begins early in warm markets
Warm weather brings out buyers and spring starts early in a wide swath of the country. Don’t miss it.
Lower-priced houses move first
According to Trulia this is due to first-time buyers who have been saving for a down payment will add a tax refund to the pile and go shopping early for that first home.
A new administration in Washington
Possible political changes as a result of a Trump administration could have an impact on both buyers and sellers. If you think the effect on you personally is going to be negative, get the house listed soon.
More interest rate hikes
The Fed has all but promised more interest rate increases in 2017. Buyers who are stretching to meet debt-to-income ratios won’t be able to wait.