Tribune Print Share Text

Spring 2018 real estate market forecast

Three good reasons to list your house now

Created date

March 15th, 2018
A senior couple shake the hand of a realtor next to a Sold sign in front of a house.

The weather may not feel like spring, but in the real estate world, the spring market is well under way. If you’ve been considering listing your house, now is the time. And here are three reasons why.

1. It’s a seller’s market, according to New Jersey Realtors®. Their July 2017 report concluded:

“We are about two years into a national trend of dropping housing supply and increasing median sales prices. There are some regional variations to the story, but the shift to a predominantly seller’s market is mostly complete. Multiple-offer situations over asking price are commonplace in many communities, and good homes are routinely off the market after a single day.”

2. Home prices are still rising, but gains are slowing down. Analysts have predicted that the state’s median home value will rise by a modest 1.5% through September compared to last year’s 5% gain from September 2016 to September 2017.

Locally in Union and surrounding counties, where the housing market is much stronger than the broader statewide outlook, we can expect higher gains, according to Jennifer Kohan, personal moving consultant for Lantern Hill in New Providence and a seasoned real estate agent.

Sellers can most likely expect prices to continue rising due to strong demand and, locally, limited supply. According to New Jersey Realtors®’ third quarter 2017 market report, inventory levels have remained low throughout the state.

“The local market has remained stable. Multiple offers are not uncommon during times of low inventory,” Kohan says.

Kohan provides complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including  downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a preferred real estate professional familiar with your neighborhood.

She says the average days-on-market in the area hovered around a low 38 from May 2016 to May 2017. However, that number dipped even lower—29 days—for homeowners moving to Lantern Hill who used one of Kohan’s preferred real estate agents to sell their house.

3. Mortgage rates may inch upward causing buyers to act now. In 2017, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) updated its long-range finance forecast for the U.S. economy, which predicts 30-year mortgage rates.

While New Jersey Realtors® says mortgage rates remain enticingly low, MBA expects rates to continue rising throughout 2018 to somewhere around 4.9% by year’s end. What does this mean for sellers? It means you can expect more serious home buyers to enter the market this spring who want to lock in lower rates.

“I expect to see a strong sellers’ market this spring and low inventory,” Kohan predicts.