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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. 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.

3. Home prices are still rising, but gains are slowing down. Analysts have predicted that the state’s median home value will rise in 2018 by a modest 1.5% through September compared to last year’s 5% gain from September 2016 to September 2017.

Locally in Monmouth and surrounding counties, where the housing market is much stronger than the broader statewide outlook, we can expect higher gains, according to Laurie Williamson, the personal moving consultant for Seabrook in Tinton Falls.

“Inventory is low, and the market is stable. Statistics show that the average days on market is 62 days in comparison to 70 at this time in 2016, a drop of 11.43%,” says Williamson.

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. Monmouth County inventory decreased 21.1% from November 2016 to November 2017.

“Even though the inventory is low, home prices are rising along with mortgage rates. Therefore, buyers will need to find affordability, which is getting more difficult, and buyers will be more scrutinized by lenders for mortgage qualifications,” says Williamson.

Therefore, she adds, “Homes will need to meet appraisal inspection approval, so sellers should prepare houses for sale and list with a preferred real estate agent who is experienced and knows how to navigate through the challenging selling market.”

Therein lies Williamson’s specialty. As a personal moving consultant, she provides complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including  downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional.