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“Real estate markets got a scare in November when home sales plunged almost 11 percent in one month, but they came roaring back in December and have remained strong since. NAR attributes the drop to delays from federal closing rules that took effect in October.” Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of NAR

According to the Daily Real Estate News on Friday, April 01, 2016:

Officials from mortgage giant Freddie Mac have made a bold prediction: This year housing starts and home prices will reach their highest levels since 2006.  Please read:  March_Outlook_033116 Freddie Mac

The main reasons behind its bullish forecast is low mortgage rates, an improving job market, and a gradual increase in housing supply.

“Housing markets are poised for their best year in a decade,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In our latest forecast, total home sales, housing starts, and home prices will reach their highest levels since 2006.”

Core Logic produced its Equity Report for the last quarter of 2015.  Read it here: corelogic-q4-2015-equity-report

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains well-below 4 percent this year. This week it averaged 3.71 percent.

“Expect the 30-year mortgage rate to remain very attractive throughout the spring home-buying season, staying below 4 percent until the second half of the year,” according to Freddie Mac’s monthly Outlook for March.

For home sellers, they’ll be able to enjoy more home price increases. “In 2015, house prices increased about 6 percent on a year-over-year basis,” Freddie notes in its outlook. “Expect house prices to continue to rise, but at a moderating pace, with annual price appreciation slowing to 4.8 percent in 2016.”

Also, gains in employment across the country will help to fuel hotter housing markets, according to Freddie Mac. The unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent recently.

That said, challenges remain for the housing market, particularly with wage growth. Wages remain “anemic, barely keeping pace with inflation,” Freddie Mac officials caution.

“If wages and incomes do not start rising, then rising interest rates, home prices, and rents will squeeze households and ultimately slow housing markets,” Freddie Mac notes.

Despite some headwinds, officials remain mostly upbeat. The “nation’s housing markets should sustain their momentum from 2015 into 2016 and 2017,” the outlook notes.

How is our market locally?  For Zip Code 33325 (mainly Plantation Acres), here are the stats.

Homes For Sale in February 2016: 70 units.

  • Up 11.1% compared to the last month
  • Down 2.8% compared to the last year

Homes Closed in February 2016: 14 units.

  • Up 27.3% compared to the last month
  • Up 40% compared to the last year

Homes Placed under Contract in February 2016: 16 units.

  • Down 15.8% compared to the last month
  • 0% compared to the last year

Average Sold Price per Square Footage in February 2016: $170

  • Down 21.7% compared to the last month
  • Up 8.3% compared to the last year

Average Days on Market in February 2016: 78

  • Down 40.9% compared to the last month
  • Up 4% compared to the last year

Sold/Original List Price % in February 2016: 93%

  • 0% compared to the last month
  • Down 4.1% compared to the last year

Average For Sale Price in February 2016: $898,000

  • Down 6.6% compared to the last month
  • Up 16.6% compared to the last year

Average Sold Price in February 2016: $368,000

  • Down 41.9% compared to the last month
  • Down 5.6% compared to the last year

Months of Inventory based on Closed Sales in February 2016: 5

  • Down 12.2% compared to the last month
  • Down 30.6% compared to the last year

If you want to download the graphs illustrated in this post, click:  FactsAndTrendsReport

See what is also happening nationally through RealTrends’ President, Steve Murray: