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2017-01-30 16:27:45
What Does 2017 Hold For Housing?

In so many ways 2016 was an unprecedented, volatile and, for some, excruciating 12 months., Home prices appreciated beyond expectations and mortgage rates toyed with record lows before crossing 4% for the first time in two years.

National prices finally crossed the previous 2006 peak, mortgage rates remained historically low and there were some signs that Millennials, a generation which some feared would never buy homes, are beginning to enter the market.

Here are eight things housing experts expect to see in 2017:

Prices will continue to rise--but more slowly
With the current high consumer confidence numbers and low unemployment rate, affordability trends do not suggest an immediate reversal in home price trends. Home prices cannot rise faster than incomes and inflation indefinitely.

Redfin expects the median home sale prices to gain 5.3% in 2017 compared to 2016, which would not be a major change from the 5.5% year-over-year gain expected to close out this year.

Zillow is forecasting the median home value to rise 3.2% from $192,500 between November 2016 to November 2017. Zillow's home value index rose 6.5% in the year ending November 30th.

Affordability will worsen
The concern is that wages are not rising with home prices, thus affordability will worsen.

Mortgage rates will be volatile The two major political events of 2016 set mortgage rates moving in opposite directions: 1) In June, the British vote to exit the European Union put rates near a record low; 2) In November, the U.S. election of Donald Trump had the opposite effect, sending rates above 4% for the first time in two years. By historic standards rates are still low. In 2017 experts expect movement, but differ on where for the 30-year fixed rate will land. Estimates out there range from between 3.75% and 4.6%--not so far from where it is today.

The point is the market has already absorbed many borrowers who could qualify at lower interest rates and many more have taken advantage during this prolonged low interest rate window and will stay put in the coming years.

The Fed's recent 25pb bump in rates did not have a huge impact on mortgage rates. However, the Fed's policy makers indicated they anticipate three hikes in 2017, which could have a larger effect.


If you are thinking about buying or selling, then this year may be the year for you as mortgage rates are still low!

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