Despite increasing interest rates, November closed home sales reached the highest November level since 2009, up 16.5% over last year and reached the highest median price since 2005. Inventories saw a double-digit decline for the fifth month in a row, to just slightly below the 5 year average, but well below the 10 year average, and 14% lower than this time last year. This shows buyers are still out and active, but have less to choose from. It's a great time to sell! We expect this low inventory trend to continue through the winter months.
Interest rates have been creeping up steadily since the election, from 3.47% in late October to 4.16% this week. The long-predicted benchmark rate increase by the Federal Reserve was confirmed on Wednesday, December 14th, but has not yet affected home loan rates, which are more closely tied to long-term Treasury bonds. Last year following the only other bump in the benchmark rate in the last 10 years, we saw home loan interest rates drop after an initial increase. However, as Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist noted to the Washington Post, the uncertainty following the election makes the future hard to predict. "The consensus of the committee points to more rate hikes in 2017. However, the experience of this year combined with the policy uncertainty that accompanies a new Administration suggests a wait-and-see outlook... If rates continue their upward trend, expect mortgage activity to be significantly subdued in 2017." We don't have a crystal ball, but our bet aligns with a few experts that interest rates will continue to climb, but the ascent will remain slow and steady for the near future. If you've been considering buying in the next few years, please contact us so we can help think through the best strategy and timing for your needs.
Client Appreciation Event: Breakfast Movie Party with Santa
It was so wonderful to see all the clients and their little ones who joined us for Breakfast with Santa and Disney's Moana. This is quickly becoming our favorite new holiday tradition.
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, we're here to help. Wishing you all happy holidays and a bright start to the new year!
The Wethman Group