It’s irresistible: peering into the new year, trying to guess what the Morris County real estate landscape will look like in the coming 365 days. At the close of an outstanding 2017, although it’s always a little foolish to assume too much about details in a world that changes as rapidly as ours does, I think there are some more-probable-than-not real estate good news/bad news scenarios likely to come our way:
- New-home sales increased an astounding 17.5% in November, creating “the exact kind of new-home sales numbers the market has been desperate for” according to Economist Aaron Terrazas. Builders report that they are selling homes before they even start building them, while (per the Wall Street Journal) “The housing market is showing strength across the board.”
- If claims for the tax overhaul signed into law last week prove justified, a majority of wage earners should see fatter paychecks as early as this February. If consumers react accordingly, Morris County real estate is likely to see positive collateral fallout. When consumers build confidence about their own financial futures, Morris County real estate activity usually benefits.
- When real estate affordability measures are positive, potential buyers find they can comfortably acquire the home of their dreams without breaking the family budget. But as mortgage interest rates rise as is widely expected, they are likely to find less wiggle room.
- Those interest rates may well rise throughout 2018—but as the year begins, they are still incredibly low by historical standards. In other words, Morris County real estate’s buyers still have a window to make deals that should look extraordinarily shrewd in years to come.
- The National Association of Realtors®’ “Game Changer Number One” prediction for the coming year is “Supply finally catching up with demand.” They forecast that the tight housing inventory situation will continue for the first half of the year, but finally “ease up in the second half of 2018.”. When you think about it, that’s an extremely unusual prescription—one that’s encouraging for both buyers and sellers!
If the coming year does turn out to be even brighter for Morris County real estate, at least in that respect, next January should find Morris County’s populace in truly good spirits. For now, here’s wishing you and yours good health, good company—and a most Happy New Year!