As we enter the final quarter of 2016, not much has changed since the year began. Market predictions have been, in a word, predictable. A relatively comfortable pace of activity has been maintained thanks to continuing low unemployment and mortgage rates. The one basic drag on market acceleration has been inventory decline. There is little to indicate that the low inventory situation will resolve anytime soon.
New Listings remained flat for Single-Family homes but decreased 17.3 percent for Townhouse-Condo properties. Pending Sales increased 4.9 percent for Single-Family homes but decreased 4.6 percent for Townhouse-Condo properties.
The Median Sales Price was up 2.4 percent to $258,000 for Single-Family homes and 20.1 percent to $242,000 for Townhouse-Condo properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 29.8 percent for Single-Family units and 23.9 percent for Townhouse-Condo units.
Builder confidence is as high as it has been in more than a decade, yet the pace of economic growth has been slow enough to cause pause. A low number of first-time buyer purchases and a looming demographic shift also seem to be curbing the desire to start new single-family construction projects. As older Americans retire and downsize, single-family listings are expected to rise. The waiting is the hardest part.