2018 housing trends bay area & beyond Tyler Moxley

I read this article this morning and it has a lot of great info on the 2017 housing market and insight into 2018. If you're looking to sell or buy its a great read.


Strong demand chasing tight supply drives median home price up 5.8%

The numbers: Existing-home sales rose to a 5.81 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in November, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

(read original article)

What happened: Sales of previously-owned homes surged 5.6% to an annual 5.81 million pace in November, the third month of increases and the strongest since December 2006. Sales were 3.8% higher compared to November a year ago.

That crushed the MarketWatch consensus of a 5.59 million rate of sales.

The big picture: Despite the big jump, the housing market is still plagued by a chronic supply crunch. Unsold inventory would take 3.4 months to sell at the current pace, well below the 5-6 months worth of supply that normally signals a balanced market. What's more, properties stayed on the market for an average of 40 days in November, which is longer than the 34-day average in October.

Hot demand for lean supply pushed the median price to $248,000, a 5.8% annual increase.

"Similar to this spring, when sales consistently beat forecasts despite very low inventory, we could be seeing shifting seasonal home shopping patterns -- buyers determined to make a deal could be staying on the market well into the autumn and winter months," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas.

"The housing market is on relatively stable ground, despite the ongoing inventory squeeze and difficult conditions for buyers at the lower ends of the market in particular," he said.

Rising prices and competitive action are keeping first-time buyers from making bigger strides. They constituted 29% of all buyers in November, down from recent months and well below the long-term average of about 40%.

And more buyers paid in cash in November, a trend that NAR said "continues to add a layer of frustration to the supply and affordability headwinds aspiring first-time buyers are experiencing."

Read: Why it's so hard to forecast home prices for 2018 -- and why that should worry you

Housing analysts had stressed the light presence of first-time buyers in the market ever since the housing recovery began, a worrisome factor to overall market health because such buyers represent fresh demand.

Now, however, demand broadly speaking is no longer an issue.

November sales were mixed regionally: they rose 6.7% in the Northeast, 8.4% in the Midwest, and 8.3% in the South, but declined 2.3% in the West.

-Andrea Riquier; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

> Dow Jones Newswires
December 20, 2017 10:42 ET (15:42 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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