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Signs are good for housing market; CEO predicts strong 2018

Aly J. YaleThe Mortgage Reports Contributor

New year, new market?

Things are looking up for the U.S. housing market in 2018 – at least according to the CEO of RE/MAX. According to Adam Contos, who co-leads the nationwide real estate firm, rising existing home sales, changing migration patterns and increasing housing starts all spell good news for the market as we head into the new year.

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Predicting the future

According to Contos, inventory problems will carry over into 2018, but there are signs it could improve.

“In 2017, housing starts were down 2.9 percent year-over-year and well below the historic 50-year average. That hurts,” Contos said. “We saw glimmers of hope at the end of the year as U.S. single-family homebuilding and permits began to surge. We’d like to see that trend continue.”

Forecast predicts boost in housing inventory, sales in 2018

Increasing existing home sales are also a good indicator of this year’s housing market. According to Contos, they could even rise above record highs.

“Fueled by renewed consumer confidence, wage growth and an improving economy, existing home sales could increase and may even surpass record levels set back in 2006,” Contos said. “What would slow us down? Any negative impacts on the stock market, even tighter inventories (there’s that word again), a repeat of 2017’s devastating hurricanes and fires or even the recently signed tax reform bill.”

Finally, Contos said changing migration patterns and the growing presence of tech will be big influencers in this year’s market. Buyers are going to flock to the suburbs and more affordable markets.

Don’t want a bidding war? Avoid these neighborhoods

“We expect to see more home sales in the suburbs, less-populated markets and even more affordable states. Cities that have the most effective transportation systems and those that promote high-amenity, walkable, contemporary neighborhoods will benefit the most,” Contos said. “We may even see some migration from large, expensive coastal cities toward the Midwest and South where home prices are lower.”

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It looks like 2018 could be a good year for home buyers. Want to get in on the housing market early? Shop around for mortgage rates today.

Verify your new rate (Sep 24th, 2018)