Jefferson County Market Insights
for the month of January 2016
“If you chase two rabbits, you will lose both.” - Native American Proverb
The slate’s wiped clean and the way is fresh with hope. It’s a New Year and anything is possible, including you! Finally owning your own home — if that has been your earnest desire!
Take a close look at the quote above and imagine; one of those rabbits is your dearest dream, but that other rabbit? It could represent any of a variety of things that distract you from your desired goal of owning your first home, selling your current home to move up and on to better things, or finally purchasing the vacation hide-away you’ve been promising yourself forever.
Starting right here and now, resolve to give chase and catch what you truly crave. You’ll be well on your way to realizing your real estate goals this year.
This real estate climate is like the perfect storm for those looking to buy or sell a home. The one-quarter percent interest rate hike is the first one in almost 9 years, but will have little to no effect on mortgage interest rates. Thankfully those rates remain under five percent so your cash still enjoys greater buying power. Home prices have climbed the hill and gone over the top, restoring equity and gaining in the recovery process.
If you’ve been watching the market, you already are aware of how closely inventory levels resemble that almost too tight to wear favorite pair of jeans. Not quite tight enough to be discouraging and there’s hope things will loosen up soon enough.
Forecasts moving into 2016 are all pretty encouraging. New construction has taken a decidedly positive stride forward. The American Institute of Architects has drafted some very positive blueprints looking ahead. Their recent survey reveals people are leaning heavily toward eco-friendly homes, with an emphasis on organic building materials over synthetic ones. You might think the Smart Home trend would dominate the list of features most desired, but the survey did not support that theory. Most surprising is that young people are most likely to forego these upgrades, mainly because of the cost involved.
Better storm proofing methods was high up on the “want” list; as were homes built with an eye to accommodate its occupants as they age being another big one on the list. Even so, energy efficiency remains the most desirable feature in new homes and home renovations.
In addition to the efficiency considerations for HVAC fixtures and appliances, there has been renewed interest in beneficial alternative energy sources specifically for when utility outages occur. Things like wood burning capabilities and built-in backup generators top this list.
As we look ahead at what the experts tell us we can expect from our real estate markets moving into 2016, we must note that 2015 finished with healthy numbers, reflecting mainly the usual holiday and winter slowdowns.
603 homes around Jefferson County sold in December and the annual sales total of 6,683 clearly affirm a healthy real estate market. The catalyst of the 37 average days on market we’ve experienced this year, as compared to 41 last year is probably attributable to the tight inventory that’s prevailed for the better part of the past 12 months.
A median sales price of $325,000 is further evidence of the resiliency of our real estate market to correct itself. 2014 the median sales price in December was $281,500. Active listings of 551 was a bit below the 557 of 2014.
Consulting with your local REMAX Alliance agent can ensure that the rabbit you pull out of the hat this year is the perfect one for achieving all your greatest real estate objectives in 2016.