Strong Results and Forecasts
Existing-home sales finished out 2016 as the best year since the housing boom days, the National Association of Realtors® reported. Total existing-home sales – which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – closed 2016 at 5.45 million sales, surpassing 2015 (5.25 million). It was the highest total for existing-home sales since 2006 (6.48 million), NAR reported. “Solid job creation throughout 2016 and exceptionally low interest rates translated into a good year for the housing market,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. In addition, the median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $232,200, up 4 percent from a year ago, and all-cash sales comprised 21 percent of transactions in December, down from 24 percent last year. Distressed sales were down from 8 percent a year ago.
Reports from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and the National Association of Home Builders forecast a strong and stable market for home improvement and repair in 2017. The Joint Center’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity projects annual growth in home improvement and repair expenditures will remain elevated throughout 2017 with spending levels ending the year up 6.7 percent at $317 billion, on par with the 6.9 percent growth estimated for 2016. Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, said home remodeling and repair should see sustained momentum in 2017. “Growth in home prices is continuing at a healthy pace and encouraging homeowners to make remodeling investments,” Herbert said.
Sources: NAMB and NAR