Maryland Real Estate Companies

Maryland Housing Predictions For 2016

Housing predictions are easy to make. They’re a little harder to make accurately. So, here are some predictions for 2016.

Home Prices

These affect both buyers and sellers but sellers seem the most interested in them. My guess is that they will continue to rise at a moderate pace. Something along the 3% to 5% range.  The days when your home’s price bumped up by 10% overnight are gone. Those “exotic” mortgage products that made prices like that possible are a thing of the past.

Luckily, for home owners, the housing inventory is still very thin. Than means that there are more buyers than sellers and the simple Law of Supply and Demand will cause home prices to continue to rise. I also happen to think the Millenial Generation is getting to the age that they’re starting to think about settling down, having a couple of kids and, generally, become adults. That’s a little bit of a stretch but they’re getting to be 30 somethings now.

The economy is also beginning to recover pretty steadily. I happen to think that wage growth is not too far off plus the price of gasoline and low inflation help with people saving toward the purchase of a house.

Mortgage Interest Rates

Everyone gets freaked out about the Federal Reserve Rate. It really has nothing directly to do with mortgage rates. However, people get nervous and it does send a signal to the financial sector that things are looking up. That means that banks will begin to inch rates up as well. A quarter point here. A quarter point there. All the smart people think that mortgage interest rates may be as high as 4.75% by the end of 2016.

Think about that.

Yes, it means that the monthly payment on a $300,000 house will be higher a year from now than it is today. Not that much higher, though. 4.75% or even 5% is not astronomical. Mortgage interest rates were in the 6% to 7% range during the housing frenzy/bubble of the early 2000s and no one batted an eye.

Housing Inventory

I wrote above that housing inventory is very thin. It may not stay that way. New home builders are chomping at the bit to start building. All they need is a sign that there is the demand out there. The downside with new construction is that it happens to be a bit more expensive than existing homes (homes that you and I live in right now). So people need a larger income and a bit more stability in their lives. The “new” house is usually something for the person moving up into a larger house or someone relocating from another area.

So, unless a million people wake up tomorrow and want to sell their house, my guess is that housing inventory will remain slim.

Days on Market

This is the term we use in the real estate world to describe the number of days from the day you put your house on the market (Day 0) to the day you accept and offer to purchase your house.  This may be very short. It may be months.

I once had a listing that took a year to sell. It was a nice townhouse. The people kept it in meticulous condition. It just had two weaknesses.

  1. It was overpriced for most of that year (seller’s choice)
  2. The seller’s smoked (although they swore never in the house)

I can pretty accurately predict how long your house will stay on the market using three metrics:

  1. Is it priced competitively to your neighborhood comparables?
  2. Is it in great showing condition – clean and uncluttered?
  3. What is the average or trend in your neighborhood?

Some neighborhoods sell faster than others. Location. Location. Location. However, every house will sell at the right price. If it looks like Martha Stewart just came for a visit, that’s even better.

I also have access to empirical data that will show me the median and average Days on Market for you zip code and your neighborhood. Ditto price trends and more.

Predictions That Are Guesses And Those That Are Not

Some predictions are easier to make than others.

I have access to lots of good data that will show me trends and exact closing prices for the homes in your neighborhood.

Does that mean you shouldn’t ask for “a little more”. No. I’m all for trying to push the envelope a teeny bit. I’m very much against trying to get 5% to 10% over the last sold comp in your area. It’s fantasy and it will only be disappointing down the road.

Having said that, I’ll readily admit to being surprised by appraisals I thought would never come in at the contract price that did. I’ve also had a little string of low appraisals come in during 2015. $15,000 low. That’s low.

So there are a few of my predictions for the housing market in 2016.

  • Home prices up by 3% to 5%
  • Mortgage interest rates up by, maybe, ¾%
  • Housing Inventory holding steady
  • Days on Market — depends on you


List of Maryland Real Estate Companies:

Caprika Realty 571-40801004 Bridgewood Ln
Annapolis, MD 21401
Laura Anderson With Berkshire Hathaway 476-70131997 Annapolis Exchange
Annapolis, MD 21401
Academy Realty, Inc. 263-9105801 Compass Way
Ste 3A
Annapolis, MD 21401
Amy Juras - Champion Realty 353-2123711 Bestgate Rd
Annapolis, MD 21401
Aaron Seekford 836-6116764 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
Red Cedar Real Estate 401-79019175 Guilford Rd
Ste 209
Columbia, MD 21046
Goodman, Realtors® 984-01006903 Rockledge Dr
Ste 530
Bethesda, MD 20817
The Arnold & Evans Residential Group 731-31421617 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
2Michelles Realtors 222-8498W.C. & A.N. Miller Realtors
5518 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015