Despite Uncertainties, Local Housing Market Holding Up

Illustration from Public Domain Pictures.

Guest post by Dan Metcalf

Silver Spring’s housing market saw reduced inventory and higher median sales prices year-over-year, all while seeing modestly increased median sales prices and sales prices relative to list prices in 2016, according to data supplied by MRIS, the local multiple listing service.

While some homebuyers made moves in anticipation of the presidential election, for many sales agents, the feeling was that the uncertainty associated with the election slowed their fourth quarter activity.

A focus for many buyers, in the context of affordable mortgage money and, for many first-time homebuyers utilizing much of their available cash for down payment and closing costs, property condition, including especially cosmetics, continues to be a driving factor in their perception of value.

A lower inventory of homes entering the market, in the face of a continued absorption rate (the rate at which listed homes exist the market through purchase), may mean that entering 2017 we will encounter the low numbers of available homes that we saw in 2016.

This week’s announcement by the Federal Reserve that the federal funds rate will go up for the first time in over a decade may well have already been factored into mortgage interest rates, which climbed by about a half a percent this past month to an average of 4.3 percent for a 30-year fixed rate loan.

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