For residential real estate in 2017, the news has continued to provide a relative sense of calm for both buyers and sellers. The national unemployment rate registered in at 4.1 percent for October 2017, which means that joblessness has not been this low in the U.S. since December 2000. Another positive, mortgage rates have held steady at or near 3.9 percent. Historically, the average rate has been around 6.0 percent. These factors help to keep the pool of potential buyers full, even during the so-called off-season of home sales.
New Listings were up 88.5 percent to 575. Pending Sales increased 85.4 percent to 458. Inventory shrank 7.3 percent to 2,199 units. Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 4.0 percent to $315,000. Days on Market increased 2.8 percent to 149 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down 16.4 percent to 5.6 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.
Although inventory levels are low in many markets, there has largely been enough listing and building activity, or at least conversation about future activity, to maintain a positive attitude about the prospects of buying or selling a home. Low affordability has started to become a recent topic of conversation and is worth watching. But with a healthy economy, level of demand and national unemployment rate, sellers are going to continue to see strong prices for their homes.
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