Every year is different and every month is different as well in real estate. What is consistent is that no matter what the market, homes continue to be bought and sold.
Over the past 10 years we have only seen two years that were either called a "buyers market" or a "balanced market". A buyers market is one that buyers have the advantage and is usually spurred by an overage of inventory. A balanced market is one that neither the seller or the buyer has an advantage but the inventory makes for a competitive market for both the buyer and seller. A "Sellers Market" is one where sellers have the advantage and it is usually caused by a shortage of inventory of homes. This is where we are at today in the Collin County marketplace.
8 of the last 10 years were considered "sellers market" and most of that is driven by two things. Collin County has benefited by high employment which creates a demand for housing. This in turn puts pressure on having homes for sale to meet the demand. Inventory has had trouble keeping pace with this demand. Therefore we have seen increased competition on homes for sale and prices have escalated due to that fact. Real estate demand usually starts in January and we see a weakening toward the end of the year. Of course there are fluctuations along the way but this is usually the trend.
2017 will start of softer in home sales this next year but will pick up in March. However, depending on what happens in the economy we may see a slower than expected demand for homes throughout this year. I don't think it will be a major shift from 2016 but it will be slower overall. First time home buyers have few homes to choose from and that will inhibit our ability to attract them into the market. If this changes then we could see an uptick in home sales but that would come later in the year. Mortgage interest rates also could be a factor this next year if they rise. I don't expect them to increase significantly so this should help with the purchase of homes. Factors outside the Texas economy could effect it and along with it the demand for housing. This is an unknown but there is lots of things going on that could occur to throw my forecast off track. Sellers will continue to have the advantage most of next year but it will be diminishing if inventory continues to rise faster than demand.
In conclusion, I predict a softer year for residential real estate sales than in 2016 but not one that will be significantly less if everything remains consistent with the economy of both Texas and the U.S. as a whole.