Morning Briefing: This was the average price gain for most US home sellers

by Steve Randall05 Feb 2016
This was the average price gain for most US home sellers
Home sellers saw their properties gain in value by the largest amount since 2007 according to new data from RealtyTrac. In its Year End Home Sales Report for 2015 the firm says that sellers had an average 11 per cent gain from purchase to sale last year, the second consecutive year of gains following 6 years of decline.

“With some local market exceptions, the 2015 home sales data paints the picture of a properly functioning U.S. housing market where homeowners can once again count on real estate as an appreciating asset,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. He expects 2016 to continue the trend.

The U.S. median home price at the end of 2015 was $206,500, up 10 per cent from a year ago. Among 87 major metropolitan statistical areas analyzed for the report 91 percent posted a year-over-year increase in median home price at the end of 2015.
Commercial sector set for moderate expansion, easing prices
This year is expected to see some expansion for commercial real estate but prices will ease. That’s the expectation of experts in a report published by Situs Real Estate Research Corporation (RERC), Deloitte and the National Association of Realtors.

While the report calls for gradual expansion of the market, prices are expected to flatten despite lower vacancies in all sectors except from apartments.

"Supported by solid hiring in most parts of the country, the demand for ownership and rental housing will continue to increase in 2016 despite another year of meager economic expansion," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "While supply shortages will weigh on housing affordability and push home prices and rents higher, the housing sector will keep the U.S. economy afloat and lead the residential investment component of GDP growth by up to 10 percent this year." 
Building confidence for over 55’s market
Confidence in the market for housing for over 55’s has grown according to new data from the National Association of Home Builders. Sentiment in the fourth quarter of 2015 was up 1 point in the Housing Market Index, building on the previous six quarters of gains.

“Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector continue to report increased optimism in the market,” said Jim Chapman, chairman of NAHB's 55+ Housing Industry Council and president of Jim Chapman Homes LLC in Atlanta. “We are seeing steady consumer demand for homes and communities that are designed to address the specific needs of the mature homebuyer.”

The association’s chief economist David Crowe added that the market is benefitting from “growing home equity on the balance sheets of 55+ households, an improving economic outlook, historically low mortgage rates and a growing population as baby boomers age."


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