A common question as we enter the new year is “Will next year be a buyer’s or seller’s market?” Most economists agree that 2017 will likely remain a seller’s market. In some of our neighborhoods, the answer is obvious — we have been playing “catch up” on inventory all year. I expect the New Albany market to continue to skew toward sellers well into 2017, even with an uptick in mortgage interest rates. There are several pockets where inventory levels remain higher, primarily the +$1M market, that might be classified as a buyer’s market.
The National Association of REALTORS® defines a seller’s market as one with less than a 6-month supply of homes for sale. A balanced market will have a 6- to 7-months’ supply of homes for sale, and a buyer’s market generally has an 8-month supply or more. Supply varies from community to community as seen in the table below (based on inventory/trailing year sales as of 12/20/16):
Neighborhood Months’ Supply of Homes for Sale
|Community||Months of Supply|
|New Albany Country Club (under $1M)||4|
|New Albany Country Club (over $1M)||12|
|New Albany Links Communities||1|
Where Will Mortgage Rates Go?
The consensus seems to be that mortgage rates will rise from the historically low interest rates we’ve enjoyed for the past eight years. In fact, we’ve already started to see an increase. When the Federal Reserve raises its rate, it inevitably puts pressure on rates that lenders charge for mortgage interest. We don’t believe the rates will increase to levels where affordability will be substantially impacted.