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2013 Housing Market Forecast

Have we hit the bottom of the housing market? Will next year see a rise in house prices? Will interest rates go up? These questions and others were addressed at the 2013 Housing Forecast symposium.

On Novermber 7th I attended the Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR) presentation entitled, "Economic Expectations: A Forecast of the 2013 Housing Market".  Although predicting the future is never an exact science, the economists showed us the statistics from the past year.  Last year, the average price of homes was up 3% and the number of building permits (new homes) were up from the year before.  All signs point to a gradual increase in home prices as well as volume of houses sold.  The outlook is guarded optomism.  Employment should slowly grow over the next 5 years which will help the housing market reach pre-recession levels by 2016. What fuels all of this activity is the low interest rate which all 4 speakers agreed will most likely remain low. The basic assumtion is that the market has "bottomed out" and a slow recovery has begun.

After the economic meltdown of 2008, buyers and sellers have come to terms with "the new normal" and expectations are more in line with reality.  Of course, no economic presentation concerning 2013 would be complete without mentioning the Fiscal Cliff that is looming come January 1st.  The uncertainty about  tax codes and budget cuts has affected the enthusiastic hiring by many companies.  This has an affect on the housing market in the short run.  After January, we may see more action in the market.... or not.

Please contact me if you would like more detailed information about the symposium including outside sources.

Elizabeth Hochberger is a real estate sales associate at Century 21 Shawmut Properties in Weston Town Center. She can be contacted at 781-354-4763.

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