Will 2017 be the year sales turn south? 4 ways to anticipate the markets

  • Will this be the second straight year the growth of sales has fallen -- the beginning of a multi-year downward trend?
  • If there aren’t enough homes to meet demand, it’s a sure bet sales will fall. Track inventory in your market.
  • New sales contracts with buyers, traffic at open houses, lockbox data -- these are ways to check the pulse on demand.
  • Many MLSs and NAR report pending sales contracts accepted by sellers, which are forward-looking indicators.
  • Some housing economists (NAR, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) update their forecasts on a monthly basis.

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There are good reasons for having short expectations for sales this year. The multi-year honeymoon of mortgage rates consistently south of 4 percent are clearly over.