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The real estate marketplace throughout the country has been on a steady incline over the last several years, and in the final months of December, 2015 that trend continued – contract signings that directly relate to pending home sales increased further in the final month of 2015.

While at first glance it looks like the climb was minute, comparing it to past trends shows a substantial increase. Here are the numbers that showcase that:

  • Contract signings overall were up by 0.1 percent throughout the country in December.
  • The rate increased to 106.8 for that month
  • While 0.1% is small, that number is 4.2 percent higher than just one year ago.
  • For the last 16 months, the number of contracts being signed has increased in terms of year to year data.

One important thing to note is that while contract activity has steadily increased and remains strong, it lost some of its momentum in December around the nation except for one place – the Northeast. The northeastern part of the country continued to enjoy economic increases that directly lead to improved real estate market results.

So what do all of these numbers really mean? In the simplest terms, most experts agree that the demand for homes on the open market still likely increase over the coming months. But while that demand won’t increase quite as high as past years, there’s no question that the market will remain solid.

How solid? The NAR predicts that the sales of existing homes will likely hit a total of around 5.34 million in the 2016 calendar year. That’s an increase of 1.5 percent from last year. And in terms of cost, the median home prices for 2016 will likely be up by 4 to 5 percent, a likely 6.8% increase from 2015.

That translates to it being a great year to be a buyer as well as a seller on the real estate market. Motivated buyers and motivated sellers means that you’ll be able to find the kind of results in the market you’re looking for no matter what side of it you’re on.

Home sales are going strong throughout the nation, and the number of real estate contract signings in the northeast are especially robust. There’s an indication that inventory shortages will likely increase the demand for homes and raise the prices of homes, but the increase in jobs and the reduced credit requirements should lead to a steady rise in sales for the northeast.

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Jim DeRentis
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