5 Predictions for the West Chester and Liberty Township Housing Market in 2018
This was a busy year for the West Chester and Liberty Township, OH housing market. Low inventory meant homes were flying off the shelves, with many people offering above asking price to land the home of their dreams.
Will 2018 be another banner year for the West Chester and Liberty Township real estate market? It’s anyone’s guess. But short of having a crystal ball, we can make some pretty educated guesses about what to expect in the coming year. We’ve combed through some local data to help inform our predictions. So, without further ado, here are five predictions for the West Chester and Liberty Township housing market in 2018.
Home prices will start to moderate. After years of steep growth, home prices will finally start to taper off. We’re already starting to see that across Butler County. Data from the online real estate marketplace Trulia indicates that home prices in West Chester climbed 6% over the past year but have actually declined by 3% this year in Liberty Township.
There will be a slowdown in new construction. We’ve seen an influx of new home construction over the past few years, but we suspect that will start to slow down in 2018. There are a few reasons why. For one, building materials have become more expensive which makes it more costly to build a house. Labor costs are also on the rise. Now, companies have to pay exponentially more to find qualified tradesmen than they did in years before. This combination – more expensive materials and a shortage of skilled labor – will make it more costly (and less profitable) to build new construction. In 2018, we expect to see an uptick in home renovations in place of newly built homes.
Builders will shift their focus to entry-level homes. One reason home prices have climbed so high is because of the lack of new entry-level homes that are coming to market. The 1990s and 2000s were all about the McMansions. But now Millennials are starting to buy homes. Millennials saw their parents fall behind on oversized mortgage payments, and many are determined not to become similarly house-rich and cash poor. Millennials are buying smaller houses, forgoing square footage for more affordable monthly payments. Yet there’s a complication: older Americans are downsizing and are willing to pay more for smaller houses – and there aren’t enough moderately sized homes to go around. That’s why we predict homebuilders will, for the first time in decades, shift their focus to building entry-level homes.
Millennials will start moving to the ‘burbs. For the last few years the media has been fixated the notion that the suburbs were quietly dying while cities were thriving. Well, we think the pendulum is going to start to shift back to the suburbs – once again, due to Millennials entering the housing market. As Millennials age, get married, and have children, we suspect they’re going to start moving back to the suburbs in droves. Millennials will want affordably priced homes, good school districts, more space and backyards – criteria that area hard to meet in urban areas. West Chester and Liberty Township are particularly family-friendly communities, so we expect they’ll draw the eye of Millennials moving outward into the burbs.
Investors will start to take notice of the area’s potential. West Chester and Liberty Township haven’t traditionally been a haven for real estate investors, but we suspect that will start to change in the year to come. Investors priced out of primary markets like New York and San Francisco are starting to look at secondary and tertiary markets like Columbus and Cincinnati, where investment is considered a little riskier but in turn, offers the potential for greater rewards. As this shift continues, it will put pressure on homes in places like Butler County. Increasingly, investors are willing to buy single family homes to convert into rentals – and West Chester and Liberty Township are great markets for doing so given affordable home prices and low occupancy rates.
Are you thinking of buying or selling your West Chester or Liberty Township home in 2018? Give us a call! We’d be happy to have a no-obligation chat to help you explore your options, particularly given what we’re seeing in the market.
In the meantime…
On behalf of our family to yours, we want to THANK YOU for an incredible 2017 and wish you all the best for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!