- Despite one “noisy” month, the outlook is for the labor market this year is to remain on track with an increase in job growth over 2011 and a further acceleration in 2013.
- The first quarter of 2012 registered the best quarterly payrolls performance since the spring of 2006, despite falling short of expectations.
- Expect unemployment to decrease further from 8.2 percent in March to 8.0 percent by the fourth quarter.
- March retail sales showed that consumers continued to spend aggressively, bringing first-quarter sales 2 percent above sales in the previous quarter.
- Expect 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to gradually increase in the second half of 2012 to about 4.25 percent to 4.50 percent by the end of the year.
What does this mean? Basically, the party is over for buyers. While this is still a great time to buy, I am seeing a significant difference from the Greater Boston area market of last year. Buyers are less apt to “kick the tires” of an endless number of houses and are actually jumping on the houses that they like, often in a multi-bid situation. As they should. Prices are starting to climb. Interest rates are great, but they will not stay that way.
What this means for sellers – you have to price your house right – what that means is look at your competition and price right in relations – and your house will sell. Faster than it would have last year.
Click here to view the complete April 2012 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook. Freddie Mac compiles data on major economic and housing and mortgage market indicators and offers forecasts based on those indicators.