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By NORA HESTON TARTE
Buying and selling homes in the Stockton-Lodi metro should get easier in 2018. During its annual housing forecast, realtor.com ranked the metro area No. 4 on its list of top housing markets based on both sales and price gains, signaling a positive trend for number of homes sold and home values.
Predictions include a 4.55 percent sales growth in 2018 and a 6.43 percent growth in price, according to realtor.com.
For the first time since 2015, realtor.com is also predicting a positive trend in housing inventory across the country, with easing of the housing shortage allowing for steadier price growth and more millennial mortgage share.
Kris Klair, a Central Valley Realtor and president of the Central Valley Association of Realtors agrees the 2018 housing market in Stockton-Lodi will be hot. His chief concerns about the market are exactly what area builders are addressing — a shortage of homes.
Klair, however, predicted a lower percentage increase of home sales in Stockton-Lodi.
“Many home homeowners are not moving this time around because they understand the sale of a home at a high price also means a purchase of a home at a high price,” he said.
Realtor.com stated the trend toward better inventory began in August 2017 and is expected to continue.
“By creating more inventory, we are keeping prices from going up so drastically, simple supply and demand,” Klair said.
As the low inventory trend starts to reverse, home ownership rates should also stabilize.
“We really need the cities to loosen up on the new-builds regulations and encourage builders to build by offering incentives,” Klair said. “By doing so, this creates the move-up homes for the buyers that want a larger or just a newer home, and leaving their home for someone that may want to downsize or a first time buyer.”