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Real Estate Forecast for 2018 Is A Positive One, But Is Your Real Estate Website Maximized For This Windfall?

real estate forecastWhile the real estate forecast for 2018 is looking very bright indeed, are you still using a clunky old website from years ago?

Have you seen the data? All indicators are a “go” when it comes to the economy in 2018.

Finally. After suffering through an anemic economy with slow growth since the Great Recession, it’s great to see the economy will be back on all cylinders next year.

Home prices are strong. Tax cuts are coming. Employment is at an all-time low. The stock market is at all-time highs.

Whatever your political affiliation, if you are a real estate professional, this next year your main concern should be to grab a big chunk of that housing market because it should be a good one.

As everybody in the biz knows, perception is reality.

Right now, consumers are feeling good. And they should.

Let’s take the numbers for GDP.

If you recall, back in  2008, during the Great Recession, the GDP dropped to us minus -.3%. That’s not good at all. Nobody is thinking about buying a house in that climate. They are just worried they will have a job to keep a roof over their heads.

The following year, 2009, was a real nightmare. GDP was minus -2.8%.

Then we had:

2010: 2.5%

2011:  1.6%

2012:  2.2%

2013: 1.7%

2014: 2.6%

2015: 2.9%

2016: 1.5%

Sluggish, especially when the GDP is below 2%. China by contrast continues to roar in the 6-7% GDP growth rates.

Now let’s look at the end of this year.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the GDP in the 2nd quarter of 2017 was 3.1%. That’s certainly an upsurge from 1.5%.

It’s gets better. For the 3rd quarter, the GDP grew to 3.2%.

Those are certainly signs that an economy is taking off. A very promising environment for a positive real estate forecast indeed.

Mortgage rate forecast predicts low rates

Let’s look at housing. We like to use numbers from the economists at the Mortgage Bankers Association. Because after all, most people won’t be buying a home without a mortgage. So these economists certainly have their ears to the ground when it comes to forecasting home sales

And their forecast is an optimistic one.

First off, mortgage rates will continue to stay relatively low, which of course, is fantastic for home sales. (Do you remember the days of 9% mortgage rates? Wasn’t anybody buying homes then.)

Here is their 2018 forecast for loan rates per quarter for a 30-year fixed mortgage:

Q1 – 4.3

Q2 – 4.5

Q3 – 4.7

Q4 – 4.8 (forecast)

That’s an increase from the third quarter of 2017 when rates were 3.9%. But as we said, 4.5% is certainly better than 9%. It’s a great window for borrowers. And as rates go up, they will certainly see that window start to close. So they know it’s time to get in a home fast.

MBA real estate forecast calls for growth

What does the MBA say about home sales?

They predict total Existing Home Sales for 2018 will be:

Q1 – 5,486,000

Q2 – 5,604,000

Q3 – 5,702,000

Q4 – 5,725,000

These were the existing home sales figures from 2017 (they are lower).

Q1- 5,620,000

Q2- 5,563,000

Q3 – 5,393,000

Q4 – 5,394,000 (forecast)

If you are a broker or agent, these are nice numbers. The real estate forecast for this next year is sunny, with little chance of obstacles.

Which begs the question?

Is your website ready for 2018? Or are you still using a boring old website from a few years back with a limited amount of information and an old-fashioned design.

Have you done everything you can to maximize your website for the housing windfall that is forecast for next year?

Maybe not. The first thing you should do is call Home Junction Inc. We are the real estate website experts.

In a nutshell, here’s how we can optimize your real estate website

1. WordPress platform – if your website is not using the No. 1 content management website in the world, then you might be in trouble. WordPress is the undisputed winner when it comes to websites. The website is coded to be super-friendly for users. You don’t need a webmaster to add content. The process is extremely simple.

You can add photos, text, listings, testimonials, whatever, in seconds. Display all those home listings in beautiful, bright, big image galleries. Fill that website with plugins and important real estate data.

2. Search Engine Rankings – Which leads us to the second benefit of a WordPress website – Google and Bing love this platform. It is coded in a way that is very easy for their bots to read and rank. And when consumers hit their computers next year and start searching for homes (which as we know 90% of them do), you will want to be in the top rankings to capture those consumers.

3. Real estate data – today’s home buyers live on the Internet. Millenials were born on the Internet. But even Baby Boomers will turn to their laptops, iPhones and iPads to look for homes. Those consumers are looking for information, and you certainly don’t want them to look elsewhere for Property Sales, Home Sales Trends, Local Schools, Demographics, Crime Statistics, Cost of Living Indices, etc.

You want to be able to show home buyers you are the No.1 resource in their local market. Home Junction can supply you with the hyper-local data to make that happen. (You can use that same argument to attract sellers – show them how you have more local, relevant information than your competition).

4. More enhancements – The staff at Home Junction are the experts when it comes to real estate websites. They’ve developed thousands of them. They know what works and what doesn’t. For that reason, they have a full array of tools – WordPress plugins, SEO services, Lead Generation opportunities, Home Value Estimators, Geo-Spatial Widgets, two IDX platforms for pulling in MLS listings and much more.

What’s missing from your site? Are you doing all you can to capture leads? Could you be left behind by others with better websites?

If the economy in 2018 is going to be hitting on all cylinders, then you need to be sure your website is hitting on all cylinders next year as well.

As you can see by historic data, the economy is not always on the side of brokers and agents. Next year, the real estate forecast is that it will be a banner year for home sales.

Call us to make sure you are ready to lead the charge into that forecast.