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Keller Williams of Greater Springfield CEO and team leader
Keller Williams of Greater Springfield CEO and team leader

2017 Real Estate Outlook: Chris Russell

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With roughly 14 years of real estate expertise under his belt, Chris Russell sees Springfield’s real estate market trending up.

2017 Projection: Housing demand will continue to outpace supplies, but pricing should hold steady.

SBJ: How do the national and local housing market trends compare?
Chris Russell: We are starting to see some shifts in the market on the East and West coasts. We are starting to see the numbers begin to decline slightly. We’re seeing higher days on market. Luckily in the Midwest, we’re not seeing that as much. We’ve actually had an amazing year here in Springfield and we’ve seen a lot of growth. For example, in the last year [November to November] we’ve seen a 31.6 percent increase in the number of units sold based on local MLS. Here’s the challenge: We’ve had decreases in inventory [13 percent] over this time last year.

SBJ: There has been about a 3.5 month supply of inventory for most of the year. Why is inventory low?
Russell: There are a couple of different things that come into play. One of them is new housing. We saw that big crash in 2008, and it’s taken awhile to get the infrastructure rebuilt. We have several developments coming into Springfield, developers who are starting to get some lots available. We’re seeing some recovery. The other thing we have is that a lot of people (made purchases) well back in 2008, ’09 and ’10 and don’t really need to sell.

SBJ: In the past 12 months, 7,206 homes have been sold, according to the MLS in Greene, Christian and Webster counties. What is the forecast for 2017?
Russell: I feel it will continue to be strong especially as we see more and more new construction. However, like all markets, eventually there will be a shift. The challenge: predicting when that will happen. I think we are going to see our inventory begin to rise a little bit and we are seeing interest rates begin to raise as well. But overall, the economy is still strong enough in our area to continue to support a solid housing market. At Keller Williams, our goal next year is to close $722 million in volume and that will be up from our $550 million that we sell this year.

SBJ: Are there any local hotspots for new development?
Russell: I’m really proud of what our community is doing in Nixa right now, as we are very pro-growth. We have a little over 500 lots that are already on market or will be on the market within the next year or two.

SBJ: The Federal Reserve may increase interest rates this year. How could that affect the market?
Russell: That’s going to affect home affordability. People are still going to want to buy a house. The number one reason that people still choose to buy a house is a desire to own a home, number two is an investment property. So home affordability is what takes a hit – you will not be able to afford as much house. I don’t think the interest rate climb is going to be as drastic as we think. In reality, increasing interest rates is a good sign.

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