Major data reports from January home sales provides a look into the real estate market in 2016.

Jonathan Smoke of Realtor writes job creation has been a strong factor in housing demand, and January saw 151,000 new jobs. The pace of sales grew by 0.4% in January from December, and from January 2015 to January 2016, existing homes sales jumped 11%.

January’s new home sales and new home construction remained consistent with the pace of activity of the last several months. Still, the level of new construction still represents solid year-over-year growth, especially in single-family homes. The most encouraging sign: The median price of new homes is finally declining, as a result of the fact that builders are offering more affordable homes.

The average 30-year conforming rate has stabilized at under 3.7%, giving buyers almost 5% more buying power than they had at the end of 2015, and strengthening their ability to meet the debt-to-income ratio requirement for a loan.

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