LODI -- Things are looking up for the Stockton and Lodi areas, at least according to a major real estate website.
Realtor.com predicts that market will be one of the hottest in the nation next year.
Realtor.com looks at the top 100 housing markets around the country, and Stockton/Lodi landed in the top 10 for future sales growth.
But you don’t need a website forecast to see that things are looking up in Lodi as far as housing activity.
Two homes were sold this Thanksgiving weekend at the Vine, a Grupe Development that will have 57 homes. Retailers that have already built on the fringes of the city are betting on a big build-out of new homes.
“I’m not surprised by that. As the economy improves the housing market always improves," said Michael Blower, vice president of Grupe Real Estate.
Blower says more buyers are poised to buy before interest rates go up.
Realtor.com rated Las Vegas as the top market in 2018 for sales and price growth. Hovering at number four is the Stockton/Lodi market.
By comparison, Fresno is at No. 40, Sacramento/Roseville is at 76.
You would think Stockton would be a long-shot for the top 10.
“We’re excited to see Stockton and Lodi at the top of the list," said Patrick Wallace, CEO of Central Valley Association of Realtors.
Those following the housing markets say Stockton was ground zero for foreclosures 10 years ago and was slow to recover. That means prices are about 28 percent below where they were just before the crash in 2006.
“They still have some homes in the lower price ranges, which allows more people to get, especially first time home buyers," Wallace said.
The website says nationwide the first of the millennials are getting established and ready to buy homes. And not only has Stockton survived its bankruptcy filing, it has a new mayor and a new vision.
"From dealing with homelessness to capitalizing their beautiful downtown to all kinds programs to get people involved in the community," Wallace said.
Of course forecasting anything is a gamble, the wildcard is the tax reform bill making its way through Congress that will reduce or eliminate the mortgage tax deduction. That’s where optimism runs into reality.
“You’re always going to have people who want to have homes. There are so many other reasons why people want to buy homes. I don’t think it’s going to devastate the market, I just don’t think it’s going the help," Blower said.
To evaluate a forecast like this, you have to wait until 2018 is over, so if you are an optimist you hope the forecast is accurate, which is good news for existing homeowners and their housing values.