Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Times, they are a changing

Okay then.  iInterest rates are up, inventory is up (highest since February of 2015), the rate of increase in the median sales price is down, the number of pending sales is down, and market time is longer.  Those are all signs of, or contributors to, a slowing market.

Most buyers have more power in the market place than they have in years.  A slowing market, combined with seasonal slowing, leaves sellers who need to sell before the end of the year, in a tight spot.  Sellers currently under contract would do best to stick with that sale, and agree to repairs being negotiated from the home inspection.  It could be hard to go back on the market after a failed sale, and do any better.  I can't say this with enough emphasis.

What IS selling, are houses that have been very well prepared for the market.  While I'm not usually a fan of doing a lot of work before selling, this may be the time to do just that.  Houses that have good mechanicals, are aesthetically pleasing and priced below $400,000, are still in high demand.  Some sellers of these properties are seeing multiple offers, and competitive bidding.

Is this a good time to buy?   Should buyers wait until spring?  Those are tricky questions.   While I don't think home prices will go up so much as to price current buyers out of the market, rising interest rates could lead to less buying power. 

Just as I don't think a college education is for everyone, home ownership doesn't always make sense.   For now, buyers should plan to stay in a house at least three years, and a five year plan would be better.  For sellers, if you're planning on moving in the next year or two, you might consider selling now, and renting until you move on.  We know the market we have now.

If you've got questions about your particular neighborhood, property or situation, I'd be glad to talk with you.

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