Changes are in the wind…..and it is GOOD!
Let’s lead off with my favorite piece of recent news. The Consumer Confidence reports from 2 weeks ago came out at they are at a 9 YEAR HIGH! Check out this Bloomberg article for more on that.
This is the umbrella under which our moving real estate market is operating and it sets the stage for a great 2017.
And in a bit of contrarian news the modest rise in interest rates (and the expectation that they will continue to rise slowly) has put a new found sense of urgency into the buying public. (They are still ridiculously low).
Add in a stock market that has absolutely boomed since the election, shake it up and stir and we have one of the most active December real estate markets I can remember.
Now let’s get into the numbers. Inventory is still tremendously low, down 27% from last year. This has huge implications in a number of areas I’ll discuss shortly. Units sold are up 5.2% from last year which is strong.
Sales prices in the region were essentially flat for the year (up only .11%). For a more detailed explanation of this please read my recent post from our quarterly meeting.
What does this mean for sellers? Great news. The lack of competition coupled with the new found sense of alacrity amongst buyers means that the real estate cycle has leveled out. I see no bad times to put ones house on the market right now. We are getting tons of showings and in some cases multiple contracts on properties all over the region. The caveat, as always, is that this is occurring on the places that are properly prepared and staged, marketed and priced. If you are a seller and you meet all those criteria you will be happy in the next year.
How about for buyers? It’s going to be a little tougher on you folks, primarily because of the limited inventory and selection and thus competition for the good houses. Yet interest rates are still so, so good and lower down payment options continue to proliferate.
So how do you put yourself in the best position to succeed as a buyer? Start with an experienced and capable broker and then get your financing locked up with a local, reputable lender. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been working with buyers and we got in multiple contract situations where we won but were not the highest bidder. Top agents and service providers matter to sellers and other agents as does an exceptional negotiating strategy. So while your efforts might be a little more daunting there will be many good homes to be had with incredible financing in the new year.
Bottom line? All arrows pointing up for 2017! How’s that for a Merry Christmas!!
It’s a good life.