Hello to all! Welcome to February.
I can’t tell if love is in the air or if it’s just all this snow. Winter announced its return with a vengeance. It’s a step behind the real estate market though, which kicked off in aggressive fashion with the new decade. Let’s dive right in…
January saw 4,853 new listings hit the market between the 1st and the 31st. That represents an insane increase of 89% month-over-month. Sellers were just waiting to get through the holidays, and then they turned it on big time once the bone-dry, and very mild (mild weather, that is) kick-off to 2020 settled in.
Buyers were more than ready.
Despite new inventory nearly doubling over the course of the month, our total inventory still declined from from 5,037 listings at the end of December to 4,941 at the end of January.
That statistic in itself is a very loud indicator of where our market is right now; sellers have a great deal of control with this lack of inventory and the surplus of buyers. Buyers are out in droves right now, as they should be, with the flurry of inventory coming to the market, homes priced as reasonably as they will be all year, and consistent, aggressively low interest rates. It’s of paramount importance though, that buyers’ expectations are properly set well before venturing out to look at homes.
What do those expectations look like?
1. Be ready to act! If you find a house you love, have your realtor on the phone figuring out what it’s going to take for you to get it. The best houses are going to be entertaining multiple offers, so be ready to strategize with your Realtor to ensure your offer is in quickly and is leading the pack.
2. Get pre-approved! It makes your offer that much stronger and eliminates uncertainty and unnecessary wait time.
3. Prepare yourself for heartbreak. Whenever you’re competing in anything, it’s possible that you just get beat. It happens. It sucks when it does, but take solace in knowing that listings are going to continue to come to market.
Sellers, buyers are in dire need of inventory.
We’re going to see closings increase big time in February with all of that fresh inventory getting gobbled up in the blink of an eye. We’re also going to see an uptick in average sold price, and I’m guessing, close-to-list price; the best houses are receiving tons of traffic, and multiple offers which are driving up final sales prices.
This is your time to take advantage of very low inventory, and buyers who can afford to buy. If you’re thinking of selling, talk to someone. Call a Realtor, get your house in the best shape you can, price it correctly, and be ready to capitalize on your equity.
Our market started very early this year, which means it will likely end early, as well.
We’ll see buyer fatigue start to set in as we enter the summer. Tack on homes that are entering the market too late, priced too high, and a rapidly approaching presidential election (among many other socio-polital variables that affect our market), and we have the perfect storm for an extreme slow down in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2020. Your time is now.
Finally, we’re coming up on more great opportunities to refinance.
This market is going to provide significant equity gains through the first two quarters of the year, and historically low interest rates aren’t showing any signs of bumping up any time soon. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions regarding how to take advantage of this market, even if you’re not buying or selling.
As always, I’m here to chat further if you’d like to do a deeper dive into our market, if you’re wanting to take advantage of your asset that’s working hard for you, or if you need any Valentine’s Day suggestions. I’m good with those, too.
Until next time!