Buyers have pretty much had the run of the housing market the last few years. But are we starting to turn a corner? Maybe. At the very least, I’m seeing some anecdotal evidence in my own backyard that would indicate the market is changing.
For one thing, many of the homes my buyers are interested in turn out to be under contract already. Multiple offers are popping up and that’s a new twist in this market! So buyers are going to have to move a little faster when they find the right home. If they spend too much time analyzing and weighing their options, another buyer will move in and purchase that home right out from under them.
This also indicates that sellers have adjusted to the market and are pricing their homes competitively from the get-go. And they’re making sure that the condition of the home is top notch from the first day on market. Both of these things help sell homes faster, as we all know!
Of course, there’s quantitative evidence to support this viewpoint, as well. Consider some of these numbers from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors for Ponte Vedra Beach, Vilano Beach, Palm Valley, Ponte Vedra and Nocatee:
– New listings are down 40% over last year at this time
With less inventory to choose from, buyer’s need to focus on what’s important to them in a home, then move quickly when they find it.
– Closed sales are up 11% year over year
In other words, more homes are selling, further reducing inventory.
– Total inventory of homes for sale in the area is down almost 19% year over year
That said, the outlook for buyers is still very good. In fact, when you look at the median sales price of homes in the area, prices have dropped another 20% from last year. And with mortgage rates so low, buying a home has never been more affordable.
So what’s the takeaway? Three things:
- Overall, home prices are bumping along the bottom, and may already be there in some desirable neighborhoods/communities
- Mortgage rates are low for those prepared to meet strict underwriting guidelines and have their act together with true motivation to buy
- It’s impossible to time the market, but if you’re going to try…now looks like a pretty darn good time to buy