Is There a Window of Opportunity for Sellers Right Now?

One of the most interesting revelations of the latest National Association of Realtors (NAR) Existing Home Sales Reportis the shortage of housing inventory being reported throughout much of the country. At the same time, buyer demand is dramatically up over last year.  Here are some key points:

  • Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 4.9 percent to 1.74 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace.
  • This represents the lowest housing supply since April 2005 when it was also 4.2 months.
  • Listed inventory is 25.3 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.2-month supply.
  • Raw unsold inventory is at the lowest level since December 1999 when there were 1.71 million homes on the market.

What Does This Mean if You Are Selling a Home?

The price of anything is determined by supply and demand. According to NAR’s report, inventory is at its lowest level since the real estate boom eight years ago. At the same time, demand is up. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, reveals:

“Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady. In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country.”

Does that mean you should sell your house now? Or should you wait to see if prices increase? Nobody knows for sure. However, some feel that there may be a pent-up inventory about to come to the market because, as prices increase, it will free up some sellers who have been locked in a negative equity situation (where the house is worth less than the remaining mortgage).

Thank you to The KCM Blog for this post.

5 Reasons To Buy A Home Now Instead of Spring

Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five major reasons purchasers should consider buying:
Supply Is Shrinking
With inventory declining in many regions, finding a home of your dreams may become more difficult going forward. There are buyers in more and more markets surprised that there is no longer a large assortment of houses to choose from. The best homes in the best locations sell first. Don’t miss the opportunity to get that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ buy.
Price Increases Are on the Horizon
Prices were expected to bounce along the bottom this winter. However, many pricing indices (examples: CoreLogic, FHFA, LPS, Case Shiller) are reporting that prices are continuing to rise.
Rents Are Skyrocketing
Rents historically increase by 3.2% on an annual basis. A study issued earlier this year projects rent increases of 4% for the next two years. Trulia recently reported that rents this year have actually shot up by 5.4%.
Interest Rates Are Projected to Rise
The Mortgage Bankers Association has projected that the 30-year mortgage interest rate will be 4.4% by the end of 2013. That is an increase of approximately one full point over current rates.
Buy Low, Sell High
We would all agree that, when investing, we want to buy at the lowest price possible and hope to sell at the highest price. Housing can create family wealth as long as we follow this simple principle. Today, real estate is selling ‘low’. It’s time to buy.