Those of you who know me well realize that Fred often says “I am not a numbers guy!” I have always tended to run on more of an experiential, localized intuition of the market place. Steve does a great job on this site of showing you statistics which many love to see and appreciate how it helps them get a grasp on the housing market and how it ebbs and flows. AND ebb and flow it does. So, there is a place for statistics, they just don’t speak well to myself and I assume some others.
Certainly there are cycles inside of larger cycles that are really hard to pin down. My attempt here is just to talk with you a little about my gut reaction to what I see happening. This intuition is based on my constant
connection with the market place in a ritual “go to work” to help clients achieve their goals daily directive. I also read a lot. I subscribe to several real estate oriented news outlets that talk a lot about national conditions.
Sometimes, those national conditions are relevant to us here locally sometimes not. Other times they serve best as a canary in the coal mine, or forecast of what might be headed our way.
Currently our market is strong and everything points to it staying that way. Near the end of last year and early this year there appeared to be a lagging of new sales. It seems that lagging was due to two major factors. Lack
of inventory (a years long issue) and slowly rising interest rates.
Many buyers were feeling priced out of the market both by rising rates, decreasing inventory and corresponding rise in prices. Those two major factors seem to have mitigated to some degree. We are now going through a weeks
long interest rate “cool down” with rates actually coming down slightly and hoovering there like they were in no big rush to go anywhere. That supply and demand factor was holding them back. At the same time many in our
area were realizing that they had gotten back any lost valuation from the recent economic downturn and had equities above where they had ever been before. That encourages more sellers to put their homes up for sale.
The result is a more nearly “balanced” market place than I have seen for many years. Suppy/demand, buyer/seller balance scale is holding pretty level. That is a good thing. That is a sustainable thing. It makes for a more
predictable future. Of course things can change quickly and often do.
Another factor that cant be dismissed is the market within the market. Different price ranges have their own little price range driven supply/demand scale. The beginning home market still is in shorter supply and new listings will still often bring multiple offers. Mid range is perking along really well and if priced well may still bring multiple offers but not nearly as much pressure as the beginning range might produce. The upper range is the least predictable at the moment. We don’t see quite as much movement there as in the beginner and mid range markets. Those larger offerings haven’t seem quite as much upward pressure but at the same time they have not been in plentiful supply either and the right home, priced right, very likely still has several buyers just waiting for it to appear. There isn’t near as much of a chance of multiple offers here but still a healthy situation.
So see, I actually managed to give my opinion of the local real estate market and didn’t quote a single number! That is either really insightful or just clever dialog to dance around the fact that no one really knows anything for sure!