It’s well known in Real Estate that Spring and early Summer are often the hottest time of the year for the housing market, and this Spring is definitely no exception. The market overall has been steadily improving for the past few years, and this March homes saw their biggest average price gains for any month in almost nine years!
We’ve been talking lately about how most homeowners have more equity now than in a long time (and many have a lot more than they think), and sure enough, sellers in March sold for an average gain of $30,500 over their original purchase price. That’s an increase of 17% on average nationwide, the largest since December of 2007. Many areas with higher average prices in general (like most of California, and the metro areas of Seattle, Denver, Portland and others) saw even bigger gains - with people selling their homes for 35 to 72 percent higher than they paid at purchase!
There are a number of current trends helping to drive these gains, many of which we’ve touched on in other posts recently. One of the biggest still is the current inventory levels. With fewer homes on the market, competition is high. This in turn leads to shortened listing times as well. Homes are selling quickly, and already in the first couple weeks of April the average number of days on the market dropped 14 days compared to the first two weeks of March.
Demand is strong not just because of inventories, but also because (as we keep repeating every month lately) buying is still much cheaper than renting for those who are able. A lot of people continue to look to break out of the brutally expensive rental market and into homes in the hope of enjoying some of this great equity gain current homeowners are benefiting from.
And of course there’s mortgage rates. Rates are still hovering near their lowest in three years, helping more buyers to have greater purchasing power, and more people to qualify for loans. In another telling statistic, mortgage applications are up 20% this year compared to last.
When competition is high and the market is moving fast, it’s more important than ever to have an experienced REALTOR on your side. We can help make your offer stand out if you’re buying, and maximize these current gains for sellers. And we manage the countless little things - like fast negotiations amidst multiple offers, juggling contingencies, and processing paperwork quickly - everything required to get your deal done as fast as the market is moving. Contact us with any of your questions or Real Estate needs!