I have become very busy these last few months and the market is showing increased aggressive behavior from buyers. This has moved from the bottom which has been hot for over a year, into the middle and upper end of the market. Homes that are "move in ready" and priced right get snatched up quickly and over full price. Just last night I had clients make a generous offer on a home priced at $350,000 which had been listed for just one day. My clients were outbid and the house went pending this morning.
For those folks that are sitting on a home they either bought or refinanced in 2006-2008 this could be the year you pop up above the surface of debt into positive equity. There are few real estate agents that "enjoy" short sales and those may become fewer and fewer as the appreciation generated by all this activity pushes values up.
For buyers, appreciation is a double-edged sword. The rising market gives confidence that they will enjoy a strong equity position over time but the pressure is "on"; as prices rise faster than income, they lose buying power and may have to settle for less home.
I have had a few buyers that didn't pull the trigger last year and now find themselves on the brink of being priced out of the market all together. The moral of the story is that we are moving further into the seller's market and buyers need to jump in now to take advantage of current pricing and these low interest rates. Rates will not remain low once the market shows an ability to sustain growth. Sellers that have been waiting for the market to come to them, need to contact their favorite Realtor® and have their home evaluated. The time may have come to make that move they have had to put off due to the depressed prices of 2010-2012.
I see a confidence in the market that has been lacking since early 2008 and that bodes well for the short term health of the market. Long term will ultimately be driven by interest rates and that is an area where change in the upward direction is inevitable.