Friday, May 18, 2018

Local Market Report

The MLS numbers for 2018 are showing some interesting trends. For the first four months of 2018 I am seeing a typical bump in activity on both sides of the market, supply and demand in roughly equal amounts maybe a slight gain for buyers in what has been a stubborn seller's market. Inventory is still tight but not as tight as last year, listed units outpacing sales by 50% will help pad the inventory and is clearly leading to a flattening of prices.

The median sold home price county-wide trails the sold average by roughly $44,000 a 12% gap. With a large pool of over 2000 sales, this is a reasonable indicator that the market is moving from entry level to mid-level buyers.

The entry-level has little inventory and many buyers have been nudged out of the market by the combination of high prices and rising interest rates. The middle market is seeing some traction as mid level buyers are jumping in to lock in a manageable mortgage rate.

There was a buyer's gain in March followed by a seller's gain in April so things seem to be about the same with sellers still holding an advantage in this market.

The both the median and average sold price is fairly flat over the last 4 months. Our market is being influenced by the rising interest rates.

Marketing time remains short with the median less than a week. This bodes well for sellers, but may also indicate sellers are more willing to accept lower price when listing price is "puffed up." Sellers are equally anxious to sell as they have the same rising rate concern as buyers.

Overall I see the market flattening for the rest of the year. Analysts seem to agree that middle single digit price appreciation is anticipated for 2018. If inventory remains tight, sellers will continue to have a slight advantage at the negotiating table. Buyers however, have gained some leverage in the market and the flattening of prices surely is a strong indicator the local market is moving towards neutrality. I like a mild seller's market, it is healthy and most importantly, sustainable.

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