This is that time of year where expectations for real estate activity are low, and should be. What the last two weeks of the year lack in volume they make up for in quality. I have said this over and over, people doing real estate activity during the holidays tend to be very serious and ready to act be they sellers or buyers. I am a firm believer in keeping properties listed through the holiday period.
Meanwhile the 2019 year in real estate should end up with excellent numbers. The supply and demand balance in 2019 for properties in the "meat" of the market was at near equilibrium. The core market locally is in that $350,000 - $550,000 price range roughly 95% of median to 140% of median saw good healthy conditions with demand and supply in near balance tipping slightly towards sellers at the bottom and slightly towards buyers at the top. Below this range it was a solid seller's market above the range favoring buyers.
Despite the feeling of things slowing down, the numbers tell a different tale. Year over year numbers for almost every month were better this year than last. But the energy seemed lower. I believe it is due to the balance between buyers and sellers. Up until the middle of last year sellers were in firm control of the vast majority of the market. Buyers were often frantic, bidding up houses in order to get them into contract. it felt crazy. In the last half of 2018 and all of 2019, that craziness subsided and the only time it appeared was when a lower than market value home appeared on the market.
I personally don't like the low price quick sale approach in general, but it does seem to be working at the moment. Sellers that do NOT need to sell quickly are well advised to price the home at market and be patient. Wait for the buyer that falls in love with the house rather than hoping to get the best price in a quick sale bid battle. Typically sellers often wonder if they got the best price after one of those quick sales. that said in the middle of the price range buyers are becoming a bit more choosy.
This is a healthy real estate market, prices are rising but the rate of appreciation has settled into a sustainable pattern. The prognosis for 2020 looks strong. I do wish all of you a happy holiday period and a prosperous New Year!