Friday, January 19, 2024

Winter weather can make things seem slower than they are.

We just had a nasty snow and ice event that has had road conditions in bad shape in the local neighborhoods where real estate showings typically happen. The snow and ice have been treacherous in some areas and I have seen many showings cancelled and rescheduled then canceled and rescheduled again as the cold weather has been a little more persistent than is typical. 

This will certainly result in fewer pending sales over the next week or so. It will make the market seem slower than it really is. Likewise after the weather clears out this coming week, a flurry of showings is rather likely which may make the market seem busier than it really is.

Overall the market has been slow and steady with interest rates slightly improving over the last month or so, buyers are starting to settle in to this new reality of rates at or around the 50 year average. Although we still have fairly tight inventories levels that favor sellers, it is no where near as tight as it was 18 to 24 months ago. The chart shows how inventory has been creeping up slowing and we do not have enough qualified buyers snatching the properties up quickly like we did before. Generally when inventory levels get in the 4-6 months range we move into neutral conditions. More than six months favors buyers, less than 4 months favors sellers.

Buyers should find sellers to be a little less resistant to offers requiring help with closing costs or in some cases a lower offer price as marketing times have increased from a matter of a few days to a more typical 30-45 days. Some sellers are more motivated than others. Buyers can take advantage of these situations. 

Overall I am enthusiastic for a possible neutral market that allows prices to rise slowly and parties can negotiate terms on even ground. It's been a long while since we had that kind of market. I foresee that in the near future.

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