2015 might have started in a lull, but while the weather has been warming up, so has the real estate market. In March, we saw some great improvements like a bump in pending home sales and a 26% drop in foreclosures – and the market has continued to improve from there. One recent study has found that pending homes sales have increased yet again in April, a whopping 14% increase from the year before and an optimistic sign of things to come heading into the summer months.
While March was a banner month for pending home sales—those that are in contract but haven’t yet officially sold – so was April, the National Association of Realtors® recently reported. Home-buyer activity had increased 11% year over year by March; in April, it rose again for the fourth straight month, up 3.4% from the previous month, and 14% from a year earlier. That’s the highest level since 2006.
And so the trend continues: Buyer activity on the rise, prices going up, mortgage rates inching up, inventory not climbing fast enough to meet demand. That last point’s probably the most important one. NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say about Thursday’s report: “Realtors® are saying foot traffic remains elevated this spring despite limited—and in some cases severe—inventory shortages in many metro areas.”
And: “Homeowners looking to sell this spring appear to be in the driver’s seat, as there are more buyers competing for a limited number of homes available for sale.” Yun expects the national median existing-home price will rise to around 6.7% for this year.
Breaking into a sweat yet, hopeful buyers? Maybe the key is to put your own house on the market, despite (reasonable) fears that you won’t be able to afford anything better once you sell. The way to stabilize the market is through more inventory. If you’re mulling over whether or not to sell your home, put it on the market!
Or actually, maybe you won’t have to just yet. Homebuilders are feeling pretty good about the multifamily market, according to a report Thursday from the National Association of Home Builders. They should be upping the new-homes inventory this year.
Has your business been impacted by the recent increase in pending sales? Do you think the market will continue to improve as we head into summer? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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