Beautiful weather, an excited economy, and enticing mortgage rates are getting prospective home buyers off the couch and out into the world in droves – and home sellers are loving it.
Experienced real estate agents in most major markets are saying that this is quickly becoming the strongest seller’s market in years. Buyers need to act fast, because sellers are starting to price their homes optimistically, and, in most cases, they are getting what they want. Traditionally, in times like these, first-time homebuyers searching for entry-level priced homes are going to face the most competition.
Real estate data from the first quarter of 2017 is starting to come in and what we are seeing is a large number of homes come on the market, but buyers are scooping them up almost immediately. At the end of March, the supply of homes for sale nationally was down 6.6 percent compared with a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Unsold inventory is down to a 3.8-month supply. As a point of reference, a balanced market between buyers and sellers has a 5-6 month supply.
Properties sold in March were on the market for an average of 34 days, down from 45 days in February and 47 days in March of last year.
Buyers depending on mortgages could be in for a tough time if they do not act fast. They are not only competing with multiple offers on the same home, but in a lot of cases, cash offers because the housing market is so hot right now.
As a result of the increased demand and reduced inventory, home prices continue to hit new peaks each month. Prices nationally are up 5.7 percent in February year over year and are expected to increase each month moving forward for the time being.