Here's how February 2016 is shaping up:
- Residential Resale Contracts Up 8.6%
- 5% More Inventory for Sale Over $200,000
So far 2016 is looking very similar to 2015 in terms of buyer activity in February. Contracts in escrow are up 8.6% over last year at this time. That is conservative considering we started off the year with 15% more contracts in escrow. The real struggle for buyers will be competing for properties under $150,000. Supply in this price range is down a whopping 40% from this time last year causing frenzy activity around those properties that are in good condition. As a result, listings in escrow under $150,000 are down 27%. Supply for properties available for sale between $150,000 and $200,000 is down 20%, which is still significant but not as extreme as under $150,000.
Sellers have both good news and bad news. The good news is that buyer activity is still strong in 2016. Boomerang buyers, those consumers who have waited the required 4-7 years after short sale or foreclosure to qualify for financing, are keeping demand stable in every price range thus far. The bad news for sellers is, despite the overall 7.5% decline in supply, the number of competing listings over $200,000 has increased 5% compared to this time last year. This added competition is keeping annual appreciation more subdued for sellers on the higher end of the spectrum.
--Written by Tina Tamboer-Glatfelter, The Cromford Report
In short, things are looking good for sellers and market appreciation in general. However, this may be a signal of things to come. Buyers and Sellers alike, look to the specifics of the price range in which you're playing and prepare accordingly (buyers under $200K, be patient and tenacious!; sellers know what is coming to market and be intimately familiar with your competition). It's early still and springs is creeping up on us now...