Snow & Sleet = Slower market
Sometimes the cold and wet seems to put a damper on real estate activity! Earlier this year I suggested that we keep an eye on the number of new homes coming onto the market vs. the number being sold as an indicator of where trends are going. At this point of the year, inventory has been slowly but steadily growing. We have seen about 17 new listings a week versus 11 sales per week for the past couple of months. This is great news for buyers who continue to struggle finding choices, and it is true that we desperately need new listings to slow price increases down. The upshot is that early 2017 is shaping up to be a much more balanced market than last season.
Should these trends continue it will mean price moderations and stabilizing values. Of interest, though, is whether the weather is keeping a lid on activity, particularly in the face of the coldest winter we have seen in almost 30 years. Conditions like this can create pent up demand, and market trends can change quickly with a couple of big weeks like we had last year. Still, indicators are showing a more conservative mood out there. Seller expectations remain high which sets up an interesting dynamic.
While I am still of the opinion that we will see price increases as we get deeper into the Spring, recent events signal that those thinking of selling should keep an eye on the general trends before getting overly optimistic on prices. That being said, despite the increase in product choices for buyers we continue to see multiple and competing bids on those properties that are priced sharply. For buyers, acting quickly remains both difficult and necessary if you see something you like.
The market remains very much in flux and the next few weeks should be an excellent indication of what we can expect for the balance of the year. Let’s hope we finally see some daffodils and sunshine!
Talk to you next week,