Now is a good time to sell, and a good time to buy
Two common questions Realtors® hear these days are:
1 – Is this a good time to buy?
2 – Is now a good time to sell?
The answer is yes to both. I’ll explain after a brief visit to some relevant housing market issues.
Given current conditions, the NE Tenn. – SW Va. markets are behaving more seasonally, and sales are slowing due to higher mortgage rates, tougher qualifications, and concerns about the economy.
Prices, on the other hand, have been flat for the last half of the year. Last month they backed off their record highs by $30,000. But October’s median price was a little better than $70,000 higher than the pre-pandemic benchmark.
Pending sales are down from last year’s frantic pace and performing at a pre-pandemic level. What hasn’t reached pre-pandemic levels in active inventory or new listings. They haven’t increased beyond a snail’s pace because there are still competitive buyers who are taking advantage of the growing number of sellers coming off their asking prices to close deals. Sellers increased the median listing price in October to an all-time high.
The market is expected to remain in a seasonal slowing pattern during the holiday season. Inventory should begin picking up after the first of the year. By how much is the key question.
Is now a good time to sell?
We’re still in a strong sellers’ market. The organic pent-up demand from local Millennials has not waned, nor has the potential scaling down buyers. Prices are currently flat but be on the lookout for an increase if mortgage rates continue softening from their 7% high. National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects U.S. prices will increase by 1% next year. Given current conditions, that’s a conservative outlook for the local market.
Currently, the year-to-date price trend points to the third double-digit price increase.
Is now a good time to buy?
The reality of real estate is it’s always a good time to buy or sell if the conditions are right for the individual. Buyers in today’s market have a little more bargaining power than they did last year but still face a lot of competition. But some will pay more.
Signs of better conditions for buyers include mortgage rates appear to have topped out and are softening. Signals from the FED are that the next interest rate increase will be lower than what they have been. Reports also show inflation is easing. Local employers are sill adding new jobs, and wages are slowly increasing.
There are so many variables that there’s no single answer to the best time to sell or buy question. It depends on the individual circumstances and abilities of the consumer. Real estate transactions are hyper-individualistic, just like the market is hyper-local. That’s why both buyers and sellers should back away from what they see on TV or read about national housing conditions. What the market is doing on the national level from even the best sources may or may not accurately describe local market conditions. What consumers need is how market opportunities align with their needs.
The time-tested and most reliable real estate information is local and comes from local experts. The most reliable information resource in the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors®’ (NETAR) monthly Home Sales, Commercial Real Estate, Pending Home Sales reports, and the weekly Market Pulse. The reports and data behind the reports are available on the NETAR website at www.netar.us. The real housing market experts are the local Realtors® who have the resources and street knowledge of what is and isn’t happening in the local real estate market.
NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at https://netar.us