Is the End in Sight? (September 15, 2018)

    Rich Rodenburg, REALTOR®, Associate Broker

    This seller’s market has been ‘Crazy Time’ in the real estate market. We all have stories about selling on the first day, with 10 offers, and $10,000 over asking, cash, AS-IS, no inspections, etc.

    Buyers have had a hard time competing in this “seller’s market”.

    Yet, signs are pointing to a leveling out of the supply and demand of homes in Lincoln.  I reported earlier in the year that there were only 225 existing homes for sale in Lincoln, yet there were almost 600 currently under contract (purchased and waiting to close).  Today, there are over double the homes for sale (464), and fewer homes under contract (426).  Earlier in the year, half the homes under contract sold in 3 days or less.  Now it is 6 (still fast, but you can see a shift happening).

    My partner, Kim Soucie, asked several agents this week if they have noticed a difference in the current market. All said “Yikes, yes”, one said, “No showings in the last couple of weeks. Getting discouraged.”

    Some of this cycle is the yearly ‘dog days of August’. But compared to the same period for the past couple of years, we have about the same number of homes for sale, but 10% or more behind in those that are pending closing.

    Why is this happening?  Our home values have increased enough to price many buyers out of the market. Two years ago today, the median priced home for sale was $179,000.  Today it is $265,000.  The homes under contract have jumped from $159,000 to $180,000. Interest rates, while still low, have jumped a percent or so, further reducing the buying power of a typical buyer.

    Even with the low inventory of homes we have lived through, the number of closings to date is about the same as last years.  The difference is that the median price of a sold home jumped from about $164,000 to $180,000.

    My crystal ball is a bit cloudy, but it appears we are heading toward a healthier, level playing field for both buyers and sellers, without the frenzy of the past couple of years.

    All of the above emphasizes why it is more important now than ever to have a Realtor on your side, whether buying or selling.

     

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