Watch this content HERE
We are on the threshold of a market change. We have pent-up buyer demand but also sellers holding off and waiting, and all the signs are pointing to an upward shift. How does it affect you? Let’s dive in.
Spoiler Alert, there’s still a big question mark over how big and quick this recovery will be. Any changes to interest rates are likely to be very modest in March and will probably affect how quickly buyers and sellers return to the market.
According to the Fed, the next rate cut will most probably be in May. One possible outcome could be a small cut since they don’t want to risk bringing us back into an inflationary market. If we look at the Fed’s predictions, though, a cut in May could bring us down to up to 50 base points less by summer, and that means seasonality may not happen, we may have a very busy summer as everyone returns to the market. But right now? We just don’t know.
January’s transaction environment started to ease bit by bit. We saw more listings coming into the market and fewer listings being taken off. The Fed cut its rates in late December, encouraging sellers to list. Supply is light and tight, coming in at about 5,800 new listings in January, below the historical average of about 7,000.
On the other hand, we also saw a rise in the number of contracts signed, so the pressure isn’t off yet – about the same amount of listings came off the market – either going into contract or being removed by sellers – as there was coming into the market. Despite this upward movement, contracts signed are still coming in lower than historical averages for the month.
Liquidity Pace - a 30-day moving window of contracts signed - is rising as a result of this buyer activity, and what it means is a market in recovery. The more we will see demand coming back, we will see ourselves rising from the bottom, where we have been for the past year and a half, and will hopefully keep pushing up as we get into the bulk of the spring season. Demand is still soft though, as we close January at a pace of 656, lower than the average 770 for the month.
So is the worst over? The answer is yes.
Price declines are probably coming to an end. Although it was a buyer’s market on paper, tight supply didn’t allow for the tough negotiations you’d normally have when the market is saturated with inventory. Sellers kind of decided they went as low as they could go with prices.
Market pulse is already shifting to neutral territory and will reverse course in the upcoming weeks as a new wave of listings comes to market. 3-4 months from now we are likely to see the median sales price go up.
So buyers, don’t make the mistake of waiting – the market is changing before our eyes and soon, even if you have more options, your leverage will be much smaller. We have had low activity, lower prices, a challenging listing environment – allowing you more negotiability. But it is all about to end. Your last chance to get a good deal is now, and your window of opportunity will close at around the best time to list, which is coming in about a month.