As the title to this article states; the best time to list your house? Today! You may have heard that the housing market is softening. There is no doubt that buyer traffic has decreased. There are fewer purchasers in the market than there were last month and at this time last year. What you may not have heard, however, is that there is still a severe shortage of listing inventory in many regions of the country.
In a recent interview discussing the housing market, First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming put it simply:
“The biggest challenge is really the availability of supply.”
When we look at available inventory numbers released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), we see that the actual number of homes for sale has decreased in each of the last five months.
What does this mean to you as a seller?
The best time to sell is when there is less competition. That guarantees you a better price and fewer hassles in the transaction.
Existing-home sales kept up momentum in November, climbing 1.9 percent to 5.32 million, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports. On an annual basis, however, sales were sluggish: 7 percent lower than in November 2017.
Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), the median price was $257,700, a 4.2 percent increase from the prior year. The median price in the single-family space was $260,500; the condo median was $236,400.
“The market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”
Activity was concentrated in three regions of the U.S.: the Midwest, the Northeast and the South. In the Midwest, activity expanded 5.5 percent to 1.34 million, with a median price of $199,100. In the Northeast, activity increased 7.2 percent to 740,000, with a median price of $291,400. In the South, activity rose 2.3 percent to 2.2 million, with a median price of $223,600.
Currently, inventory is at a 3.9-month supply, NAR reports. Last month, existing-home sales averaged 42 days on market, two days more than the prior year. All told, 43 percent of homes sold were on the market for less than one month.
“It is not surprising to see homes remain on the market a little longer,” says John Smaby, 2019 NAR president. “Buyers can often negotiate a more favorable price in those circumstances, especially when paired with a motivated seller and the aid of a REALTOR® familiar with their local market.”
Month-over-month, sales in the single-family space ticked up to 4.71 million, but remained 6.7 percent under year-over-year, according to NAR. Condo and co-op sales totaled 610,000, a 1.7 percent increase month-over-month, but a 9 percent slump year-over-year.
Twenty-one percent of sales were all-cash, with 13 percent by individual investors, NAR reports. Two percent were distressed. First-time homebuyers comprised 33 percent of sales.
If you are thinking of selling your house this year, the best time to put it on the market might be right now. Let’s get together to evaluate the demand for your house in our market!