This is the hottest spring housing market we’ve seen since 2005. We’re seeing a ton of multiple offer situations both on our listings and on properties that we are bringing buyers to. Home sales for February are up 19% over February 2011, and average home selling prices actually increased for some Massachusetts counties such as Essex and Suffolk.
Many buyers are still thinking they’ll get a bargain basement deal, and are surprised they have to compete with other buyers to get the home.
What’s the reason for the increase in sales and competition for homes?
New England enjoyed a relatively mild winter this year, which encouraged more buyers to view homes and more sellers to think about relocating. Low mortgage interest rates, which still hover around 4%, continue to attract more buyers. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts is 6.9%, well below the national average of 8.3%, which is another factor fueling this trend.
A decrease in supply of homes combined with an increase in demand has also contributed to the fierce competition. The U.S. Census Bureau reported last month that The U.S. inventory of new homes stood at 150,000, a 5.8- month supply, which is the lowest inventory rate in 6 years.
Is It Still A Buyer’s Market?
There’s no doubt this is a great time to buy a home, even with increased competition from other buyers. There are some great homes for sale in the middle price range which attracts a broad range of buyers: from first home buyers to those looking to downsize. The interest rates are still very low but we’re starting to see them fluctuate so buyers shouldn’t wait too long.
Buyers should be ready to pay the asking price or more if a home is priced accordingly. Do your homework. Find out the market history of the home, how long it’s been on the market, and how does it compare to other homes in the market. We talk more about this in our video How Much to Offer on a Home.
Sellers Need to Price the Home Right
Sellers who are serious about selling their home should price it aggressively. Homes that sell are homes that are a great value and not overpriced. It’s still a very competitive market for sellers so you need to keep that in mind when pricing your home. Watch us on give tips on pricing a home when we spoke to Fox25 News in February.
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Source: The U.S. Census Bureau