Spring season tends to be the most active time for real estate markets across the country, and it’s also the period when a number of new trends begin to emerge. Well, we’re already well into spring, so what trends have emerged so far that buyers, sellers and real estate pros need to be aware of?
The Street recently took a look and identified three trends that seem to be growing as we head towards the summer.
1. Low inventories favor sellers
With so few homes for sale across the country, sellers are gaining the upper hand. Buyers meanwhile, are having to scramble in order to win out against intense competition from other buyers because there simply aren’t enough desirable properties to go around, experts say. The low inventory is particularly acute in the less expensive “starter home” category, which means first-time buyers have a very difficult task in breaking into the market. The Street recommends that buyers move fast to secure a home when they find a property they like.
2. More buyers consider new homes
With low inventory such a problem, a growing number of buyers are looking to buy new properties or even build their own. Real estate listing site Trulia’s chief economist Ralph McLaughlin says we’re at a ten-year high for home sales bought off a plan alone. McLaughlin says this trend is a direct result of the low inventory of existing homes.
“Low existing inventory likely pushes prospective buyers away from existing homes toward new homes, and as new home sales rise, this allows builders to sell more new homes off of a plan,” McLaughlin said.
3. It’s cheaper to buy than it is to rent
A recent survey by Freddie Mac found that seven out of ten people believe it’s now cheaper to buy a home than it is to rent one. A second study from Trulia shows that buying trumps renting in 98 of the 100 largest metros in the U.S. The problem however, is that it’s difficult to save for a down payment and secure credit, which is so many people are left stuck renting even though they want in on the housing market.