A recent survey shows more real estate professionals are feeling upbeat about the coming spring season, and anticipate that it will get quite lively. The MRIS Spring Real Estate Outlook Survey collated the responses from over 1,300 real estate professionals within Northern Virginia, Baltimore, Washington DC, and parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Apparently more than 71% were more optimistic about the coming spring season, compared to 2013, and are predicting that sales transactions will increase this year compared to last year. Some 82% of those surveyed think average sales prices will also increase this spring. Experts point out that the housing market in the mid-Atlantic region began to stabilize last year, and this year they expect to see increased inventory and stabilizing house prices. The survey also looked at the challenges faced by home buyers and sellers, including inventory levels and new mortgage rules.
According to the article in RISMedia, some 45% of those surveyed think this year will continue to be a sellers’ market, while 33% anticipate it will be a buyers’ market, and another 22% are unsure. More than half of those surveyed think the lack of inventory is the biggest challenge faced by buyers at the moment. Just under half were concerned about affordability for buyers, and a 50% thought buyers were concerned about competition for homes. More than half of those surveyed think the biggest challenge faced by sellers is making sure their home is properly priced.
When it comes to the question of inventory levels, 37% think inventory will increase this year compared to last year, while 32% think the levels will remain about the same. Just 22% expect inventory to be sufficient to meet demand. Not surprisingly the demand for affordable homes is higher, and this is expected to lead to competition for town homes and condos in the mid-Atlantic area. This means sellers of attached homes in Baltimore and DC Metro will have an advantage due to the low supplies in these areas. The market for detached homes is more balanced, and the lower level of competition could even mean conditions are more favorable for buyers.
Some 58% of those surveyed think the biggest shortage of supply would be for homes priced at less than $300,000, while 29% think the shortage will be focused on homes priced between $300,000 and $500,000. Just under half of real estate professionals think sales of attached homes this spring will be at the same levels seen in spring last year. Around 21% think the popularity of attached houses will increase over single family detached homes in 2014.