Do potential sellers in your market need convincing? An article in CNNMoney recently highlighted several reasons why this spring would be the perfect time for home owners to get off the fence. After all, many markets across the country are still tilting in sellers’ favor. Here’s why:
A limited number of homes on the market will help sellers nab top dollar, and may even spur bidding wars and multiple offers. The National Association of Realtors reports that inventory levels nationwide were at a 4.6-month supply in February. A balanced market is considered to fall between a five- to seven-month supply.
Mortgage rate hikes loom:
Mortgage rates are still sitting near historical lows, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovering under 4 percent. The low rates have helped push more buyers into the marketplace, but they could also be a good thing for sellers who are looking to rebuy. However, rates aren’t expected to remain this low for too much longer, which may prompt a rush this spring. "When interest rates are thought to be escalating, we see a wave up activity with people getting off the sidelines," says Budge Huskey, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
Soaring rental costs:
Also spurring more potential home buyers off the sidelines: Rising rental costs. Rental prices have increased 15 percent nationwide in the past five years in 70 metro areas across the U.S., according to NAR research. "Every time there's an increase, it triggers the decision processes on whether [renters] should go into the market and buy," Huskey told CNNMoney. "It allows others to move up the chain in the market."
Fewer cash buyers:
All-cash and investment buyers helped buoy home sales in the last couple years. And while the acceleration of home prices has slowed from its recent double-digit growth, experts still expect modest gains this year, but with fewer cash buyers. All-cash offers made up nearly 31% of sales in 2014, according to RealtyTrac, a 13% drop from 2013 and the lowest level in four years.
"We are predicting a more stable and sustainable housing market in terms of price growth," said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia's housing economist. "A lot of the growth we saw was from cash buyers, but now we are thinking those buyers will play less of a role."