How's the Housing Market?

It's the number one question I get asked every day. "How's the market?" Clearly home sales have slowed this holiday season, but what does that mean for home prices? Analysts generally agree that the economy and housing market growth is slowing, and home sales are down, but that home prices will continue to increase at a very conservative rate. Projections for the new year have Los Angeles home appreciation trailing the rest of the country with modest 5% gains.

 
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With strong job numbers, limited housing, and growing households, economists are projecting prices will continue to increase over the next year. However, with home prices currently at new heights, price increases and home sales have begun to level off. Gone are the crazed days of dozens of competing offers. We’ve now shifted into a balanced to Buyer’s market in most areas with more properties to choose from and homes staying on the market longer. As long as Sellers price their home correctly, homes are selling quickly and often for over the listing price, but most are selling right at the asking price as long as the home wasn’t priced to high to begin with.  

The Fed increased rates multiple times this year, and mortgage rates followed suit with 30-year fixed rates fluctuating between 4.5-5% this year. Homebuyers have some good news this month as mortgage rates decreased nearly a quarter point from November to December.

Rents rival the cost of homeownership, encouraging more buyers to enter the marketplace.

Buyers need to bring your A-game to get a seller to accept your offer above competing offers. That means having all your ducks in a row to present yourself as the best possible buyer.

Sellers want to know makes you a better buyer than your competition. Show them:

  1. You are qualified. You'll need a strong pre-approval letter from a reliable lender that your agent can vouch for and verifiable funds for your down payment and closing costs. Not all lenders are created equal. Sellers like to know your lender can get the job done quickly and have control of their own underwriting. I work with lenders who commit to getting loans done in 10-21 days. Talk to me about what to look for before getting pre-approved.

  2. You are committed to the purchase. Most Sellers want to know their home is going to someone who will care for their home. Let them know why their house is important to you. Offer terms that show the Seller you are serious about making this work: a realistic price, shortened inspection schedule, and usually a 30-day closing timeline or less.

  3. You are the best buyer to work with. Seller's want to know they'll have a smooth escrow. Show them how great you'll be to work with, that you have realistic expectations, and have a great team on your side. Buying a home is a complicated process. Having an agent who can prepare you for what to expect throughout the home buying process, and a lender who knows how to move your loan along is crucial to a smooth transaction. Sellers know this and will look for the right buyer with the right team supporting them to get the home sold.

 

Tiffany Thompson