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How the Home Buying and Selling Season this Spring and Summer Will Differ from Last Year


Posted: April 04, 2018 at 12:00 AM by Anna Jotham

As the snowbanks melt locally, they seem to reveal house “for sale” signs blooming like tulips on the boulevards. And whether you’re contemplating buying this season or considering selling your home this summer, you want to know what’s on the horizon for the housing market, and how it will compare to last year.

 

Inventory shortage remains tight; on the road to relief

As you may know, a widespread inventory shortage has made for a competitive market for buyers and a favorable market for home sellers. That’s expected to continue through this season, so it remains a good time to sell. But real estate experts are watching that trend and many believe the housing shortage will begin to experience signs of relief later this year.

 

That could be good news for buyers as it may inspire sellers to get in on the action sooner, rather than later. Bidding wars remain a factor, and that continues to drive up pricing. According to www.realtor.com, inventory is likely to increase with year-over-year inventory growth by this fall. That’s for the first time since 2015, per “Realtor.comÒ 2018 National Housing Forecast.” Experts say we can expect inventory declines to decelerate through the early part of this year until the end of the peak home-buying season. Most of the growth is expected to take place in the middle- and upper-tier priced homes.

 

Entry-level housing will continue to appreciate; overall housing appreciation to slow

If you’re a buyer looking for your first home, you’ll be in good company. By the end of this year, experts predict that millennials could make up 43 percent of buyers securing a mortgage, up from 40 percent last year. For that reason, entry-level homes are expected to continue to gain in price and inventory will continue to remain tight for this segment. 

Meanwhile, appreciation is expected to slow, especially in the higher-priced housing segment. Overall home prices are forecasted to drop from a 5.5 percent growth rate in 2017 to 3.2 percent growth year-over-year nationally. That’s good news for buyers, and experts say not a surprise, as appreciation levels over the past several years was unsustainable, according to www.realtor.com, “5 Reasons It’ll Pay to Sell Your Home Early in 2018.”  

 

Interest rates remain low; are expected to rise

By historical standards, interest rates are still low, but analysts predict they’ll climb to 5 percent on a 30-year mortgage by year’s end. That’s yet another reason buyers will be looking to lock in and shop early this year. For sellers, it’s another indicator that listing early before the rates start to climb is in your best interest.

 

It’s still a seller’s market this season 

Simply put, it remains a market favorable to sellers out there, though signs indicate inventory may be improving. According to www.washingtonpost.com, “What home sellers can expect in 2018: The market is still in your favor if the price is right,” experts say there is still just four months of housing inventory—a very low figure. With indicators pointing to a shifting scale, sellers may want to list earlier in the year, while buyers may want to consider a waiting game, balancing possible interest rate increases with the likelihood of improved inventory in the fall.