Dmitry and I started in the real estate industry in 2001, and got our licenses a few days before the national tragedy of 9/11. I had been out of the Metro Detroit area for nearly 20 years and Dmitry was altogether new to US living when we returned from Ukraine earlier that spring to get married. After we chose real estate as our future profession we were quick to go out and absorb as much information as we could as we went about building our new business together. One of the conventional pieces of wisdom at the time was that spring was the time to sell a home. Spring and summer have always been our busiest seasons since the day we began, but the rest of year has always kept us busy too.
This year, in my opinion, all bets are off on the traditional spring market. Certainly, it should be strong. If more homes come on the market, that is. We’ve faced a shortage of inventory in our backyard, the “B burbs”, for nearly 18 months. We aren’t altogether unique as the National Association of Realtors is reporting shortages around the nation.
- In Oakland County, our median sales price rose 21.1% in December 2012, when compared with December 2011. Our inventory fell by almost the same amount – 20.6%. So those houses that did come on the market, sold and in a shorter period of time than previous years.
- Interest rates remain historically low, but there is no guarantee this will last. In fact, some are predicting increasing loan rates this year.
- Demand remains strong. Yes, we are trying to find houses for our buyers and the competition is fierce.
- Supply remains low
- The builders are coming back and invariably the shiny new construction property is more desirable than a resale home. While I don’t think that builders are likely to again flood the local market any time soon, as one might say they did immediately prior to 2008, there plenty of proof that housing starts are up again and a number of strong builders are seizing on the opportunities presented to them in today’s market.
Which brings me back to Spring. If you are ready to put your home on the market, do it. In April, many more people will be putting their homes up and you will face more competition than you do today. Today you are guaranteed what is likely the highest value for your home that you have seen in at least 5 years. Buyers have come to know that they’ll need to be patient on terms like closing dates and possession, giving the seller time to solidify future living arrangements.
Photo available under creative commons license from Vennerlabs