The lights are all down off the house and the tree and decorations are put away until next year. As the New Year’s Eve celebrations fade to memory and attentions turn to title games and the coming Spring, several families find themselves wanting or needing to move to a new home. Still, the signals coming from the talking heads on the news and friends can be as confusing as trying to figure out how to spend your time during the week between Christmas and New Year’s day. Here are some current facts and figures that lead me to believe that now is a great time to buy!
Inventory is increasing and that increasing inventory means a better chance of finding exactly what you are looking for in a new home. With credit tightening, we have seen contracts fall through at rates as high as almost 40% over the past few months. When this happens, those homes are back on the market for new offers. In addition, this year has returned to something closer to a “normal” housing market with several new listings nationwide listed just after the first of the year. Some of these “new” listings are homes that were pulled off the market over the holidays that have been relisted with significant price reductions. Inventory has still not reached pre-pandemic levels, but any improvement is welcome. Options are always a good thing.
The slowing of the real estate market is starting to affect contract terms. From mid-2020 through mid-2022 seller-paid closing costs, buy-downs and repairs had become a rare thing. With interest rates and inventory both at record lows, sellers were in the driver’s seat. With many buyers locking in interest rates below 3%, this was not a deal breaker. As of the fourth quarter of 2022, we see seller concessions on 42% of home sales – a significant increase from a year earlier.
Again, it looks like 2023 is shaping up to be a great time to buy! If you want to take a deep dive into the numbers, I have included links below for reference.