What Will Our Local Real Estate Market Look Like This Year?
As we approach the traditional beginning of the selling season (March 1, unless Old Man Winter’s grip on us is still strong!) many buyers and seller is our greater Northampton real estate area are wondering what this year’s market will be like. Last year, the market was busy, fast-moving, and characterized by a lack of inventory. While new construction of both single-family homes and condominiums is on the rise (albeit somewhat slowly), there will still likely be more buyers than sellers in 2018. Hence—a Seller’s market.
Excerpted in part from an article in our local newspaper, “The Daily Hampshire Gazette” written by Dusty Christensen, here is more information, along with our thoughts. In a trend carried over from years prior, local real estate experts are predicting that 2018 is going to be a hot residential real estate market — for sellers.
A continuing shortage of housing inventory, coupled with relatively high demand, have caused an increase in pricing that bodes well for sellers as springtime — peak home-buying season — approaches. That same trend, however, may squeeze first-time homebuyers and those looking to purchase more affordable homes.
“I expect it to be a hot market to the extent that there is inventory available,” said Ed Alford, president of the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.
That last bit — whether inventory is available — is key. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the country’s housing inventory experienced its steepest decline since 2013, according to a report from the real estate website Trulia. The result is that “homes are now the most unaffordable since Trulia started keeping track in 2012,” the report reads.
For sellers, however, that means a boon; more prospective buyers are making offers on their home, which is likely to sit on the market for far less time than is usual.
To put that competition into perspective, Alford said that the average number of days that a home sits on the market dropped 17.3 percent to 79 days from 2016 to 2017. In a neutral market, he said, a home typically sits on the market for 180 days.
“With the decrease in days on market, you’re typically going to have a stronger seller’s market and a higher sales price,” Alford said.
In Hampshire County, median sales prices for a single-family home have jumped from $250,000 in 2015 to $260,980 in 2017, according to data from The Warren Group. For condos, median prices have increased from $179,900 in 2015 to $207,250 in 2017.
Median sales prices for single-family homes in towns with 50 or more sales were the highest in 2017 in Amherst — a three-year high of $337,000 — Hadley ($318,000) and Northampton ($300,000), according to the data.
That might bode well for those selling their homes, but for first-time homebuyers or those looking for cheaper housing, the situation can be discouraging.
All the more reason for buyers to use a well-informed and savvy Buyer’s Agent! At Delap Real Estate, your agent can put you on their email list both so both you and your agent will be immediately notified in real time when a new property (or price change) comes on the market that its your needs. It’s time to find your buyer’s agent at Delap Real Estate—call now or click on “Contact Us”!