Unlike last year, buyers aren’t jumping at every listing – we just saw that the SD inventory is up about 13% compared to last February.
Though every talking head reminds us that rates are still ‘historically low’, nobody is going to buy a house today just to lock in the rate. If anything, buyers are willing to wait-and-see if a further rise in rates might drive prices downward.
It is a more-cautious market, yet sales are streaming in – here’s how the NSDCC sales for January/February compare to previous years:
Will this selling season get up to frenzy-speed like last year?
Or just settle in at a more-leisurely pace?
We’ll know in the next 30-45 days. There is a natural lull around April 15th, and momemtum will have to be flowing by then to push a frenzy for another couple of months.
What will it take?
More listings priced reasonably – which sounds far-fetched, on both counts – and buyers willing to pay more than last year.
Here are the new-listings counts, and the LP-per-sf for each area:
Total Number of NSDCC Detached-Homes Listed Between Jan 1 – Feb 28
The numbers are similar enough that they could be considered noise: 3% fewer listings at +7% higher list pricing with 10% fewer sales in the first two months of 2014 (though that will be closer to -5% with late-reporters).
I think buyers will be more picky as time goes on, and the bidding-war firefights will dwindle as sellers keep pushing higher.
A more-leisurely frenzy for the next 1-2 months?