The real estate market’s fuel gauge, right now, is almost to E. We’re cruising down the highway at top speed, but we’re very low on one major fuel that keeps us going: new listings. Maryland Association of Realtors’ statistics for February 2017 showed that over 350 fewer homes in Baltimore City were for sale this year than in February last year. There is a positive side to having a restricted supply of homes to sell: the average price of Baltimore City houses that have sold this year thus far are 17.3% higher than last year.
Yes, lenders are still tight-fisted with money (the other fuel that we need), but there are a lot of buyers out there who are pre-approved, looking for homes, and not finding any. Interest rates are expected to rise at least twice this year, however, so this is not a time to delay if you’re thinking about buying a home!
Here’s the problem: houses are not widgets. We can’t call the factory and order up a dozen new ones and expect delivery in a week. New home builders have had the hardest time getting money for speculative investing, so you’re not seeing the number of new home developments that we once did.
Current homeowners are sitting on their hands. Inventories of homes to sell are low, and buyers have even started considering homes that need work – no hope left of the HGTV “Wow!” unless you want to compete with other buyers to get that one new listing in great condition. The “ugly duckling” is getting second glances, these days.
So, if you own a home and have been thinking about selling, and wondering if this could be the year, the answer is Yes!