It's fairly common for consumers to ignore housing statistics and the market until they become involved in the purchase or sale of a home. It's only natural then that what impacts the market is a bit of a mystery to many. What determines a buyers' or sellers' market? What factors influence home prices?
Of course the answers to these questions are multi-faceted, and it's important to pay attention to a variety of factors.
Pay Attention to Interest Rates
It certainly is no secret that obtaining a lower interest rate for a mortgage typically allows for a lower payment, and low interest rates make home-buying an attractive venture. Currently, a 30 year fixed interest rate is below 4%. For up to date information on mortgage rates, Bankrate is an excellent resource.
It's always a good time to get excited about the housing market when interest rates decrease or remain attractively low. Remember, lower mortgage rates mean a lower monthly payment and more purchasing power.
The current economy is a key factor affecting the real estate market on both a national and local level. The overall health of the economy is measured by a variety of indicators including the GDP, employment data, manufacturing activity, the prices of goods, etc. A sluggish economy can impact the housing market in a negative way, and a strong economy has a positive impact.
Exciting Markets for Sellers
Columbus ranks as one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States. Strong job growth and low interest rates have fueled buyer demand. This has created a strong sellers' market where prices have increased rapidly and homes sell at or above list price.
One of the biggest mistakes we see in sellers' markets is the homeowner who feels that the market itself will bring top dollar for the home, regardless of condition. Be aware that homes in good condition sell the quickest and for the most amount of money. Regardless if market conditions favor sellers, if your home isn't in move-in condition, it may be passed over by home buyers.
Buying a Home This Year?
In a sellers' market, it's important to be well prepared prior to making an offer on a property. Ensure you know exactly how much you can spend and that you've obtained a pre-approval letter from your lender. Make your offer stand out and limit time periods for contingencies to the shortest timeframe possible. Finally, come in with your highest and best offer. A sellers' market moves too quickly to assume the homeowner will negotiate over price.
The Cantwell Eagleson Group has all the resources necessary to keep you current on local and national market information. Whether you are interested in purchasing or selling a home now or in the future, we are always available to assist you through a seamless process.