Sellers still have the upper hand in today’s real-estate market, but there are some warning signs to watch out for
Americans hoping to sell their house this year may want to get a head start.
A new report from Realtor.com looked at the best time to list a home for sale in 2022. To produce the report, the researchers examined seasonal trends in 2018 and 2019 as well as 2021’s housing data — excluding 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that year.
The best week was determined by comparing a range of factors including competition among sellers, listing prices, the time homes spent on the market before being sold, home buyer demand and the likelihood of price reductions.
Overall, the best week to list a home for sale nationwide was the week of April 10 to 16. That week stood out for a number of reasons:
- In 2021, this same week saw a 20.9% uptick in the number of views each listing got, compared to the average week throughout the year.
- Historically, homes listed during that week have sold 13.2% faster than average.
- Additionally, under the backdrop of 2021’s national shortage of homes for sale, there were far fewer people who had homes listed during the comparable week last year. Consequently, homes put on the market at that time were far less likely to experience a price reduction.
Sellers shouldn’t get too comfortable
Even though it’s still very much a seller’s market due to the high levels of home-buying demand and short supply of properties for sale, the report cautioned that time is of the essence.
“Sellers’ positions seem to continue improving,” Realtor.com economic research analyst Hannah Jones noted in the report. “But there are some ongoing shifts and potential changes in the market that are worthy of noting.”
Mortgage rates are expected to rise throughout the year, currently up almost 2 points from the all time low in 2021, which will make buyers more conservative in their bids and could reduce demand. The higher interest rates climb, the more the purchasing power of most buyers will drop due to qualifying for lower loan amounts. More sellers are likely to enter the market as the spring buying season rolls on, increasing competition. Plus, home builders may choose to accelerate construction, especially if supply-chain and labor issues eventually improve, which would pose more competition for people selling existing homes. That being said, we’re still seeing a lowering of homebuilder sentiment for the 4th straight month. Usually when Wall Street flashes the warning signal of larger institutions thinking there maybe a correction in a certain sector, they’re correct.
Buyers should also take heed, Jones wrote. “The usual seasonal dynamics of the housing market, builder sentiment, and seller sentiment suggest that it’s going to get better,” she wrote. “We don’t expect inventory to be plentiful, but as more sellers come to the housing market, we expect there to be fewer buyers checking out and competing for each specific home.”
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