The results are in from the realtor.com survey, and it’s great news for the housing market. Fall 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest fall in ten years. According to the monthly data on inventory and demand, September saw the hot summer market continue to fuel sales into the fall. While home sales traditionally cool in the fall, this year that slowdown is much less that has been experienced any time in the past ten years.
Homes Moving Faster
Sellers are seeing their homes sell 4% faster than during this same time last year. Mortgage rates continue to be at historical lows. Sellers are benefiting from a continued bottleneck in the availability of homes in several markets. The inventory of both existing and new homes is much lower than the demand. This low inventory combined with historically low mortgage rates has made buyers anxious to close on a house as quickly as possible.
Prices Still High
This summer saw housing prices continue to rise. The data from September shows that there is no end in sight for the high housing prices. The median price of a home is 9% higher than last year, and unchanged since the end of the summer. The lack of available houses in many markets and the low interest rates continue to fuel demand as well as put pressure on housing prices to stay high.
While at some point high prices may affect demand, in September, there were still plenty of buyers willing to face the high prices if it meant getting in a home on a low interest rate mortgage.
Opportunities for Buyers
Many homebuyers were unable to close on a home this summer due to stiff competition from other buyers. With the start of school, the housing market always sees potential buyers leave as some decide to drop out and wait until next year. This seasonal slowdown, even though less pronounced this year, may be a great opportunity for buyers willing to move this fall.
The markets seem to believe that interest rates are not likely to increase before December at the earliest. This means that buyers this fall can still expect low mortgage rates. They will have more opportunities to buy a house because the competition from other buyers is less fierce.
While many experts worry about the effect high housing prices will have on the housing market in the future, this fall is already shaping up to be one of the best falls for the housing market in the past decade. It seems that low interest rates are offsetting the worries many buyers have about high prices. Hopefully, this fall will setup a stronger than usual winter season as well.
Please see our Market Reports for a complete city by city analysis on the Marin County real estate market.
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Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty
100 Tiburon Blvd, Mill Valley, CA.94941
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