“Circumlocution” —the hefty word for “beating around the bush”—describes what the national real estate news feeds have been practicing for a while when it comes to the state of the marketplace. Until recently, most analysts seemed reluctant to call this spring’s U.S. lineup a “sellers market”—perhaps because the phrase might discourage would-be buyers. That began to change last month.
As the week came to a close, Morris County homeowners who’ve been putting off their own decisions about whether to list their properties could find ample reasons for acting. Not only was that “sellers market” label showing up more often, but a host of supporting reasons had appeared in month-end reports:
- Compared with the last quarter of 2017, the percentage of households who believe the economy is improving grew to 60%—an 8% rise!
- More than that—63%—think their own financial situation will improve in the next six months.
- Perhaps as a reflection of that growing optimism, 68% of buyers report that they believe it is now “a good time to buy a home.”
If Morris County homeowners were encouraged to believe that Morris County buyers share that opinion, they’d be in step with the rest of the nation: 74% of homeowners think now is a good time to sell. That’s a conclusion that’s easy to understand since U.S. home prices have grown a cumulative 48% since 2011. Yet even with such encouraging evidence, the number of listed properties continues to be well below demand. What might otherwise be a booming market continues to improve—but gradually.
The NAR’s Chief Economist sounded almost wistful about the supply bottleneck. “Ultimately,” he was quoted as saying, “supply conditions would improve measurably…if homeowners finally decide that this spring is the time to list their homes for sale.”
With buyer optimism growing and available properties still in short supply, conditions are close to the textbook definition of a sellers market. Whether buyer sentiment will continue to persist as mortgage interest rates rise is an open question—and an additional reason why owners might choose this spring to put their homes on the market.
If you are thinking that the time could be right to buy or sell, I hope you will give me a call. We can get down to specifics on how to achieve your goals in today’s Morris County market.