Friday, March 29, 2024   /   by Burt Horwitz



Last year, the housing market faced significant challenges, keeping many buyers—and sellers—waiting in the real estate market wings. As the snow melts, the flowers bloom, and the open houses are being scheduled in earnest, buyers might be eager to emerge.

That’s because home list prices have come down from the peak of $449,000 in June 2022 and $445,000 in June 2023. The median home list price was a median of $415,500 in February, according to the most recent Realtordotcom. While prices are usually highest in the summer, prices are expected to come down a little overall this year by about 1.7%, according to the the 2024 forecast. Mortgage rates have also fallen to the high 6% range from almost 8% last fall. This has freed up some sorely needed housing inventory.

"Many homeowners also felt ‘locked in’ by their current mortgage [rate], hesitant to list their home for sale and trade a sub-4% mortgage for a 7%-plus mortgage" last year, says Jones. That would be what would happen if they bought another home with a new mortgage. This "kept new listing activity low for much of the year."
While rates remain volatile, the Realtordotcom economic team predicts that mortgage rates will fall to the mid-6% range by the end of this year. "While affordability will continue to be a challenge for buyers and sellers who are looking to buy, we expect lower mortgage rates and more new-construction inventory to offer some relief and inject some life back into the market," says Jones.

There’s also a feeling that brings buyers into the spring market that data can’t measure.
Spring is a busy season for many reasons. For clients with children, moving will align with summer break when schools are out and the weather is nice," says real estate agents. Additionally, the end of tax season makes the loan approval process smoother." Homeowners who worry that listing during the busy spring market will put them on the wrong side of supply and demand need to know one crucial data point: The housing market needs inventory—and lots of it.

There were about 7.9% more homes for sale at the start of 2024 than over the same period in 2023. As a result, there were the most homes for sale this January since 2020. However, the number of homes for sale was still 39.7% lower than before the pandemic.
"This gap means there continue to be opportunities for sellers who enter the market this spring," says Jones.

Sellers might also face less competition. Potential sellers should note there are usually 13.7% fewer home sellers during the best time to list compared with an average week.
"If inventory levels remain relatively low, time on market may pick up faster as buyers vie for fewer homes," adds Jones.

Savvy sellers might also want to take advantage of the best time to list, knowing that while spring is the beginning of the prime real estate season, it’s not the peak. This means that this week sees more buyer demand per property than later into the spring and summer.
Sellers should start prepping now to list their homes
All of this means that sellers who want to get their homes onto the market during the best week to list should start prepping ASAP.

This could mean making repairs, painting the walls and cleaning the carpets, planting some flowers out front, and whatever else it takes for sellers to get their homes in tiptop shape. More than half of home sellers took a month or less to get their homes to list, according to a Realtordotcom survey.
Buyers often start looking at listings early in their homebuying journey, meaning a seller who lists early will reap some early-bird rewards. There’s an awakening in spring, a motivation for people to go out after months of hibernation. They’ve monitored the market all winter and are now primed and ready to take action.
Keller Williams Realty
Burton Horwitz - Realtor
7280 W Palmetto Park Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Homes Sales South Florida

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