SHHHHHH…Listen to the Sound of a Normal Summer Market

I’m blogging because I can!

Not because I don’t have plenty of other things to do today relating to Heddings Property Group expansion, but the peace and quiet being felt in the office right now is reminiscent of the Manhattan real estate market of the mid 90′s and that is granting me the few moments necessary to share some market commentary.

It is often easy to forget that the calm that exists in the summer months is perfectly normal, or at least it used to be.  See, for those of us who have been in the industry since well before the last 10 year housing boom,  we remember the lazy summer days where we stood chatting around the water cooler just waiting for the phone to ring (not recommended in 2010).  Those days vanished as the market picked up steam and brought us 12 solid months of steady activity for nearly a decade.  During that boom period, we were traveling at 80+ mph and now that we’re back at the 55mph speed limit, it hardly feels like we’re moving.  By the way, we hit about 70mph just this past Spring.

The market is what it is and today it is a market with still historically low interest rates, recession adjusted prices that seem to have stabilized, patient buyers with very little sense of urgency but many of whom very much want to move, and sellers who have adjusted their perception of market conditions to those much more in line with reality.  

My advice:

Sellers:  

  • Pay very close attention to recent sales and signed contracts
  • Don’t drink the kool-aid that the market has already recovered.  We are definitely stable right now and that is in large part to insanely low interest rates.  Only time will tell if we are in the midst of an early recovery.
  • Don’t necessarily buy the "Fall market is better to sell" line.  Although there are typically fewer buyers searching in the summer, there is also less inventory in summer.  The Fall market usually experiences a significant bump in inventory only to be forced to patiently wait for buyers to return from what has become a much longer summer season than in the past.
  • That said, if you want to sell, take all offers seriously and don’t take low offers personally. Try to find out the perspective of the bidder making the low offer.
  • Try to keep negotiations moving forward and dialog open.

Buyers:

  • You can actually relax a bit taking some time to consider what is best for you.  Only 2 months ago, many buyers were once again caught in bidding wars.  This is not the case this summer.  
  • Get your finances in order so that you can proceed when ready.
  • Although inventory is typically lower in the lazy summer, consider a purchase while there is less competition for property.  

So enjoy your summer and if you’re buying or selling property right now, relax and enjoy the pace of a more traditional and "normal" real estate market. 

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