As more and more home buyers get off the fence while prices are still at their bottom, they’re experiencing escalating competition for the best-priced properties. Thus with inventories at their lowest levels since the property boom of 2004-2006, our market has finally reached a rare moment of equilibrium in which it is also a good time to sell.
Last week’s Wall Street Journal chronicled on its front page how buyers from coast-to-coast are being caught off guard by bidding competitions brought on by serious supply shortages. The title of the story says it all: Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars Are Back.
The article goes on to say that “the Wall Street Journal’s quarterly survey found that the inventory of homes listed for sale declined sharply in all 28 markets tracked. Real estate agents consider a market in balance when there is a six-month supply of homes for sale. At the height of the housing crisis, in 2008, there was an 11.1-month supply. In March there was a 6.3 months supply.”
Here in Sarasota County the supply shortage is even more acute. With buyers as active as they’ve been since 2005, our market has seen its inventory drop from a 28-month supply in 2008 to only a 5-month supply at the end of March 2012. That number is expected to decline even further, as April sales continued to outpace new listings, even as they chipped away at our existing supply of properties. In other words, with buyers hungry to buy, our market is becoming increasingly starved for new listings.
Amid this shortage of supply, and with home prices in Sarasota County trending as much as 30-40% below their boom-time highs, it’s not at all uncommon for new listings to receive multiple offers within days, perhaps sooner. This time around, however, the competitive bidding is not the product of rampant, un-informed speculation. Nor is it producing huge unrealistic spikes in prices. Instead well-capitalized buyers are finding homes at 2012’s vastly reduced prices to be well worth competing for.
It’s important to remember that while our market is recovering nicely—it is not yet fully recovered. That being said, now is the best moment in years to sell a home with relative ease—provided it doesn’t debut as an overpriced listing to be largely ignored by today’s extremely value-conscious buyers.
Learn more about selling your home in today’s buyer-rich market by calling 1-888-552-5228. Or visit michaelsaunders.com and click on the “List With Us” tab. By selling now, you’ll still have enough time to enjoy similarly low prices on your next home.