In the way of the market, there is not much new to report from last month’s update. As has been mentioned in several past articles, 2018 was characterized largely by record breaking numbers in the categories of both low inventory levels and high prices. The overall median sales price for the year ended at $314,000 (January 1-December 31, 2018), an increase of 18% over the same period in 2017. This increase is attributed mostly to two factors: (1) higher building costs, which are resulting in higher prices for new construction, and (2) a very limited number of existing homes available for resale, which increases competition for those homes and leads to strong offers and bidding wars.
The total number of single-family homes sold in 2018 was up 2.22% from 2017 but only because of increased sales in new construction. Due to so few existing homes being listed this year, existing home sales actually experienced a 4% decrease, which was quite significant when compared to the 22.4% increase in newly constructed homes sold. Nearly 30% of homes purchased in 2018 were new construction as opposed to only about 23% in 2017.
Inventory levels are still far from balanced and buyer demand persists, meaning that we can expect prices to continue to rise in 2019. However, economists are predicting the rate of increase to slow as more inventories become available, bringing supply and demand closer into equilibrium.
If you are looking to buy, now may be better than later, as prices tend to increase most drastically in the spring. You are more likely to get a better deal in these slower months than you will as the market progresses. Additionally, if you are looking to sell, now may better than later as well. Inventory is still quite low, decreasing your competition with other sellers while simultaneously increasing the competition between buyers over your home. This scenario often results in solid, competitive offers and in many cases bidding wars that drive up prices. If you’d like to talk more about whether or not now might be a good time for you to move forward with your selling or buying plans, please give us a call. We would love to hear more about your situation and help you determine the best next steps.