Week in and week out at our open houses, we hear buyers say they are just scoping out the market and waiting to buy until spring. It’s true, spring is the busiest time of year in the real estate world so there are more listings on the market, but there are also more buyers. More buyers means more competition, making other times of year ripe for a good deal on a house.
While each year is different, spring tends to be more of a seller’s market with multiple bids and escalations for properties in popular areas that are priced right. Summer, fall and winter are typically buyer’s markets where you are rarely in competition with other buyers.
To illustrate the shift in advantage, we took a look at the average absorption rates in our area so far this year. An absorption rate is the percentage of properties on the market each month that go under contract. An even market is typically around 25-30 percent. Above 30 percent is typically a seller’s market and below 25 percent is typically a buyer’s market.
January 2014: 24.5% — even market
February 2014: 33.4% — seller’s market
March 2014: 33.8% — seller’s market
April 2014: 36.4% — seller’s market
May 2014: 34.9% — seller’s market
June 2014: 31.2% — seller’s market
July 2014: 27.3% — even market
August 2014: 23.3% — buyer’s market
September 2014:21.6% — buyer’s market
October 2014: 19.8% — buyer’s market
With rates as low as they have been in a while, now really is a great time to buy. Let us know if you would like to chat about preparing to buy a property now, or how to position yourself to beat the competition in the spring.
Sue Goodhart is the top-producing agent at McEnearney Associates in Alexandria and is licensed in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. She can be reached at 202-507-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.