Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Finally, It's Fall

This morning was a stark contrast with yesterday, when it was 64 degrees at 6 AM.  Today, it was 37 degrees, and I went running with gloves and a jacket, for the first time this fall.  Starting yesterday afternoon, we saw fall blowing in--although we had one little taste of the season in the last week of August, so we shouldn't give up hope of some more warm weather just yet.

Cooler weather, though, makes people come inside.  The imminent end to Daylight Savings Time exacerbates that tendency.  What do they do indoors?  They look at real estate online, among other things, and the longer evenings indoors gives them more time to do it.  Once they look, they may start attending open houses, or scheduling showings.  It's only a few weeks until the shortest day of the year, when we can begin to anticipate spring again.

During October and November, though, buyers who look are more likely to buy, and to close quickly.  Sellers should therefore keep their homes decluttered, rake their leaves, and be reasonable on prices, so that they can be the ones to attract the fall buyers.  While some houses do sell in the dead of winter, these precious weeks of fall offer more chances to sell, and sellers should facilitate that wherever possible.

Let the crisp air invigorate you, and your real estate plans and dreams.  It's the perfect time to act!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Current Absorption Rates

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. If you look at the number for Branford you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 7.3 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market. A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”


Monday, October 2, 2017

From Scary to Thankful

This is the time of year, every year, when I remind people why it's the best season for buying real estate.  Rates tend to be lower than other times, and sellers are often more flexible, because they want to sell before the end of their tax year, and they don't want to head into the cold and snowy season with empty property. 

People who buy between Halloween and Thanksgiving have a fighting chance to close before the end of the year, and they get to start the new year in a new place.  They have less competition than at other times, and they spend less time, on average, both looking and negotiating.  Something about a calendar deadline seems to make people more serious and more efficient.  As an added benefit, no one buys a property where the furnace doesn't work, when the temperature outside is low enough!

So why don't more buyers buy at this point in the calendar?  It's a busy time, and they get distracted with other things.  There is less daylight, when it's easier to see properties.  There are more expenses for holidays and tuitions, so people feel poorer.  There can be weather delays as you get toward winter. 

None of those reasons should outrank the simple time and money advantages.  It might be scary to think about looking on Halloween, but won't you be grateful at Thanksgiving?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Silver Lining

Often it's hard to be one of the only places in the country where appreciation is lagging, and more people move out of, rather than into, our state.  However, there is one big advantage to having the rest of the country on a different time schedule for the real estate cycle:  A rising tide lifts all boats.

For several years following the downturn ten years ago, people moving for jobs had trouble buying in the new locations, because they couldn't sell their homes in the places they were leaving.  Often they ended up renting when they moved here, in part for that reason, and in part to make sure that their jobs here worked out.  In a way, the whole national market got stuck, since people were renting out their old homes, and therefore renting their new ones by necessity.  In fact, our relocation department found that the old numbers just switched; instead of 80% of transferees buying, and 20% renting, we went to 80% renting and 20% buying.  That was obviously not good for absorption in our market area of Greater New Haven.

Now, however, transferees coming in are mostly coming from places with markets that are fully recovered--in some cases, declines from the post-recession peak have already occurred.  Those     people are coming with equity to put into homes here, and a positive attitude acquired from their latest real estate transaction.  While it doesn't mean that they will overpay here, and that values are still well below their peaks in many towns and neighborhoods, it does mean that there are new buyers out there.  And that's good news for all of us!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Current Absorption Rates

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. If you look at the number for Madison you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 6.6 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market. A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”