We're experiencing a late, late spring market surge, even though it's July. Our New Haven office has posted record sales for the past six weeks, and all offices seem flat out, despite the signs that summer has finally come. The New Haven numbers are still largely driven by Yale, and we hope that continues. All offices say that the strongest activity is in the FHA mortgage range (under $387,500 for a mortgage), and in first-time homebuyers. Lower price ranges, except again near Yale, move much faster.
Our hope for first-time buyer interest is that the national unemployment rate starts to go down. As the parent of twenty-somethings, I hear many stories of lost jobs, postponed starts, and pay cuts. While it may be slightly older people who go into the real estate market, the "last in, first out" theory of human resource layoffs has many newer workers nervous. When they, and their parents, start feeling more secure about their future job prospects, more of them will jump in at these low interest rates.
If we're brave enough to wish for anything else, we're keeping our fingers crossed that sellers understand the fragility of the current market, and respond reasonably and positively to negotiations and problems that occur along the way to the closing. It may be the general national stress level, but I hear a lot of stories about sellers who just won't compromise, even when it's in their interest to do so. Good thing our agents are so talented!