Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Conflicting News

When people ask us how the market is, it's very tempting just to say that it's great.  However, it's more complicated than that.  I usually respond with some variation of an answer that includes the problems of Connecticut, which cause our market to lag behind the rest of the country, the bifurcated distribution of listings into those that get multiple offers and those that don't even get shown, the lack of price appreciation in most parts of our region, and the beginnings of demand outstripping supply.  It's actually hard just to figure out whether we are in a buyer's market or a seller's market.

So, as with many things, it depends.  Yes, you could be in a state that has greater fiscal health, but we are not.  Given where we are, are conditions better than a few years ago?  Certainly.  Since very little has been built, and many properties have sold over the past few years, is supply lower?  Of course.  Does that increase the likelihood that there will be more demand for the choices currently on the market?  For sure.  Are mortgage rates helping?  Without a doubt. 

And on the other hand?  Connecticut is one of the few places where the recession has never entirely ended.  We haven't gained back all of the jobs we lost, we are losing population, and we have many properties that are still worth less than they were when they were purchased, particularly if they were purchased before the big decline in 2008 and the years following.  Does this mean that pricing is still an issue, since sellers feel that they "need" to get more than buyers are often willing to pay?  I think that question answers itself.  Realism is still in short supply in some areas, especially since the rise in prices has been spotty, with some towns and neighborhoods far outstripping others. 

My advice?  Consult a Realtor before making a judgment about your property, if you are a seller.  If you are a buyer, get qualified and get educated, and then buy while the prices still seem low to most of us.