Strategy for Purchasing a Home in Today’s Market Depends on the Buyer’s Position

Strategy for Purchasing a Home in Today’s Market Depends on the Buyer’s Position

There are always varying positions from which home-buyers come, but the distinction is exaggerated in today’s sellers’ market. First time home buyers have a greater motivation to purchase sooner as prices only increase with time passing; whereas empty-nesters are deciding it would be prudent to wait to downsize. I have had several conversations over the last year with homeowners here in Norwalk who have become empty-nesters and were ready to buy something smaller. When their research showed they were going to have to actually pay to downsize, it made more sense to stay in their home, do some remodeling and upgrading while waiting for a market more in their favor. Today's blog explains the reasons for this phenomenon. 

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Maintain Fast Growth

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Quarterly Metro Home Price Report last week. The report revealed that severely lacking inventory across the country drained sales growth and kept home prices rising at a steady clip in nearly all metro areas. Home prices rose 5.3% over the last quarter across all metros.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, discussed the impact of low inventory on buyers in the report:

“Unfortunately, the pace of new listings were unable to replace what was quickly sold. Home shoppers had little to choose from, and many had to outbid others in order to close on a home. The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth and weakening affordability conditions.”

What this means to sellers

Rising prices are a homeowner’s best friend. As reported by the Washington Post in a recent article post:

“The rise in median sales prices has made current homeowners much more willing to sell their home, and that willingness is one of the main drivers behind the inventory that does make it on to the market. While it hasn’t been enough to meet demand, it has made the situation much better, compared with even three or four years ago.”

What this means to buyers

In a market where prices are rising, buyers should take into account the cost of waiting. Obviously, they will pay more for the same house later this year or next year. However, as Construction Dive reported, the amount of cash needed to purchase that home will also increase.

“These factors have created a situation where the market keeps moving the goalposts in terms of the down payment necessary for first-time homebuyers to get into a home.”

Bottom Line 

If you’re thinking of selling and moving down, waiting might make sense. If you are a first-time buyer or a seller thinking of moving up, waiting probably doesn’t make sense.



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Jon Niemeyer is the Broker/Owner of EXIT Realty North Star, 1039 Sunset Dr Norwalk, IA 50211. We provide full service real estate services to the Des Moines, Iowa metro area. Learn more about Jon at JonNiemeyer.com.

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