By November 3rd, stock markets had logged their best week of the year, and interest rates had seen their steepest drop in over a year.
Good Tidings from the Trenches
Well, they’ve done it again: the clocks have been set back. That is always my least favorite days of the year. It just makes the days seem dim, dark, and cold.
But can the same be said for the real estate market? Agents near and far continue to be amazed by the real estate market we’re going through. It’s bad, it’s good, it’s fast, it’s slow. Mostly, it’s just weird.
Take last month for example. October is typically one of the best months for real estate, but this year was remarkably somnambulant.
I’d wager that’s because the autumn selling season has been dominated by worldwide turmoil, collapsing stock markets, and interest rates reaching their highest point in 23 years. This has been discouraging buyers who need financing, and prospective sellers who stay out of the market with the belief that high rates are stifling demand as well as prices for their properties.
Then, on November 1st, the October jobs report was released (showing a meager 150,000 new jobs), the Fed paused raising its benchmark rate, and the Treasury Department issued revised guidance on upcoming bond sales.
In mid-November, the housing market traditionally begins its holiday slowdown, with listing and sales activity falling to yearly lows. But given the volatility of economic and political conditions, it’s too early to predict how these movements will play out in the following days, weeks, and months.
I will never forget how rip-roaring the market was in December of 2020 – and even December 2021 was pretty hot. The “seasonality” of the market has been out of whack since COVID and if you ask me, I doubt it will ever be as “reliable” an indicator of a “good time to sell” as in pre-COVID times.
Hopefully, rates will continue to settle back down and consumer confidence will strengthen throughout the coming months. This could result in major improvements to housing affordability and the induce reluctant homeowners to finally come on the market.
Even if the traditional “Holidays” slowdown occurs, sellers with appealing, well-prepared, and reasonably priced houses will likely still benefit from a rapid sale with many offers – it still happens, every day of the year.
There are still qualified purchasers looking to buy (with or without financing)…and a marked scarcity of homes for sale. For sellers, mid-winter typically offers less competition, and for buyers it offers a greater potential to aggressively negotiate prices on homes which have been on the market since spring and summer.
For those that stay in the game, this could be an ideal opportunity to finally make your move.