I fancy myself as someone who operates on a (mostly) even keel. I like to stick to the facts and always value hard data over anecdotes. I take a longer view beyond today’s alarmist headlines and try to get a sense of the broader trends rather than the spikes and dips of this-or-that important statistic.
That’s because when it comes to real estate, there really are no short-term trends. That is due largely to the fact that the decision to buy or sell a property is typically one that takes months or even years to execute. People get set on a path to do one or the other (or both), and the day-to-day (or week-to-week, month-to-month) vicissitudes of the market don’t usually change anyone’s long-term plans.
However, along the way towards realizing the plan to make the leap from one home to another, there can be bumps in the road. Often times folks get thrown off course – usually only temporarily, but sometimes for years.
And it seems at times as though the whole real estate market can get thrown off its trend too. Such as when we experienced those historic leaps in mortgage interest rates beginning about 18 months ago. The market definitely took a prolonged breather then, and to some extent, it’s been holding its breath ever since.
But as mortgage rates continue to climb – now solidly hovering around the 8% mark – there is a rising chorus of voices who are saying that with rates these high, and prices where they’re at, homes are simply unaffordable to too many buyers right now (and they weren’t all that affordable to begin with).
There is such a thing as market sentiment, and surveys show that only 16% of people think now is a good time to buy a house.
And now the hoary Wall Street Journal is reporting that there’s never been a worse time to buy instead of renting.
And to top it all off, the always-upbeat Patrick Carlisle, the Chief Market Analyst for Compass, recently wrote: “It’s hard to put a positive spin on recent economic and political realities.” Ouch.
From where I’m sitting – pretty much in the thick of it – my own anecdotal evidence says that the market has appreciably cooled off these past few weeks. It does feel like we’ve hit one of those bumps in the road, and that buyers are moving more cautiously than at any point so far this year.
Of course, I’ll want to see the actual numbers for October when they’re ready in a few weeks to really get a read on what’s going on. Hindsight is always 20/20. 😀
One thing I’m sure of though: it’s impossible to time the real estate market. You can try, and you may get lucky, but luck is pretty much what it comes down to.
But what is luck? To a large degree, I’m firmly in the camp that believes we make our own luck. Luck is the meeting of preparation and opportunity.
Even in this market, bumpy and gloomy as it appears to be today, you can still make a great deal when you go to buy or sell a home. You can still sell a home wildly over asking price, and perhaps even in excess of what you think anyone would pay for it, even with market sentiment where it is…if you use the right strategy and negotiate from a position of strength.
If you’re wanting to get your home sold, quickly and easily and for the very highest price the market will bear…please contact me at your earliest convenience.