Economizing the Home Market: Springtime Strategies for Buyers and Sellers

Real estate prices© alexsl from Getty Images Signature / Canva

The home market is gearing up for a dynamic spring season. According to the latest market report from Zillow®, buyers and sellers should brace for a competitive landscape, with well-priced properties being rapidly claimed. Conversely, homes with inflated price tags are losing their appeal, lingering on the market and triggering reductions in asking prices.

Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s Chief Economist, notes, “There are slightly more homes for sale than this time last year, and there’s still plenty of competition for well-priced houses.” He urges buyers to polish their credit scores and sellers to prepare their properties. As market demand for attractive listings surges, properties frequently become pending within a month of release, thus reducing time on the market.

Current Market Trends: A Buyer’s Perspective

Around 20% of homes listed on Zillow experienced price cuts in January, mirroring last year’s statistics but exceeding figures from the five preceding years. These adjustments reflect an alignment of seller expectations with prevailing market conditions. The average home stays on the market for 29 days before becoming pending. Meanwhile, other properties wait for months – a phenomenon that is propelling the median age of listings on Zillow to 72 days.

Shoppers may find negotiating a deal easier on a house that has been waiting for the right buyer. However, cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Seattle, where the median time on the market has significantly dropped since last year, could prove challenging for potential price negotiations.

It appears that price cuts are increasingly scarce in expensive Western metros such as Seattle, Las Vegas, Austin, and San Jose. Comparatively, price cuts are typical in Florida, Texas, and Phoenix markets, where total inventory either exceeds pre-pandemic levels or inventory declines are relatively minimal.

An encouraging sign is that the total inventory and the influx of new listings have both increased since last year. Sadly, January’s 43% inventory jump over December was only a modest increase.

Optimizing the Market: A Seller’s Perspective

Sellers are capitalizing on their homes’ equity, with the typical U.S. home value now reaching $344,159—nearly $100,000 more than the previous year. Just over a quarter of homes sold for more than their asking price in December, the most recent data available. Meanwhile, cities such as San Diego, Miami, and Riverside are gaining more attention than last year, with an increase of up to 28% in new listings.

Market Projections

This suggests a heated home shopping season in the offing. Despite affordability hurdles, the demand for housing is projected to soar due to demographic trends and a relatively robust economy. Buyers are encouraged to secure their credit standing, understand their budget, and adopt strategic search methods. Additionally, sellers should work with market-savvy agents and enhance their homes’ online appeal.

In conclusion, the Zillow® Real Estate Market Report spotlights the importance of understanding local market conditions and formulating strategic responses. As we enter a new season, the real estate industry prepares for a fierce but rewarding cycle of demand and supply, where the well-prepared will most likely emerge victorious.

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