If so, you’re not alone!
The recent Housing Trends Report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) confirmed what my team and I have known for months.
The simple fact is this: the search time for most buyers is continuing to grow.
Nationally, the time spent searching for a home is up a whopping 58% from a year ago. That’s a national figure by the way. And that same report shows that 62% of buyers spend three months or more actively searching for a home.
And locally, we’re often seeing it take longer than that!
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Our buyer team is reporting three main reasons for delays in purchasing:
Lack of inventory. Mortgage rates continuing to be at historic lows, creating an unbelievable opportunity for buyers. However, sellers aren’t putting their homes on the market at a pace to match buyer demand. This has been a problem for several years in the Puget Sound area, and the situation has only been made worse by COVID in 2020. Sellers are legitimately concerned about having buyers tour their home if they are still residing there.
Losing “bidding wars.” With inventory at a low and buyers competing for available properties, multiple offers are common. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the average house receives 3.4 offers. Obviously, this means there are 2+ buyers that don’t win the bidding war, and they have to start the home search all over again. Locally, 3.4 could be quite a low estimate. We’re seeing as many as ten or more offers from buyers on desirable properties.
Uncertainty about the economy. I bet you’re tired of hearing about the impact of COVID. We get it – we’re tired of it too. But the fact is that this disease is impacting businesses of all shapes and sizes, and in some areas has eroded consumer confidence. That’s not as much the case in the greater Seattle area, where economic growth is predicted to be strong. But it does play a factor in some buyers’ willingness to pull the trigger even when they find the right house at the right price with the right interest rate.
IS IT TIME TO TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR HOME SEARCH?
Now, more than ever, is the time to hang in there. Many buyers will step out of the market for the reasons mentioned above – and because activity historically slows as we near year-end. As that happens, a smaller buyer pool means increased opportunities for those who stay the course!
Most experts predict the prices of homes will continue to rise in 2021. Couple that with anticipated increases in interest rates, and you can see the wisdom of continuing your search now rather than waiting.
LET US HELP
Buying a home now can be challenging.
That’s why it’s so important to work with a skilled team of buyer representatives. If you haven’t yet begun your search, we’re here to help with a roadmap for success.
Started, but frustrated by searching on your own? Let us help you strategize smartly, so you can close on that purchase as soon as possible.
We’re excited about the opportunity to help you! Reach out to us today with questions and let’s get started!