As mortgage rates rose last year, activity in the housing market slowed down. And as a result, homes started seeing fewer offers and stayed on the market longer. That meant some homeowners decided to press pause on selling.
Now, however, rates are beginning to come down—and buyers are starting to reenter the market. In fact, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows mortgage applications increased last week by 7% compared to the week before.
So, if you’ve been planning to sell your house but you’re unsure if there will be anyone to buy it, this shift in the market could be your chance. Here’s what experts are saying about buyers returning to the market as we approach spring.
Mike Fratantoni, SVP and Chief Economist, MBA:
“Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since September 2022, and about a percentage point below the peak mortgage rate last fall. As we enter the beginning of the spring buying season, lower mortgage rates and more homes on the market will help affordability for first-time homebuyers.”
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“The upcoming months should see a return of buyers, as mortgage rates appear to have already peaked and have been coming down since mid-November.”
Thomas LaSalvia, Senior Economist, Moody’s Analytics:
"We expect the labor market to remain robust, wages to continue to rise—maybe not at the pace that they did during the pandemic, but that will open up some opportunity for folks to enter homeownership as interest rates stabilize a bit."
Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac:
“Homebuyers are waiting for rates to decrease more significantly, and when they do, a strong job market and a large demographic tailwind of Millennial renters will provide support to the purchase market.”
Let Us Share Why It Makes Sense To Move Before Spring
Spring is usually the busiest season in the housing market. Many buyers wait until then to make their move, believing it’s the best time to find a home. However, that isn’t always the case when you factor in the competition you could face with other buyers at that time of year. If you’re ready to buy a home, here’s why it makes sense to move before the spring market picks up.
Spring Should Bring a Wave of Buyers to the Market
In most years, the housing market goes through predictable seasonal trends in activity. Winter is typically a quiet point in the year, while spring sees a surge of buyers begin their search. And experts project that this year will be no exception.
Right now, buyer demand is low due to a combination of normal seasonal trends and a reaction to last year’s rise in mortgage rates. But rates have started to come down since last November, which has more and more potential buyers planning to jump into the market. That means right now is a sweet spot if you’re in a good position to buy, before more buyers reappear. Affordability is beginning to improve, but demand is still low — for now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), shares:
“. . . expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”
If you’re ready to buy a home, right now is the best time to do so before your competition grows and more buyers enter the market.
Today’s Sellers Are Motivated
Low demand from buyers often means sellers are more motivated to work with you, and that can set you up to buy a home on your terms. In fact, sellers have been more willing to negotiate this winter because there are fewer buyers in the market. According to a recent article from Forbes:
“. . . sellers gave concessions to buyers in 41.9% of home sales in the fourth quarter of last year.”
But keep in mind, the advantages buyers have this winter won’t last forever. The competition you face could be greater if you wait until spring to make a move, and increased buyer demand means sellers will have less motivation to negotiate with you. Be sure to work with a trusted real estate professional to learn what you can expect in your local market right now.
If you’re in a good position to make a move, it may make sense to move before spring. Call us today to determine the best plan to achieve your homebuying goals. Let’s connect so you can learn about buyer demand in our area the best time to put your house on the market.