While analysts debate when the housing market will hit bottom, for a surprising number of cities the turnaround has already begun. In December, prices rose in 109 of the 384 metro areas tracked by data firm CoreLogic.
Making sense of the story
- There are certain signs to help determine if a particular neighborhood is on the verge of a rebound. For instance is local employment on the upswing? That’s a critical factor for a region to get itself on the path to recovery. Improving jobs picture has led to shrinking housing stock across the country, as investors and bargain hunters have started buying up foreclosures that have been preventing a recovery.
- For years, buyers were scared of overpaying for a home, but less so now. Many buyers have grown accustomed to thinking they’ll score deals, so they tend to act slowly, and typically start bidding around 10 percent to 15 percent below list price. However, a growing number of buyers are beginning to realize that if they wait too long in this market, they may miss out.
- Sellers can hold firm on price if they’re patient. The days of having to deal with low-ball offers are coming to an end. The higher the price, the more patient the seller must be. Cheaper homes are affordable to more buyers and appealing to investors, so recoveries usually start there.
- Sellers should keep in mind that while they don’t have to placate low-ball offers anymore, they also can’t shoot for the moon either. Working with a REALTOR® and setting a realistic price from the get-go is key.
- Sellers should know what they’re competing against. Homeowners should let their home’s value dictate the price. While this may seem self-evident, some owners may have lost sight of it during the bust. On the one hand, some sellers clung to the false hope of a return to boom prices, so they set prices unrealistically high. Others may have gone too far the other way, and set their price too low.