2015 Starts with Slow Sales and a Lack of Affordable Quality Listings
Despite just about everyone hoping for a strong start to the new year, the nationwide real estate market didn't seem to want to cooperate in January. Although still above last year's total, the number of existing-home sales in January dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million – the lowest figure in nine months.
But many of the economic and housing experts at the National Association of Realtors look at January's results as more of a potential opportunity than simply bad news for the market.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “January housing data can be volatile because of seasonal influences, but low housing supply and the ongoing rise in home prices above the pace of inflation appeared to slow sales despite interest rates remaining near historic lows.”
While extreme winter storms may have slowed sales in some areas of the country, buyers all across the nation are running into the problem of being unable to find well-priced quality properties. Interest rates are low and there's plenty of credit out there, but there just aren't enough homeowners ready to sell.
Luckily, thanks to strong year-over-year growth in home values and a continuously improving economy, we're likely to see conditions improve as more of 2015's results come in.
Sellers Needed in the San Diego Real Estate Market
The effects of the nationwide shortage of listings stretch from the northeast all of the way down to Southern California. So far this month, the average number of active listings in San Diego has fallen to 5,926 – a big decline from its peak of 8,366 in November, but still 20% higher than in March 2014. Just like in other areas of the country, this shortage of good well-priced homes is creating an opportunity for homeowners motivated to sell.
Despite the number of San Diego homes for sale having been on the decline for months, the number of properties sold or under contract has risen since
January. In other words, buyers are now purchasing homes faster than new ones can be listed for sale.
Locally, home values have held steady so far this year, with the median sales price in February remaining unchanged at $500,000. After increasing slightly from February, interest rates in March have managed to stay below the 4% mark, averaging just 3.93% so far. These low-cost loans aren't expected to stick around much longer, another reason that many buyers are eager to buy right now.
For homeowners that have been thinking about selling, there are definitely buyers out there with money to spend. And for prospective buyers who've thought about purchasing, now is the time to avoid rising interest rates and growing home values.
San Diego Real Estate Market Statistics for March 2015