Jefferson County Market Insights

for the month of April 2018

In the Real Estate Industry as in life itself we’ve discovered that the only constant we can truly count on is that things are constantly changing!

 

Significant alterations have occurred in the role agents fill for consumers and those changes are ongoing. The need of the real estate consumer dictates the direction we are moving. However, the destination remains singularly the same; assisting people in completing transactions that involve choosing the geographic area and intimate space in which they will conduct their lives.

 

Resale of existing homes has presented unique challenges as the needs of homeowners have taken on new shape and form. Desire for open living space that flows has led to everything from extreme home makeovers in older homes purchased, to razing the entire structure and starting over on the existing land. In fact, whole neighborhoods have undergone startling metamorphoses as the needs and wants of new buyers put their own stamp on the living spaces they require.

 

Gadgets, apps, online tools and technology, all of the things that make buying and selling a home more plausible and less stressful will continue to launch and evolve, especially in 2018. There are even predictions that while consumers may not use bitcoins to buy a home tomorrow, that could be just around the corner.

 

With the overcoming of these challenges will also come ecstatic home buyers and sellers, producing fresh community environments and evolving innovations in real estate, some of which we haven’t envisioned in full just yet.

 

“Immediate concerns to home buyers remain; competition to secure their dream home and affordability of that home. We would all like to find a bargain and we’d surely like to avoid having to fight off others to make it ours. Chronic low inventory has made that a greater challenge while sparking bidding wars and driving home prices upwards.

 

This in turn is affecting first time home buyers, whose numbers decidedly impact the overall health of a real estate market. Freddie Mac's most recent monthly outlook says 15% of young adults between the ages of 25 and 35 are living in their parents' home – a 5% increase from 2000. However, it isn't because they're not interested in homeownership. Largely, the economy and a lack of affordable starter homes have been to blame for a lower-than-normal number of first-time home buyers. But with an improved economy and job market, Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist, says more first time buyers will be seeking homes. “Starting off the year, things are looking pretty good for the U.S. economy and housing markets,” Kiefer says. “Mortgage rates are low, economic growth has accelerated in recent quarters, and housing is coming off its best year in a decade.”

 

As the spring real estate season approaches, we find higher demand in conflict with limited inventory of those more affordable starter homes. Despite this, the market in Jefferson County is beginning to bloom, the budding starting with the 547 homes that were sold and closed in March. Median sold prices of $417,500 are a year over year increase which may hopefully inspire new sellers to enter the marketplace and swell inventories.

 

One other important takeaway is that an increasing number of current homeowners have indicated a desire to move in the near future, which will mean a potential boost in the number of homes available for sale in the coming months. That's good news for all prospective home buyers, as an increase in for-sale inventory will also help improve affordability conditions.



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