Does it seem the time of year to focus on houses already? With the polar vortex endurance, the recent frigid, snowy weather has tricked us into thinking that winter is first starting with neary an end in sight. However, look on your calendars. It is March and the time of year with Purim fast approaching in this year’s leap year of Adar B when the market typically starts its peak for both buyers and sellers.
In a previous article, I cautioned that all those wishing to contest their town market assessed value which translates to their property tax amount by multiplying the rate, have to do so before the April 1 date or around that time depending on the town’s deadline. Even that date is fast approaching!
For those who like to base their housing decision making on market trends, here goes:
The latest results for January 2019 indicate single family closed sales were down 1.7 percent to 702 whereas townhouse-condo closed sales were up 5.4 percent to 275. Adult communities closed sales are also up 87.5 percent to 15.
It is interesting to note that the single family median sales price remained flat at $400,000 whereas the townhouse-condo median sales price increased 12.1 percent to $328,000. The adult communities median sales price decreased 33.6 percent to $225,900.
Despite a strong U.S. economy with consistent low unemployment and steady wage growth, home sales began to slow across the nation late last year. The decline is puzzling but blame can be placed on a combination of reasons including high prices and an increase in interest rate hikes. The good news is that in response to the decline, the Federal Reserve did not increase rates during January 2019. That is refreshing news for all with the threat of rising rates looming over us which decreases our buying power.
Aggressive sellers face many new listings that come on the market after the turn of a calendar year which allows for more buying options. We are hopeful that if home appreciation is more in line with wage growth and rates remain steady in spite of all the threats, consumer affordability, interest and confidence in the market will continue to improve for a solid housing market in the spring.
Remember, home is where the heart is. You will know when the time is ripe to buy or sell to meet your housing dreams and goals!
By Ruby Kaplan