In most areas of the country, the end of the year is a time when both buyers and sellers tend to postpone their real estate plans and focus on preparation for the new year, family plans and holiday festivities. This may not be a good strategy for buyers looking for selection and bargains. Yet, successful agents have noticed that there are still many buyers considering purchasing during the holiday season.
This may be due in part to mild weather that has showing conditions ideal. But it could also signal the beginning of a real estate recovery. When compared to last year, almost every indicator has seen improving conditions. From unemployment numbers and record low interest rates, to inventory levels, pricing and demand, every indicator has show improvement. The psychology behind the improving conditions makes sense. For over four years now, the Great Recession has forced most Americans to postpone their plans and even sideline their hopes and dreams.
For those that have the ability to move forward, enough eventually becomes enough. Keep in mind, 92% of Americans are still employed. Couple this fact with great bargains and some of the lowest interest rates in history, and we may not see better buying opportunities in our lifetime. Furthermore, the uncertainty of the election has been removed and the concern over the fiscal cliff will most likely be over in 24 days or less. Catch sellers while they’re still nervous!
Will this be the same situation once season arrives? If all of the indicators improve significantly during season, the best buying opportunities will quickly disappear. As Warren Buffet has indicated, the best investment opportunities are inversely proportional to what the majority of people are thinking. Think about it, once the first wave of buying occurs, sellers are less likely to negotiate price and terms, and other buyers are likely to feel more secure in moving forward with their plans to buy.
Every buyer must ask themselves, with key indicators improving on a monthly basis, does the risk of buying now, outweigh the risk of waiting and buying later? The answer is becoming more obvious every month. Buy now before there is lots of competition from new buyers entering the market!