Five Key Things To Know About The 2015 Spring Home Buying Season:

1. The months of April, May, and June typically account for 40% of all home sales for the year.

Let's review-

* Home prices are going up

* Wages aren’t keeping pace

* The housing supply is tight, driving prices up even faster!

* Lately as many as 40% of homes have sold at or above listing price!!

Some in the real estate industry say that the market has finally normalized after the recession. However, if you are a First-Time Home Buyer or a lower end buyer, this is hardly the case!  Which brings us to #2 on our list:

2. A large Inventory Shortage.

If you work in any facet of the real estate industry this isn't "new news", but what might surprise you is the fact that at the end of April, combining both existing homes for sale AND New Construction home starts, we were still severely below historic inventory levels. We're talking  4.8 months of inventory...and 6 months is considered the low or balanced margin for a stable market. However, NAR is still predicting that 2015 will be the best year of existing home sales and new home construction starts, since 2007, with a projected 5.24 million, or about 6.1% above 2014.  The problem still is getting inventory on the market. This is where the "equity rich" homeowners ( 20% or higher) will come into play. The thought or expectation is that they will use the equity to move-up into a larger home, therefore putting existing homes onto the market, as well as projected $1.14 million in new construction home starts. Combined they should give the added boost to curb inventory concerns.

3. Prices are on the Rise!

Inventory constraints and high Buyer Demand have caused prices to start their climb. Historically, prices have risen about 1% per year. Per the latest data given by NAR, single family homes have increased on average 4.1% year over year (accounting for inflation). It's better than the double digit price increases in 2013, but still faster than inflation. Still, in many markets, homes are selling at or above list price. It is also creating many bidding war situations for Home Owners, giving the Sellers a true, Seller's Market. It's important for anyone considering selling their home that A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors indicated that in April, about 40% of homes, on a national basis, sold at or above asking price. Similarly, RealtyTrac recently found that in April 41% of homes sold at or above their estimated market value. Bottom line: Price gains are NOT going to go away, in fact, they are predicted to rise to 6.7% for the year. If you're a Home Seller....SELL NOW!  If you're looking at Buying a Home...Don't wait, prices are only going to go higher. Buy while they are still on the low side and while MORTGAGE RATES are still at near historic lows.

4. Financing eases, but mortgage rates may rise. 

Six months to a year ago it was still very difficult to get financing, but now credit availability is at its highest level since housing took it's downturn- according to the latest information from the Mortgage Bankers Mortgage Credit Availability report. Banks and mortgage companies are not only easing requirements, they are also offering more types of loans to augment sources of financing.  However, Freddie Mac is predicting increases in the interest rates that have remained at historic lows for months! This past work alone, rates rose to the highest yet in 2015 to 3.87% for a conventional 30 year fixed rate loan, and they're only going to go higher.

5. Lower-priced homes are moving fast!

If you are a First Time Home Buyer or a Buyer looking at the lower end home pricing, this market is going to be particularly hard. Homes in the lower price points are going faster than the higher price points.....50% more! Best advice we can give someone shopping in the lower price points is this:

1- Be ready to give a competitive offer for a house you really want to buy. This isn't a time to try negotiating. Know what you want, and be ready to get it.

2- Make sure you have all your paperwork, documents, preapproval in place so that you can move fast to a closing without anything standing in the way. Sellers will look much more favorably on your offer if you don't have any contingencies attached to it and are ready to close quickly.


*SELLERS, just because there are slim pickings in the market right now doesn't mean you are in the driver's seat entirely.  The current buyers are a picky bunch, especially in the post recession time we find ourselves.  So, if you want to capitalize on the current market, you can't forget the little things, you need to thoroughly prepare your home for this market  You need to make your home something worth fighting for; the tips below are simple ways you can make your home stand out from the rest.