Traditionally, April is a dependable month when home sellers throughout the country expect a lively market. Though Greenwich’s First Quarter 2019 sales report did not support that expectation, with single family sales down over 16%, spring will arrive in Greenwich but just a little later. This is evidenced by the properties under contract, which doubled in number in Greenwich Q2 2019 vs. Q1 2018.
Although Greenwich has a bit of a delay, the rest of the country seems to be realizing an earlier spring market, prompting the headline in Realtor.com, “Good News for Home Sellers.” Key points of that article:
• In multiple regions, buyer demand has been “reignited” due to an increase in buyer affordability in markets where mortgage rates have lowered.
• The pace of home sales relative to inventory has quickened. This is the first time since March 2018.
• Supply data (the number of residences for sale in the Realtor.com database), while still somewhat constricted, rose 8% year-over-year.
In the 50 largest markets, the overall rate of absorption reaccelerated after 11 months of declines. That turnaround suggests that the busy spring home buying season “could be more active than anticipated”—indicating the likelihood that this year will turn into more of a seller’s market than most prognosticators had been expecting.
So what are buyers buying? New or old? A survey by Toluna Research of 1,015 respondents who plan to buy a home within the next 12 months was published last week. Here’s what a high proportion of this spring’s home shoppers indicated:
- Nearly 60% are considering a home that needs at least some renovating.
- Of those considering renovations, 95% believe their efforts will result in a positive return on investment.
The willingness to invest time and energy in post-purchase improvement projects is thought to have been encouraged by renovation television programs. The positive before-and-after episodes are more persuasive for experienced homeowners and younger buyers—while fewer than a third of respondents older than 55 years old are as enthusiastic. That said, our team is selling a home that appeals to downsizers with a master on the first floor and renovations are planned.