While spring is typically considered a prime time for the housing market, things are shaping up a bit differently this year. To start, inventory remains persistently low, with only 2.6 months of unsold inventory at current projections, according to the National Association of Realtors. While this is higher than during the hot markets of 2021/2022, it’s over 10% below January’s levels and notably low on a historic basis. This means you may see continued competition, especially for homes in move-in condition. There simply aren’t enough homes to meet demand in many markets, despite the current rate environment.
Speaking of mortgage rates, they have gradually trended downward over the past several weeks (with Freddie Mac’s benchmark dropping .4% over the one week period ending in 4/6) but some volatility remains. Buyers should continue to navigate this rate environment with caution, being careful not to wait around for a better rate if they expect to move forward imminently on a home, and leveraging float-downs and other options when possible.
It’s important to note that these forces are not being felt consistently across markets. Inventory levels and price flexibility can vary greatly down to the city and neighborhood level. Understanding where you’re shopping (and potentially expanding your search) could help you achieve success. While it’s not easy for buyers right now, it’s important to stay flexible, consider your options and lean on trusted partners (your realtor and a mortgage expert) for guidance.
-Robert Heck, VP of Mortgage
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