It’s time for my annual look at what to expect for the coming year. Whether you are buying or selling, here is how I see the first quarter of the year unfolding:
In January, I would expect a lot of sellers to contact us about putting their homes on the market for the New Year. I have already spoken to about 10 clients who want their homes to hit the market around January 15th. Why mid-January as opposed to January 1st? Traditionally, buyers, sellers, and yes-real estate agents need about a two-week recovery period after the Holidays. I call it ‘the Holiday hangover’. People want to put away the decorations and get the kids back in school, but most of all get back to a normal schedule. Buyers should target to get out and look around mid-January because there will be a temporary bump in inventory. That increased selection in homes will be short lived. Since there are so few homes on the market, anything new that comes in, if priced well and shows well, will be gobbled up quickly.
In most years, February is our lowest inventory month. We have been staying at about 9000 single-family homes and condos on the market all year long. That number never really went past 10,000 for all of 2012. Of the 9000, about 7500 are single-family homes and 1500 are condos. I think it’s possible that we’ll see single-family homes be AS LOW AS 5000 by late February. That means different things for both buyers and sellers. It tells me as a seller that February will be a good month to list your home with so few competitors. As a buyer, if you need to buy in February, it may be hard to find a good, well-priced home and if you do, there will be lots of competition.
By March, the official selling season will just be one month away and the real rush to get homes on the market for spring will begin. In January, I will write a column about what sellers should be focusing on to get their homes ready to sell in April.
Finally, a word of thanks to all our friends, colleagues and clients: 2012 was our best year in the last four years. It cannot be said enough how much we thank you for your trust, support, confidence and business. You are the very lifeblood of our business and we thank you so much for making 2012 so great. We look forward to serving you again in 2013.
Happy New Year!