It’s been an interesting spring market. I won’t get into why it has since the reason is all over the news and on all of our minds.
The market goes on though.
Both buyer and seller activity has greatly decreased. However, there are still more buyers than sellers so the supply-demand thing means any decent house that is priced in the realm of reality is going to sell very quickly. There has been some speculation that there will be more listings on later this year as sellers put their houses on the market after waiting this out. Yes, that will happen, but there will be just as many buyers out too so it won’t get any easier to get a house. Bottom line is if you are ready to sell, then do it. If you are ready to buy, get out there. Waiting is not going to change much.
One good thing I am seeing lately is more and more houses under $200k. Last year there just weren’t too many houses hitting the market under that price. I scroll through the new listings every morning. They are sorted from lowest price to highest price. Seemed like last year after the first few houses it quickly got over $200k. This year it seems I am seeing many more under that affordable threshold. I think this probably has to do with the low interest rates. A lot of those buyers with $150-200k houses are stepping up to the $250-350k range. If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you have heard me say that first time buyers are what greases the gears on the real estate market. They are usually the only people who don’t need to sell a house before buying one. There have been plenty of them out there the past couple of years, but there haven’t been enough houses for them. That is why a house that was $140k a few years back is now a $180k house. If you are going to be looking in the sub $200k range, NOW is the time to get out there. Don’t worry about the sky falling. Just do it. I’ve had several people who were always worried about buying at what is perceived as the top of the market. All of the houses they thought were too much back then are all worth much more now.
Ok, we all know there is a shortage of inventory and houses are selling fast….but there is more going on in this town than just that.
Here is what I am seeing in 2016:
- Waiting. Lots of waiting in line to see a new listing it’s first day on the market. Everybody is so focused on new listings. Granted, you do want to see them before they sell, but I think there has been more of a shift in how the public gets listings. Everybody has saved searches and gets alerts when there is a new listing. If it doesn’t interest them at that very moment, they rarely will consider seeing it later. They just wait for the next new listing. That is bad news for sellers who don’t sell their houses immediately, and proof that starting out with the best presentation and the right list price is critical.
- Not ALL houses are selling as fast as you would think. Only the good ones are selling immediately. In Fayette County, there are 555 houses for sale priced between $100k and $500k. Of those, 152 have been on the market for more than 90 days. That is almost 1/3 of the available houses. Savvy buyers go back and look at those 152 to see if they can get it for cheaper and avoid the multiple offer frenzy.
- New construction on the edge of town isn’t doing so well. I think Lexington is finally big enough that people see a big difference between being closer in town and on the edge of town. I am seeing more and more people wanting to be closer in to town….heck, I feel that urge too since I live just past Hamburg and am always stuck in traffic. One of the most successful new construction neighborhoods has been Summerfield. I think it is about location more than anything. You are 10 minutes from downtown and 5 minutes to Hamburg. The best of both worlds really.
- Smaller ranch houses in nice neighborhoods are getting amazing money. I’m seeing 1200-1400 square foot houses getting close to $170k in neighborhoods like Cooper Trace, Ashbrooke, Wyndham Hills, Wyndham Downs and Harrods Point.
- Lots of people retiring in Lexington…..even Clint Eastwood is moving here, if you believe everything you see on Facebook 😉 An area super popular with retirees is Brookhaven and Lansdowne. There are lots of nice ranches on good lots in this area. You are close to downtown, can hop on New Circle at Tates Creek and go anywhere, cut across roads like Regency, Larkin, Zandale or Reynolds to get to anything on Nicholasville Road. Plus you have cool places like The Lansdowne Club, Lansdowne Shoppes and are 1o minutes to Chevy Chase.
It sure will be interesting to see what comes for the rest of this year. I am hearing from other realtors that they are having a hard time getting on a photographer’s schedule. That either means we have a lot of new listings about to hit the market or realtors are just really impatient to get a house on the market!