High mortgage interest rates and economic uncertainty are definitely having an impact on home buyer demand. There just aren’t as many potential buyers out in the market right now as there were in early 2022, which means showing activity is down. Way down. We’re seeing about half as many showings on our listings now as we were before the market shifted last year.
Though the overall number of showings is down, buyer demand is still outpacing supply, and the buyers who are in the market seem serious. With limited inventory to choose from, these buyers are finding themselves in multiple offer situations again, particularly for desirable houses in desirable locations. We’re not seeing as many offers as we were used to before the market shift, but 3-5 offers on a good listing is not uncommon right now.
Buyers are resorting to the same tricks that they relied on to win the day before the market shift. We’re starting to see pre-inspections again as well as buyers waiving contingencies (inspection, financing, etc.) and offering to make up a short fall on low appraisal if necessary. We’re not seeing sale prices way over list price like we were before the market shift, but sale prices 5-10% over list price are pretty common. It’s important to note that not all listings will generate this kind of market response, but well-priced, well-presented and well-located listings are likely to sell at a premium.
How long will this burst of competitive buyer activity continue? The market has been so unpredictable and inconsistent lately that it’s hard to predict with confidence. My guess is that the market will remain hot through May and into June but that it will likely temper a bit once we get past the 4th of July holiday. Predictions are just that though. We’ll have to wait and see.