Can you believe that we have made it to the end of April and a full one-third of 2016 is already behind us? Time flies when you’re buying and selling real estate!
After rounding the quarter pole for the year last month, we are now ready to head into the busy spring and summer selling season. As we prepare for that barrage of spring listings, let’s take a look back at some of the expectations we had heading into 2016, evaluate how they have played out thus far, and see if we can predict what might happen over the rest of the year.
Revisiting Our Expectations
When looking to forecast what might happen in the real estate market this summer, the first step is to take a quick look at what happened last year. 2015 was a fantastic year for real estate, with numbers up across the board.
Taking a look at a chart of existing home sales, inventory, and price for 2015 that was recently published by Realtor Magazine, we can see that all three numbers peaked during the summer months. Drops in sales and inventory didn’t start until October and November, and even then price remained strong. And even those late season drops rebounded nicely in the final month of the year.
According to an article published by Inman.com back in February, we should be able to expect more of the same here in 2016. With prices rising, mortgages becoming easier to get, and new home starts improving, they predicted that there is going to be a lot to like about the real estate market in 2016
First Quarter Results
Through the first few months of the season, the real estate market appears to be perfectly positioned to top last year’s numbers. An article published by CNBC reported that existing home sales were up more than 5% in the month of March over the previous month, and also up 1.5% compared to the sales of the previous March.
The article also reported that inventory numbers and median sales price numbers are both on the rise. With sales, inventory, and prices all trending in the right direction, the first quarter of 2016 laid a solid foundation for the upcoming spring and summer selling seasons.
Peak Real Estate Season Forecast
Judging by the way that real estate sales played out in 2015, and looking at the numbers so far this year, there is a better than average chance that this spring and summer will be one of the best buying and selling seasons we have seen in recent history.
Whether you are buying a home for the first time, looking to upgrade, or are finally ready to downsize, the combination of low interest rates, relaxing mortgage requirements, increases in new home starts, and a market full of buyers and sellers should make for a very liquid market where most houses sell quickly for a fair price.
Watching the Downside
Of course, not everyone believes that this summer will be such a phenomenal time for real estate. Diana Olick wrote an article for CNBC that suggests that last year was the best opportunity to buy a home, and anyone still looking may have missed out on that opportunity and will have to deal with higher prices today.
But those higher prices today could also be a good thing for anyone looking to sell this spring, and relaxing mortgage requirements are making it easier to get a deal done this year. So while there is always going to be some potential downside in the real estate market, there is plenty to look forward to this year.
Based on a wide variety of sources, the consensus belief is that the spring and summer months of 2016 are going to be an absolutely fantastic time to be buying or selling real estate across the entire country.