Even as more homes come on the market for this popular sales season, they're flying off fast. Home prices have now surpassed their last peak, and at the entry level, where demand is highest, sellers are in the driver's seat."
Spring home buyers are pounding the pavement at a furious pace, but the pickings are getting ever slimmer.
Even as more homes come on the market for this traditionally popular sales season, they're flying off fast, with bidding wars par for the course. Home prices have now surpassed their last peak, and at the entry level, where demand is highest, sellers are firmly in the driver's seat.
"I've been selling real estate for 14 years and this is the strongest seller's market I have ever seen in my entire real estate career. A lot of our sellers are optimistically pricing their homes in today's market, and I have to say in most cases we're getting the home sold anyway.
Some of the listings are intentionally listed a little low to get a lot of attention, and it's not uncommon to get 3 to 8 offers on one property. "In three properties recently, we did our best, we went considerably over the listing price, and we were told that there were still five people above us and they were only going to deal with them."
More homes came on the market in March, but fierce demand made quick work of them. At the end of the month, the supply of homes for sale nationally was down 6.6 percent compared with a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Unsold inventory is a slim 3.8-month supply. A balanced market between buyers and sellers has a five-to-six-month supply.
Properties sold in March were on the market for an average 28 days, down from 39 in February and 42 in March 2016.
In order to compete, buyers are coming in with cash and dropping contingencies. That is because in such a hot market, homes are appraising well below the sale price. That makes it even harder for first-time, mortgage-dependent buyers to succeed.