As this year’s snowfall begins to melt and warmer weather creeps in, spring often signals a time for an uptick in home sales. But will spring be as hot for the housing market this year as it has been in the past?
Sales slowed in the 4th quarter of 2018, nevertheless, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, says that “multiple data show definitively improving conditions” heading into the spring selling and buying season. Consumer sentiment about home buying is turning more upbeat, and there have been greater reports of foot traffic at open houses on a national level.
Further, the number of consumers applying for a mortgage to purchase a home is on the rise. “After the weak conditions of late last year, mortgage applications have picked up notably in 2019 with more consumers evidently searching for a home compared to one year ago,” Yun writes in his latest real estate column at Forbes.com. Also, contract signings to purchase a home rose 4.6 percent in January—another healthy market indicator.
With mortgage rates staying low more home buyers and sellers are expected to participate this spring. So far this year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has fallen to under a 4.5 percent average. That means a typical home buyer could save nearly $100 per month due to the drop. In addition, wages are up 3.4 percent year-over-year on average, the highest rate in a decade, .
“The slump is over” in the housing market, Yun notes. “Better times are ahead for home buyers.”
Locally in Bozeman and Big Sky, we expect to see more inventory on the market beginning in May. Sellers are waiting for the snow to thaw and flowers to pop to present their homes in the best light and hopefully fetch the most competitive price.
Buyers who’ve been patiently waiting all winter will be ready to make strong offers come spring in hopes of securing a property and moving into their new homes by summer.
All signals point for a very strong spring in the real estate market both nationally and locally.