Last year ended on a very strong note, with prices 10% higher than last December, and with the inventory of unsold homes remaining at an ultra-low level, under 2 months’ supply. There were just under 5,000 sales in December, the second best year on record.
For the year as a whole, prices were 10% higher than in 2014, and total sales set an all-time record at just over 101,000 homes sold.
The trend to higher prices, higher sales, and lower inventory was consistent throughout 2015. More and more homes are being listed for sale, and yet there are fewer and fewer homes on the market at any given time – which means that homes are being snapped up very, very quickly.
With this sort of momentum, we will almost certainly see a strong spring market, with ‘spring’ starting right here, right now. No January slump this year. Anyone thinking about selling this spring should be aiming to list their home for sale at the earliest possible opportunity. Don’t wait for leaves on the trees and flowers in the garden, there are lots of hungry buyers waiting to pounce on the first new listings of the year.
Effective February 15, the minimum down payment for insured mortgages will be increased for homes in the $500,000-$1,000,000 price range. To take advantage of the old rules, buyers will need to have a purchase contract in place before February 15, with a closing date before July 1. The new mortgage rules may therefore accelerate sales in January even further.
With mortgage rates remaining at all-time low levels, and with speculation that they may go even lower, it seems unlikely that this freight train of a market will slow down any time soon.