Is the Winter season that much different than any other for the real estate market? Typical preconceptions have this as one of the slower times of the year, however especially recently, this has not been the case. With the more mild temperatures experienced within the past two years we have seen increased activity in the industry due to the continuous pent-up demand for property that seems to resonate all throughout Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods.
A false myth is that regardless of the forthcoming weather in the Winter, people tend to stop buying properties altogether from Thanksgiving through February. This could not be farther from the truth. Looking to this claim in a numeric sense, it becomes clear that according to the National Association of Realtors, the months from December through the end of February produced 4,537,000 sales of existing homes in 2012. Thus it becomes apparent that at least hundreds of thousands of properties are traded during each of these months alone on an annual basis.
Expert Wendy Forsythe furthers this notion, "The real estate marketplace is open and active year-round. In a mobile society there are always people ready to buy and sell. In the Greater Boston Area this is clearly the case as not only are the economy and jobs booming but it has had a wonderful trickle down effect on the real estate market as now more prospective buyers are willing and able to purchase.
2013 should be no different than last year and looks to continue this positive ascent in the industry. There are three primary reasons for such confidence as we move forward during this Winter season. To begin, mortgage rates remaining incredibly low, and according to Frank Nothaft, the Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, "Mortgage rates started the year near record lows which should continue to aid the ongoing housing recovery."
The next justification why the Winter market will be especially active is that prices of homes in most markets nationwide have begun to show signs of a rebound, just like here in and around Boston. Looking to the later months in 2012 which are powerful predictors of what this entire Winter season should expect, the recent November saw a 10.1% rise in home prices compared to the same corresponding month from a year prior. Furthermore, there appears to be no inclination that home prices will bottom out again anytime soon. This provides an additional call to action for buyers to enter the market today which they have been doing at an increasing rate. This has the industry in a unique situation where it is also a great time to sell with prices being in a much better state than they previously were from recent years.
Finally, this leads into the third point which is that there is still a pent-up demand for property. In some areas, such as in Greater Boston, this has corresponded to a lack of inventory to boot. Closing remarks from Forsythe had then her mention that, "Household formation is growing for the first time in several years, rental occupancy rates are at all-time highs, and everyone needs a place to live. Many people who ran into tough economic times several years ago are again looking at real estate ownership. Enough time has passed so that many of these individuals have re-built credit, built up their savings and now qualify for FHA, VA and conventional financing."
In reality, todays real estate market is inevitably proving one thing; there is no down season. Whether it be the mild temperatures, new exciting developments low mortgage rates, a growing economy and workforce, home prices increasing or more; the Winter season is no longer one in a slump. Due to the higher prices achieved upon the sale of a property and the shorter days on the market both due to the relentless demand among buyers, there truly is no better time to test the market as a seller. Now is the ideal time to get in touch with a Gibson Sothebys International Realty agent to survey all of your options whether buying, selling, or renting property.
More Information: Reuters