Despite the traditional winter slowdown, both home sales and prices inched higher in December, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. The monthly report surveys MLS data in 52 metropolitan areas, and it provides a comprehensive snapshot of current market activity.
Here’s a look at how the latest findings impact homebuyers and sellers.
What it means for sellers:
The report found that the December median home price of $185,400 was 11.9 percent higher than the median in December 2012. And even though sales cooled off from double-digit growth in the summertime, December still saw a 0.7 percent year-over-year increase. That’s all very good news for you if you plan on putting your home on the market this year. Buyers who’ve been waiting to buy might be more inclined to do so this year as the economy continues to improve and while they can take advantage of still-low mortgage rates.
What it means for buyers:
This time of year is typically slower for home sales, which means there are fewer properties to choose from. On the upside, though, sellers who do put their homes up for sale during the winter months tend to be more motivated to sell – and be more inclined to negotiate with you. It’s worth noting that there have been a slew of changes in the lending industry in 2014. As a result, mortgage fees and the costs of obtaining a loan are on the rise, which might impact how much home you can afford. The good news: Rates are still at record lows, which puts you in a great position to buy a home if you have a steady income and stick to your budget.