Look­ing to sell? Do it now

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - BUSINESS - Mau­reen Hughes

Many ex­perts con­tinue to eval­u­ate the up­com­ing eco­nomic cli­mate to shape the real es­tate mar­ket in 2017. The ex­treme frag­men­ta­tion in the hous­ing mar­ket and the wide range of vari­ance based on lo­ca­tion makes this a very in­ter­est­ing po­si­tion for buy­ers as well as sell­ers.

Mort­gage rates

Pre­vi­ously, the mov­ing trend seemed to point to­ward 30 year fixed rate mort­gages stay­ing in the 4 per­cent range in 2017. But, cur­rent trends are telling a tale of rates mov­ing closer to 5 per­cent by year’s end. Mark Flem­ing, chief econ­o­mist at First Amer­i­can has been eval­u­at­ing the cur­rent cli­mate and sees “mort­gage rates get­ting much closer to 5 per­cent at the end of the year. Be­cause of that, we es­ti­mate that that will re­duce the amount of ex­pected home sales by about 200,000 over the course of the en­tire year, which is roughly a 4 per­cent de­cline on our orig­i­nal ex­pec­ta­tion,” he added.

Some home sell­ers may choose to stay put and ren­o­vate their cur­rent home in­stead of buy­ing a new home at a higher mort­gage rate. “We now have an en­tire gen­er­a­tion of ex­ist­ing home­own­ers locked into mort­gage rates around 3.5 per­cent to 4 per­cent,” con­tin­ued Flem­ing. “How do we ad­dress the fact that the ex­ist­ing home­owner, the largest sin­gle source

of fi­nan­cial sup­ply, has a built-in fi­nan­cial dis­in­cen­tive to make that sup­ply move?”

Mov­ing from down­town to the sub­urbs

Good news if you are look­ing to sell a down­town condo and move to the sub­urbs. Your eq­uity should hold up well

as small homes have seen a much steeper price growth than larger homes and ur­ban ar­eas have ap­pre­ci­ated well.

But, if you are in the sub­urbs look­ing to down­size to a smaller, ur­ban home, in­ven­tory has be­come more scarce and you might not get as much as you ex­pect for your money.

Up­grad­ing to a larger home?

Of all the sce­nar­ios, you are most likely in the best

spot. The first part of 2017, early in the buy­ing sea­son, is likely your best time to strike. In­ven­tory in the higher end of the mar­ket is ac­tu­ally climb­ing in quan­tity, which makes for bet­ter buy­ing sit­u­a­tions and time to com­pare and house hunt.

If you are sell­ing a larger home and field­ing var­i­ous of­fers, it can be a good de­ci­sion to choose a higher of­fer over a faster clos­ing date, en­abling you to get the most money out of your sale. Of course, this is de­pen­dant on your

spe­cific sit­u­a­tion and you should use the coun­cil and wis­dom of your real­tor to guide you in this area.

First time buyer or down­siz­ing

Starter homes or smaller prop­er­ties fit for those look­ing to down­size will con­tinue to be in hot pur­suit of the ma­jor­ity of buy­ers. You will face a tight mar­ket with greater com­pe­ti­tion from other would-be buy­ers. Be ready to be flex­i­ble on your lo­ca­tion, size and amount of

ten­der lov­ing care a prop­erty might present. While most first time buy­ers and down­siz­ers aren’t look­ing for a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion project, keeping your op­tions open to prop­er­ties in need of cos­metic up­grades might bode well for your abil­ity to score a deal in your price range. If you are will­ing to move fur­ther from the city, you might have even bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­ven­tory. Mau­reen Hughes is the Lead List­ing Spe­cial­ist of The Wayne Megill Real

Es­tate Team of Keller Wil­liams Brandy­wine Val­ley in West Ch­ester. For buyer or seller rep­re­sen­ta­tion, or for more per­spec­tive on the lo­cal and na­tional real es­tate mar­ket, please email mau­reen­hughes@ kw.com and visit The Wayne Megill Team site at http://www. wayne­megill­team.com.

Have a real es­tate ques­tion for Mau­reen? Email her and be fea­tured in our next Q&A, mau­reen­hughes@kw.com

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