Each year, spring is the hottest season for real estate.
However, spring 2018 looks to be an especially important time for anyone looking to sell a home. Here are a few facts to get you thinking:
1. Demand continues to outstrip supply.
The number of homes on the market is near an all-time low, and listings of existing homes have plunged 8.1% nationally over the past year. While this means that the total number of sold homes has actually decreased, demand continues to be strong. This is driven in large part by a good job outlook and the growing number of millennials entering the market for the first time.
Inventory increased by a fraction of a month in the Portland metro area in May, ending at 1.9 months. Even though this number has risen, it still remains an extremely low level of inventory. During the same time, the average days on market decreased to 37 days. There were 4,665 active residential listings in the Portland metro area this May.
2. Home prices are still surging.
The average home price in Portland is up 5.9% from $423,800 to $448,600 in the past year. In the same timeframe, the median has increased 8.0% from $370,000 to $399,500.
It's not just the Portland area that's doing well—areas around the country keep posting record highs for home values. This is unlikely to change in the near future considering how much stronger demand is than supply right now.
3. Mortgage rates are finally rising.
The Fed increased its benchmark rate several times over the past year, but this did not translate to an immediate increase in mortgage rates. However, mortgage rates do seem to be finally responding, and the 30-year fixed rate is now hovering between 4.5 and 5%. While this is a four-year high, it is still near historic lows and makes mortgages affordable to would-be buyers. What does all of this mean for you as a home seller?
First off, right now is a very good time to sell.
That's because of the strong demand and the high level of current prices.In other words, if you were to put your home on the market right now, you could get top dollar, and you would be able to sell quickly and without hassle.
Second, it's not clear how long this favorable situation will last.
As I mentioned, mortgage rates are on the rise.
Currently, that is not enough to dampen demand. But if rates continue to rise, it might drive more buyers out of the market, eventually driving down prices and making it more difficult to sell your home.
Another thing to consider is the effect of the new tax plan.
It's not entirely clear how it will affect the real estate market, but odds are good it will make purchasing a home more expensive. That's because of a new cap on state and local tax deductions, which could combine with higher mortgage rates to push more buyers out of the market.
To sum up, if you have been considering selling your home, consider selling now. The current market is very favorable, but it won’t last forever.
Here's how to get started. You can get a quick but accurate estimate of the current value of your home, based on recent Portland sales: