It is and isn’t slowing down
It’s mid November…the market is starting to downshift as we approach the holidays. Along with the change of pace, I’m noticing a change in the way people are asking their favorite question. Instead of “What’s happening with the market?” it’s “The market is really slowing down isn’t it?”
This reflects a presumptive shift in perception that assumes that after a year and a half of unmitigated craziness, the market is hitting its inevitable inflection point and settling back down to earth into some kind of “new normal”. As in – “It can’t just keep going up forever can it?”
So, is it true? Is it a reasonable assumption? Is the market really slowing down? At the risk of sounding wishy-washy the answer is both a resounding Yes and a resounding No! It is and isn’t slowing down in different ways.
Here’s what I mean… Yes, the market is slowing down in that there’s less overall intensity right now. Less of the kind of white heat that drives the market mad with competition. It’s also fair to say that there are fewer multiple offers than we were averaging a few months back – ten offers has become five and five offers has become three.
Those multiple-offers aren’t coming quite as quickly as they were either. Instead of five days on the market it’s ten days and instead of ten days it’s two weeks. There are also fewer total sales being racked up (the number of new listings coming on has also tapered off, so there are fewer properties to sell.) Perhaps most importantly, buyers are becoming more selective in the kinds of homes and locations they are willing to put their net worth on the line for.
And when I say “No the market isn’t slowing down” I mean this is November folks. Last year’s covid surge wiped out any semblance of the seasonal market we used to have in a normal year. After shelter-in-place, the market went on an extended tear as summer, fall and winter morphed into one long spring.
This year, we’ve reverted into more of a seasonal trend in the numbers and in the “feel” of the marketplace. There are still lots of buyers out there but the new inventory isn’t particularly inspiring, so more of them are looking but less are buying. Buyers aren’t leaving the marketplace, they are just biding their time and waiting for a better selection. .
Next Week: More about why the market isn’t slowing down.
A quick note to regular readers: If you want to catch up on past columns or see a larger version of today’s column click here.