As we approach the end of August and the beginning of the school year in the Lake Travis area, sellers thinking about listing their home for sale are wondering if they missed the peak. Buyers are wondering if now is the time to get a better deal.
Here are my three predictions as the rest of the year will fly by and we head into 2014:
Rates – if you’re looking for a 3% interest rate on a 30 year fixed loan, you’re not going to find it anymore. Rates are currently in the 4% range and buyer demand will be tested with the increase. This all transfers to how much home you can afford.
There is a bright side to this. Getting a home loan has been painful. Banks have high standards nowadays and if you’ve been through the process of purchasing or refinancing a home, you know the deal. Having to explain every penny that goes in and out of your accounts can be downright frustrating. A rate increase will sideline potential buyers. Banks still want to make money. So they do this by loosening up their lending standards. We just hope they don’t loosen them up to a pre-mortgage market meltdown standard.
Inventory and Demand – inventory of homes in the Lake Travis area has come up slightly from the crazy lows that occurred in June. You’ll see new listings coming on the market, but not like the spring. Just enough to meet the slower fall/winter demand. That will keep levels pretty much unchanged as we head into 2014. If we see a repeat of what happened last year, the beginning of 2014 will start with an already low inventory of homes. It will continue to fall as the demand wave builds and heads towards the seasonal summer buying peak. And that will bring us to pricing.
Prices – Rate increases combined with the seasonal slowdown are the two main ingredients that will cause prices to level off from the healthy increases we had over the past 6 months. But you shouldn’t expect a decrease in prices. Expect prices to rise again if we head into 2014 with the same level of inventory that caused them to rise in 2013. Resale home and builder inventory will be two important indicators to keep an eye on.
Should You Wait Until The Spring?
Buyers – now is the time to keep an eye on listings with days on market at 90 or above. A seller might become more motivated and be willing to make an adjustment on price to get their home sold before the end of the year.
Also, some builders in the Lake Travis area will be looking to sell off any remaining inventory before the end of the year. Find some of these homes and you might find yourself a really good deal! And remember, a sales rep that is representing the builder is trying to get the builder the best deal. Make sure you have buyer representation to get you the best deal.
Sellers – don’t wait until the spring to list your home. The demand for homes in the Lake Travis area will continue to be high. There are plenty of buyers in the area waiting for your home to come on the market. Do everything right when you list your home for sale, and you’ll attract a buyer (or a few) that will pay you top dollar!
Check out the Lake Travis Real Estate section for more information on historic landmarks, area neighborhoods, buying and selling tips, and local market conditions.