2019 Housing Report: Winter is the time to sell!

The latest 2019 housing market report predicts the market will continue to soften as we move through the year but there is still time to cash-in big on home sales. Here’s are the latest numbers and the secret to a speedy and successful winter home sale, right here in Fairfield.

Despite all the exhilaration following the dip in the stock market this past December, we’re still looking ahead to a very reliable, strong real estate market in the coming months of 2019, followed by a slowing at the end of the year.

The median sale price year over year median price for 3 bed homes in Fairfield in the 4th quarter rose from $365,712 in 2017 to $390,000 in 2018, and 4 bed homes from $458,500 to $504,000. Active inventory was almost identical for both periods which is great news for sellers hitting the market.

Although we ended the year feeling a distinct softening for sellers at around 27% fewer units sold county-wide compared to last December (126 vs 176), this has not yet impacted home values. As the trend continues, however, experts agree homeowners should not wait much longer to list their homes.

Property values are currently leveling out as we come down from the 7-year-long high that followed the recession. This means homes are still generally valued well above the purchase price. But, as inventory increases and interest rates are expected to rise (thus creating even less competition among buyers than the warm temperature), home values are sure to decline the closer to summer we get.

Selling in Jan. to June 2019 vs. July to Dec. 2019: If not selling your home in the winter means putting your house on the market in the last two quarters of 2019, the sooner option is the best one. In a survey of 100 U.S. real estate experts and economists by real estate information company Zillow, released in May, almost half expect the next recession to occur near the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2020. Another 14 percent believe the recession will hold out until 2021, while 24 percent of panelists expect the recession earlier – sometime in 2019.

Whether you believe the recession is imminent or a long way off, current real estate patterns indicate a sudden upswing in activity or prices is unlikely in the near future. Real estate markets tend to operate on a cycle of their own, the length of which varies by market but can be between 10 and 16 years total and flow from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market with a period of balance in between.

Other (and now less-informed) homeowners planning to sell in your area this year are likely waiting until spring and summer. This will give buyers (your potential customer!) more options and less incentive to make bold offers and close quickly. Listing now will keep you ahead of the curve—both with the housing market and the rise in inventory that is bound to happen when the snow thaws.

You may be thinking, “but houses don’t sell as well in the winter, it needs to be warmer!” Yes, and no—until now, spring and summer have been an ideal time to list in our area, but many homes still sell every year in the winter, and have for decades!

The upside is that winter buyers are generally more motivated and they tend to make choices and close faster than spring and summer buyers. It is easier to stage a home in the warmer months but, again, when considering the current trends in the housing market, the rising interest rates are much drearier for buyers than buying now when the market is still strong.

Ultimately the biggest key to a quick and successful sale during this time of year is having an experienced agent in your corner that can guide you through the process in the most efficient and stress-free way as possible.

As you local Real Estate agent, I have the experience to make your winter listing feel welcoming and warm and, in the end, leave all parties thrilled they made the early move! To find out what it will take to get your home listed and maximize your profits during this chilly season, feel free to call my office at 707-450-1453

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