Beginning in 2013 and through the first few months of this year, Oregon and SW Washington’s housing markets changed significantly. A lack of inventory along with historically low interest rates and rising consumer confidence provided the “perfect storm” to finally pull prospective buyers off the sidelines and into the market. A “seller’s market,” often resulting in multiple offers, quickly replaced the “buyer’s market” of the previous five years.
That said, I do believe that in many areas we will soon see data supporting a subtle change in market conditions. An increase in inventory due to more sellers having equity once again and an uptick in interest rates means prices will stabilize. Buyers will sense an opportunity to be more selective and their sense of urgency to buy will dissipate as inventory grows. As their options increase, the buyer mentality of talking themselves into a property because “it will be gone tomorrow” switches to “well, if the perfect home is not here today, it will be tomorrow.”
Due to these changes in factors that influence the market, it is very important that listing agents and their sellers pay close attention to what today’s market is suggesting and how it may affect their pricing strategy. I strongly suggest that agents reach out to their clients to help them understand the changing market and how it may impact their future plans. We cannot control market conditions, but we can and should be providing value to our clients by communicating with them on a regular basis – and that should include a discussion of today’s market, which could be a very different conversation that just a few months ago.