What does a ‘normal’ housing market look like? This one
NEW YORK – April 2, 2019 – The spring home-buying season could be the best in years, with falling mortgage rates and rising inventory already reducing bidding wars and resulting in price cuts.
"It's been a rough go for homebuyers since the bottom of the housing market, and there are signs we're entering a period of normalcy," says CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin.
McLaughlin believes current conditions could be the most favorable for buyers since the housing market bottomed in 2012.
However, economists say that even as activity rises, it's unlikely that the market will return to a period of booming home sales. Nationally, home prices have jumped more than 50 percent since the bottom of the market in 2012, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which has made affordability a challenge for many buyers.
Economists note that inventory is rising – not necessarily because more homeowners are putting their homes on the market but because homes are taking longer to sell.
"All the signs are pointing to the fact that people are just having a harder time selling their homes," says Trulia chief economist Issi Romem.
However, it appears that buyers are reaching deals faster, with Redfin data showing that the time it takes a buyer to find a home has hit a six-year low of 73 days.
Mike McCann, an associate broker at Keller Williams Philly, notes: "It's a good time to buy as long as you're going to stay in the property five-plus years."
Source: Wall Street Journal (04/01/19) P. A1; Kusisto, Laura
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