Forget the myth that winter is a bad time to sell real estate. While sales usually inch lower in the cooler months, some real estate pros are saying this winter in particular may be a great time to sell a home.
1. Mortgage rates are near record-breaking lows.
2. Home prices are starting to rebound in many markets across the country. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that home prices in December were 11.5 percent higher than a year earlier.
3. Homes still remain a good deal: Prices are rising but remain mostly below 2007 highs, and in many areas, the cost of buying is cheaper than renting.
4. Distressed homes that typically sell at big discounts -- up to 20 percent off -- are still widely available. Short sales and foreclosures accounted for 22 percent of all existing home sales in November.
5. Household demographic changes: Many buyers used to want to wait until the end of a school year before moving, but households are changing and moving schedules are less tied to school terms. That’s because households with children are making up a smaller part of the mix nowadays. According to William Frey with the Brookings Institution, 80 percent of all households in the U.S. do not include children. has declined.
6. Household formation is growing. “Many people who ran into tough economic times several years ago are again looking at real estate ownership,” says Wendy Forsythe, executive vice president with Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate. “Enough time has passed so that many of these individuals have re-built credit, built up their savings and now qualify for FHA, VA and conventional financing.”
Source: “Does Real Estate Really Sell in the Winter?” Reuters (Jan. 22, 2013)