RSAR: Lower interest rates could mean more buyers
Affordable housing is a growing concern for many in our area and according to the President of the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors, Erika Lamb, it’s still a seller’s market.
“In December our inventory was at 1.6 months, a healthy market is about 6 months inventory, then you could say it’s a buyer’s market right about that time,” Lamb said.
However, if you are looking to purchase a home this year, there are a couple of things working in your favor.
“Interest rates are currently below 4 percent and because they are below 4 percent, it has piqued the interest of a lot more buyers, and a lot of more first-time home buyers have the opportunity to get into the market because when interest rates are lower it makes houses more affordable even if the prices are higher,” said Lamb.
Lamb said there is still a housing shortage as builders can’t keep up with the growth and demand.
“Now, the issue is that we have a shortage of contract laborers. Before the last recession a lot of people changed their industry. You do not have as many plumbers, or electricians, sometimes they are hiring out of state just to get these houses built,” said Lamb.
There could be a perk for buyers purchasing during an election year, too.
"What we do notice is that right before elections a lot of investors will step out of the market temporarily, to see what happens during the election period," said Lamb. "When that happens, the buyers will have more inventory to choose from because there will be less demand on the market at that time."
Lamb said builders are building more apartments than they are houses and that’s a benefit too. “Because they are buildinging so many apartments, eventually that is going to leverage out the price for apartments and condominiums.”
She continued, “That brings out a positive aspect for buyers as sellers aren't making as much money on condos. Eventually they will start releasing those to the public to sell, and when they release them to the public that means there will be more inventory for buyers."
As for sellers looking to put their home on the market, Lamb said to make sure it’s in listing condition. "As turn-key as it can be the more likely they are going to get it sold at the price that they want," Lamb said.