Last Updated on November 10, 2023
Recently, Realtor.com announced the best time to buy a home all year was the first week in October, based on data collected in the 50 largest metro areas. Local data highlighting the best time to buy for some of our large metro areas indicates November 5-11 is prime buying time for the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area, and October 15-21 is the best time to purchase for the Raleigh/Cary area.
On the hunt for a home to call your own? Here’s what you can expect this fall as you shop for homes.
It’s still a sellers’ market
How do we know that? In our industry, we look at MSI (Months Supply of Inventory) as just one of the indicators of the market. MSI is based on the number of months it would take to sell the currently listed homes on the market. Typically, we are considered to be in a seller’s market if our MSI is less than 5 months.
Since, on average, we are holding stead at just over 3 months of inventory in our area, we are still in a seller’s market. However, you will now notice open houses on the weekends and you will also see homes sitting on the market longer than what we experienced during the last few years.
Mortgage rates remain higher, but home prices are leveling out
While inflation continues to plunge, the latest job report was positive, causing the Fed to raise interest rates to 7.57%. While mortgage rates will remain higher the rest of this year and possibly into 2024, housing prices have stopped skyrocketing and are starting to level out. Nationally, the median home price fell 0.9% YOY in June and July. Compared to what’s happening on a larger scale, here locally, median housing prices tend to be up or down depending on the specific area. Here’s how the median listing price in some of our major metro areas compares to this same time last year:
- Charlotte: Median listing price up 1.1%
- Asheville: Median listing price up 15%
- Burlington: Median listing price down 1.9%
- Durham-Chapel Hill: Median listing price up 7.6%
- Greensboro/High Point: Median listing price up 2.2%
- Raleigh: Median listing price down 4.6%
- Winston Salem: Median listing price up 5.9%
Along with home prices cooling, new data shows that the most recent home sales indicate 28% of homes sold above their final list price, which is down from the peak in May of 2022, where a whopping 59% of all homes sold above the listing price.
You can ask for concessions
In the height of the pandemic housing craze, buyers wouldn’t dare ask sellers for anything, but now, as the market cools and the tide shifts ever so slightly, thankfully for buyers, that is no longer the case.
Sellers no longer have all the power. A report put out earlier this year showed sellers gave concessions to buyers in 42.9% of home sales during Q1 of this year, and that trend continued as the year progressed.
You have more time to make a decision
The latest data shows us homes are spending an average of 48 days on the market nationally, which is just one day longer than last year and two weeks shorter than what we experienced in the pre-pandemic market. Sellers are also becoming increasingly flexible on closing date, tipping the scales in favor of what works best for the buyer.
There is more inventory
Months supply of housing inventory is the best indicator for the type of market we’re in, whether it’s a buyers,’ sellers,’ or more balanced market. The latest regional data shows us that much of the Carolinas are hovering right over 3 months of inventory, while nationally, there’s a bit more inventory with a 3.3 months supply available.
Five months of supply indicate a more balanced market, and while an MSI of around 3 indicates a sellers’ market, there is considerably more inventory on the market today than this time last year.
Bottom line: The housing market is changing quickly these days, with trends and info growing stale fast. Make sure to align yourself with a Realtor who has the latest data in your area for the best chance of success in the 2024 housing market.