The 4th quarter is a good time to be a buyer seasonally. After April or May, buyer activity gradually declines every month with the 4th quarter seeing the lowest level of contracts in escrow. This is typical within all price ranges.
Meanwhile, supply levels tend to rally with new listings in October after a stale Summer. This provides the remaining buyers with more listings to choose from and fewer competing offers.
A welcome relief for many, however this seasonal lull doesn’t mean buyers will win with low offers. For most buyers, this environment only provides fewer competitors for their preferred properties. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will get a bargain.
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While 2017 is still outperforming the last 5 years in sales volume, contracts in escrow have declined 30% since peaking in April. Supply is up 11% after hitting a low in August, bringing current listing counts within 1% of where they were in April.
While seasonal and expected, this creates a more competitive environment for sellers compared to the Spring season. As a result, the number of price reductions counted every week has gone up 20% since the beginning of September. Expect price reductions to remain high as sellers push to get their properties under contract before Thanksgiving.
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Commentary written by Tina Tamboer, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report ©2017 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC