Local realtors finished 2018 strong and are bringing that momentum with them into 2019. According to the Greater Owensboro Realtor Association, Owensboro saw an increase of 4 percent in homes sold last year, and while the average home price was up around $6,000 from 2018, the average home was on the market for less than 85 days.
Ryan Rutman, realtor for ReMax, said one of the reasons for this increase was because demand remained strong.
“For the majority of 2018, rates remained aggressive so buyers were strongly incentivized to purchase,” he said. “That, coupled with record low inventory, created urgency in the market.”
When a seller sells their home at the top of the market, they maximize their equity return, which has ripple effects beyond that sale.
“Potential benefits include having the additional equity for their next purchase, especially if their next home is a step up on the property ladder, extra funds for remodeling which creates demand for builders and contractors, reducing personal debts, adding additional funds to retirement and investments and more,” Rutman said.
Rutman said he thinks inventory levels may improve some as a result of some homeowners wanting to take the next step up the property ladder, before the potential increase in interest rates.
“I also think that for the same reason, buyer demand will remain strong in hopes of locking in interest rates before a potential increase — especially first time buyers,” he said.
According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials continue to make up the largest segment of home buyers, accounting for 36 percent of mortgages.
“The largest cohort in America is growing up and becoming more traditional in their buying habits,” according to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report.
The report also states all generations of buyers continue to consult a real estate agent or broker to help them buy and sell their home. Buyers need the help of a real estate agent to help them find the right home, negotiate terms of sale and help with price negotiations. Sellers, as well, turn to professionals to help market their home to potential buyers, sell within a specific timeframe and price their home competitively.
“The two most crucial parts of selling a house are price and presentation,” Rutman said. “Those need to be in line from day one on the market to truly maximize a sale. It’s tough, because it’s a home, and it’s emotional for people. But, it’s very important to view the process from the eyes of potential buyers. I think it’s always good to go look at other homes and get a feel for the market and condition of homes and pricing, then compare to your home.”