The housing market for sellers has been great in Southern Oregon for the past several years, and pretty lean for buyers. Prices have climbed and properties have sold quickly. But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and the hot seller’s market is beginning to cool!

  A balanced market is defined as a market with 6 months of inventory of homes for sale. Fewer homes on the market make it a seller’s market and when there are more homes on the market, it’s a buyer’s market.  Today we’re still in a seller’s market but heading toward a buyer’s market. During most of 2018, both Jackson and Josephine counties had only 2 months inventory of homes for sale but today Jackson County has 3.4 months of inventory and Josephine has 4.5 months of inventory. It’s already a buyer’s market for lots and land with 25 months of inventory in Jackson County and 19 months of inventory in Josephine County.

  Every year we see the majority of homes come on the market in spring and summer so it’s natural to predict that inventory will rise as the days warm up and we will head into a buyer’s market. Spring and summer are still a few months away so there is still a chance to sell your home for top dollar. If you’re thinking of selling your home, here are the 6 biggest reasons to sell before spring or summer in 2019.

     1. You won’t be the only listing for long The top reason sellers have been in the driver’s seat for the past several years is inventory. There simply haven’t been enough homes on the market to keep up with buyer demand. When a new home came on the market for sale in the right price range, buyers would flock to it. In certain subdivisions, you might have been the only listing, and you could put your home up at a high asking price and buyers knew it was your home or no home. As we stated above, the tide is turning this year, and inventory of homes for sale is increasing. For now, except for lots and land, buyers still outnumber homes for sale. But if you’re thinking about selling and don’t want to compete with your neighbors, now is the time.
     2. You still stand to make a ‘handsome profit’ Home prices have been on the rise for the past seven years. The median home price by the end of 2011, in Jackson County was $154,000 and it nearly doubled to $280,000 by the end of 2018. This is great news for homeowners. But here is the concern – last year Jackson County saw homes sell at 97.5% of asking price and this year it has fallen to 95% of asking price. We have also seen a rise in price decreases of homes on the market with a recent climb to nearly 20 price decreases per day which normally is an indicator that it’s headed away from a seller’s market.  That being said, home prices are still continuing to increase, but at a slower rate than in 2018.
     3. There’s high demand for homes under $280K There’s more good news if you own a home below the median price of $280,000. Not only is that inventory increasing at a slower rate than its luxury counterparts, but there are more buyers shopping at those price points. Homes in these price points have the greatest demand and can still see multiple offers.
     4. Mortgage rates are at a new low Something strange has been happening over the past few months. Experts predicted mortgage rates would rise—and at the end of 2018, they were indeed ticking upward as expected. But since the start of the year, rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage, the most popular home loan, have been falling, sliding last week (2/27/19) to a new 12-month low of 4.33%.  These historically low mortgage rates mean you could have more buyers affording your home. This temporary dip in rates creates an opportunity for trade-up buyers as well. After all, if you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance you’ll need to buy another one. Interest rates will go up so for now sellers need to take advantage of low rates as much as buyers. Sellers don’t want to get stuck in their homes when rates go up and buyer affordability no longer makes sense to move.
     5. Millennials are flooding the market Historically speaking, people tend to buy their first home around age 30. And guess what? We’ve got a whole bunch of people turning 30 in the next two years—nearly 5 million, in fact, according to data. So, you can count on those millennials to be a driving force in the housing market. Not only are younger millennials buying their first homes,  older millennials in their middle to late 30s have already owned a home for a few years, and are finding this a good time to trade up.
     6. Victims of the Camp fire in Paradise are seeking a new place to call home The majority of the town of Paradise California was destroyed by fire last November including stores, gas stations, restaurants and infrastructure. The clean-up will take years and much of the population is looking elsewhere to rebuild. Many of them were already retired and now they’re looking to re-retire somewhere else. It turns out that Southern Oregon has many similarities to Paradise, California and we’re currently seeing a large influx moving here. Some have already received insurance checks and are out looking for homes and some are in many of our furnished rental homes waiting for their insurance checks to arrive. Because we are such a small community this influx from Paradise is a significant boost to our local population and our housing market.  This is, however, just a one-time, short term increase in home buyers and will be over soon.

  So, if you are thinking of selling, now is the time.  Home prices have almost doubled over the last 7 years, we’re still in a seller’s market, interest rates are low and we have lots of buyers.

Graham Farran
Broker & Manager
Expert Properties