Are we headed into Buyer | Seller Equilibrium?
As mortgage interest rates elevate towards 5+ percent and with listing supply increasing, though listing supply does not completely define supply nor the marketplace, is the residential marketplace shifting towards a more balanced buyer – seller symmetry?
Nationwide, as of August 2018 listings were measuring a 4.2 months supply up from 3.7 months supply December 2017. The monthly listing supply is the ratio of houses for sale to houses sold. Locally, the monthly listing supply stands at 3.2 months, August 2018. A view abounds that a 4 months supply of listings is the new benchmark for buyer and seller equilibrium. The assertion is that digital disruptions and transaction technology have shaved 2 months off the traditional selling process. There is truth in this that today you can list your home and be in escrow within 24 hours. At the very least, interest rates and listing supply are pushing sales sideways. In addition to the monthly listing supply index, it remains to be seen if mortgage interest rates will find a new benchmark from the historical 6 to 7 percent rate deemed for an equitable mortgage payment. Projections are that mortgage interest rates will increase unto 5.5 percent by year 2020. Keep an eye on the 4.2 monthly listing supply index, watching if it should exceed 5 months and for lenders providing new softer loan programs especially in ARM offerings, along with an increase in private equity mortgages.
The housing marketplace for the Atlanta MSA is in a slight shift sideways not declining. The price appreciation of the past 5 years is unsustainable and is taking an exhale, although softly. Locally with 7.6% increase in YOY employment and the projected increase in population for the southeast running unto 2025 this market is very healthy and is hampered by the lack of moderately priced single family housing.
To a certain degree, the onset of the above aspects will allow buyers to be more prudent in the acquisition process with better planning, execution and negotiation for their new home and not buying out of sense of loss as in losing their dream home or for that fact any home. As for the mortgage interest rate, remember it is only one part of the mortgage payment and can be addressed by negotiating other terms and concessions.