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What’s in the cards? The Rockwood market in ’18

So…..  as we foray into 2018, what is the feeling around the Rockwood real estate market?  

Will this be the year in which buyers find some advantage? If you are selling, what does this new market look like exactly? The 2017 market certainly led to some eyebrow raising and some head-scratching… Did you try to buy, only to get outbid numerous times? Or bid higher than you expected to get into your dream home? Did you sell in the spring and get 15 offers? There were a lot of new and unprecedented situations that evolved last year. I think we all learned a lot.  

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m going to make a few predictions here, so sit back and let me know if you agree or disagree.

Is there a buyers market ahead?

We have heard the rumblings suggesting that the market will do a complete shift into one favouring buyers- something we have not seen around these parts since the early 1990’s. I agree that purchasers may have more options and the ability to provide more self-protection through the inclusion of conditions in an offer, but I don’t think we will see a monstrous shift. I believe that the home buying process will become more predictable; more tempered- or maybe more logical is the expression I am searching for. The frenzy of the market will, inevitably, settle down in 2018. Frankly, it has to.

Where are prices headed?   

We hear that the prices will decline or that the market has crashed. What is the reality? It’s important to look at sale prices on a year over year basis- this gives us the most reliable information. So, if we look at those stats, 2016 vs 2017, looking at freehold single family homes- we see that around here, owners saw a 22% increase in sale prices. Now, people will say that the “crash” happened in the last half of 2017. So let’s compare the first 6 months of 2017, where we saw a median sale price of $560,000 with  the last 6 months, where we saw a median sale price of $534,000. That’s only a 5% change. Now the biggest problem with running these sort of stats in Rockwood is the sample size-  so stay tuned to my next blog where I look further into trends in the surrounding areas.

What’s ahead?

At this time of year we see sellers getting excited and motivated to get their home on the market to capitalize on the energy of the new year. The question is- where to price the property. When I develop a listing price I look for comparable properties, look at sale price and DOM (days on market) trends.  I take into account the condition of the home and upgrades and the quality of the upgrades and fixtures.    

Having a local realtor who knows where listing and sale prices are and what the trends have been will become increasingly important.  

We need to educate ourselves and our clients on the market, creating a fair listing price that has substance and logic behind it.  DOM (days on market) may be something we have to get used to again.  The median DOM last spring was 10 in Rockwood and that increased to 30 by the end of the year. It’s been sometime since we saw numbers like this- this amount used to be the norm.  Between 2012-2015 where the Median DOM (days on market) were between 30 to 36 days.

We have become used to a fast paced sellers market where numbers like this lead people to again think the market has “crashed” when in reality it’s just returning to “normal”.  

Like I said in the beginning, I have no crystal ball.  But, I think the spring will some inventory where buyers will have choice, a slower paced market and offers that can contain conditions to protect the buyers and sellers so that the deals that are put together stay together