As a full-time Realtor® in the Tampa Bay market, I’m asked this question several times a week. Sure, there’s variations on how the question is phrased and what type of person is asking the question. Sometimes it’s from prospective sellers who are thinking about making a move. Other times it comes up in my early early conversations with buyers. But more often than not, it comes up in casual conversations with friends and neighbors. Everyone always seems to want to know what is going on in our local real estate market and is now a good time to sell their home?
So the simple answer to this question is “Yes, it is a good time to sell your home.” But let’s spend a bit of time explaining a few reasons as to why it is a good time to sell your home.
Florida is popular. Or should I say more popular…or populated to be precise. In 2014, Florida overtook New York as the 3rd most populated state in the US with currently around 21.8 million residents compared to New York’s 19.8 million residents. The only more populated states in the US are California at 38 million and Texas at 28 million. Florida is currently seeing about 1,000 new residents move here every single day. All of these new residents need a place to call home and your home might be the perfect destination for them to put down some roots in the Sunshine State.
With all these new residents arriving daily, we need housing for them and quite simply, we don’t have enough available inventory for them. While our housing inventory was incredibly scarce 6 months ago, it has improved but we are still facing on an ongoing housing inventory shortage in the Tampa Bay market. Anything less than a 6 month supply is considered a ‘Seller’s Market’ and most communities throughout Tampa Bay only have a 3-4 month supply of housing currently available. Lots of buyers and not enough houses translates into simple rules of supply and demand – high demand and low supply equals higher prices. You have to go all the way back to January of 2015 just to find a 6 month supply of residential housing in the Tampa Bay region so this seller’s market is nothing new to us. Granted, it’s been red-hot the past 2 years with several areas literally having inventory supplies measured in days and weeks, not months, but we are still well below an even ‘neutral’ market of a 6 month supply.
Historical data also shows us that November/December/January are typically a bit slower in terms of available housing inventory than other times of the year. This is partially attributed to homeowners shifting their focus to celebrating the holiday season with friends and family. Homeowners don’t want to prepare for an open house and constantly keep their home looking like a model home just awaiting that next showing request to come through on their listing. Listing your home now will mean that you’ll face less competition from other homes on the market. Less competing homes for sale means higher prices. Likewise, buyers don’t want to be house shopping during the holiday season – they’d rather be celebrating with friends and family too. So the buyers that are shopping are doing so because they have to move, and that makes them motivated buyers. There’s fewer of them out there this time of the year, but the ones that are out there are serious buyers and they need to buy now.
When we get into the Spring months, we historically see an increase in residential housing listings, especially in single family homes and even more so in larger homes or properties with swimming pools. Why? Families prefer to move over the summer months if they have the option and flexibility to do so. Kids are out of school for the summer, and they can transfer to new schools or districts easier during the summer break rather than mid-year. So if you want to move over the summer months, you work the calendar backwards and that means putting your home on the market in the spring. March/April/May listings translate into May/June/July closings.
So to recap, yes, it’s a great time to sell your home now. Plenty of buyers continue to move to Florida every day. There are not enough houses available for these families to purchase. Listing your home now means you’ll face less competition from other homes on the market at the same time. Of course, aligning yourself with a full-time, professional Realtor® will help you take advantage of these selling conditions and get you top dollar for your home. Reach out to me today and let me show you how my marketing strategies and market data analytics will benefit you!