January is one of the top months for new listings to hit the market, making it a good time to start looking. Buyers gain a negotiating advantage when there are more listings in competition with each other. Typical inventory trends tell us that November through January are the peak months for buyers to have the maximum choice of properties before competing buyers begin dwindling the supply and their negotiating advantage. The market as a whole is still a seller’s market, meaning that supply is below normal for the level of demand out there. This shortage is mostly for properties below $200,000. Expect more choice in the upper price ranges.
Get ready for the beginning of the purchasing season! The first week of the year is typically the lowest point for pending sales due to low buyer activity over the Christmas and New Year holidays. The lull doesn’t last for long, however. January is a big time of year for large tourist events in the valley including the Barrett Jackson Car Show, Waste Management Open, Collegiate Football Championship and more. By February, open house traffic will pick up and a notable increase in contracts submitted. In 2015, the number of contracts in escrow nearly doubled between January and June before submitting to the summer slowdown. This year, we’re starting off with 15% more properties in escrow compared to this time last year, a good sign for sellers to kick off the year. There are still a significant number of boomerang buyers recovering their credit after foreclosures and short sales a few years ago, providing a healthy level of optimism for demand in 2016.
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