December housing market sees an increase in home purchases compared to past years
The month of December is usually a slow month for the housing market, but this winter is shaping up to be a favorable time for buyers and sellers that have struggled to buy and sell a home. During December, most consumers are preoccupied with holiday shopping, and homes usually are not a common holiday gift. Furthermore, many homeowners with children do not want to move mid-December and interrupt their children’s academic year. That being said, December 2018 proved to be oddly good for home buyers and sellers comparatively to past years.
The reasoning behind the change can be traced to the rise of mortgage rates over the past several months causing the housing market to calm, which is motivating buyers more than ever. Home prices increased so much during the recent housing shortage that higher rates are having an irregularly strong impact. A majority of people are buying this December because they are afraid rates will go up in 2019.
The rise in mortgage rates combined with home price appreciation has caused first-time buyers to hit an affordability wall. This is the primary reason for sales decreases on new and existing homes during the past several months. This decrease in sales is not all bad though, as it is a sign that prices will start to decrease.
Patience is the answer to buying and selling in December
Homes stay on the market five days longer on average in the month of December than other months causing sellers to be more patient and buyers to be more flexible. This December proved to be a fast-paced month though, with many buyers needing to move by January 1 and many sellers wanting to get to their next home before the holidays.
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December is usually the slowest month for home sales, but that might not be the case < https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/03/december-usually-slow-for-home-sales-but-that-might-change-this-year.html > CNBC, Diana Olick.