Now is the time for sellers to lock in gains.

John and I just returned from a national real estate conference that annually attracts 2,000 of the top and most innovative agents across North America. For those of you who love to talk real estate and are interested in being on the inside track, we’d love to talk real estate with you. We welcome your calls and look forward to putting this knowledge into action to benefit you and your family in 2019.

The hundreds of discussions that took place both on stage and behind closed doors could all fall under the category “The Return of the Normal Market.” Many markets, including the Tampa Bay market, have been in a steady ascent since 2011, and are now leveling off. In some cases, sellers are even finding sales and prices down.

While those are the national headlines, and national factors do impact local real estate values, real estate is highly local. So let’s look at the latest Greater Tampa Realtors market sales numbers:

Sales Volume
While overall sales for the year finished at a record 36,526 in the Greater Tampa MLS (up 5.7% over last year), December sales for the first time all year were down 12.6%.

Sales Prices
December closing prices were statistically even year over year. While one closed month does not make a market, the numbers clearly show that the growth that we’ve been experiencing has slowed down—which in reality is a good thing, as home price gains have outpaced income gains, leaving buyers feeling challenged and frustrated.

December 2015 - December 2016: Prices up 11.1%, volume up 10%

December 2016 - December 2017: Prices up 5.4%, volume flat

December 2017 - December 2018: Prices stable, volume down 12.6%

Buyers:
The good news is that buyers are starting to have more choices, and while inventory is still very low (currently a 3.5 month supply), mortgage payments in Tampa are below rent payments, making owning in Tampa still more attractive than renting.

Sellers:
Now is the time to lock in gains and act if you need to make a move in the short term. Motivated buyers are out in full force today, while many sellers are still recovering from the holidays and waiting on the sidelines to enter the market. When a market shifts, having a strategy and knowing what your competition is will make the difference between selling and not selling your home.

Veteran agents who have weathered many cycles know this, and when the balance is shifting from a seller’s to a buyer market, this is the time to consult an experienced professional that isn’t relying on the momentum of the market to sell your home.

If you have questions about your own situation, we’d love to hear from you. Please give us a call at (813) 907-2555, or send us an email at info@tampahomegroup.com.