Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than trying to score football tickets for the UF/Bama game this fall has been trying to find a home to buy — much less having your offer chosen as the winning bid. Particularly here in Gainesville, we have seen more potential homeowners than available houses, and it has been “a seller’s market” for quite a few months. But, will it stay that way into the rest of fall? Read on for some projections of the real estate industry as we head into the autumn months.
The Current State of the Market
Rent Prices are Spiking
All over the country, rent prices are spiking as moratoriums on rent expire. Here in Gainesville, homeowners are asking renters for 7% more in rent than this time last year. While it’s one of the lower increases in the state, these shifts are causing dramatic changes to the location and quality of home that renters can afford within their budgets.
Home Sales are Slowing Down —But Not By Much
If you have been anywhere near the real estate business this summer, you know it’s been the fastest-selling market in years. But, compared to September, the speed at which homes are selling is somewhat slowing down. Gainesville’s number of active listings was the highest since February of this year, meaning homes are spending a little longer on the market.
However, buying a home is still a speed game. In September, a for-sale home spent an average of 76 days on the market. That means from listing to closing, houses only stay on the market for 2 months — barely enough time to get a land survey done!
Prices Are Still High
In the laws of supply and demand, as supply increases, demand goes down. After, prices usually fall as well. Despite an active listings increase, house prices are still at an annual high. September 2021 listing prices were 17% higher than they were a year ago.
If houses continue to stay on the market for longer periods, it should balance homeowners’ asking prices. However, it will be at least 2022 before prices return to anywhere near what they were at the beginning of 2021.
How to Plan
With all of this in mind, anyone can take a few smart steps to be prepared, whether you are planning to buy or rent a home.
Determine Your Budget
It seems simple but having a set price range is the easiest way to narrow down your search. In a market that moves quickly, the last thing you want to do is waste time or get your hopes up looking at homes that, ultimately, you are not in the financial position to consider. Taking time to figure out your budget’s absolutes protects your interests and helps your realtor to find your best options.
Chances are, you already have an idea of where you might want to live in Gainesville. But have you considered the long-term concerns of that cute little neighborhood?
Here is a great list of questions — besides how long your commute is — to ask yourself when considering where to live.
- Could I have kids who will attend school in this district?
- Are there plans for upcoming construction nearby?
- Do I want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA?
- How will Florida gameday traffic affect me?
- What is this area like when the University students are in town?
The city of Gainesville has constant traffic changes, construction, and population, so consider these factors when shopping for your next home.
There have been countless homebuyers who lost out on a great place because someone with pre-approval was able to close sooner than them. Don’t be the cautionary tale and rather, be the people who end up with the house they want!
There are multiple mortgage options and rates depending on where you go, so be ready to spend some time looking for your best rate. Once you find a lender who will take good care of you, go ahead and get pre-approved. This will serve as a signal to any seller that you are serious about buying their property.
The Right Realtor Gets You the Right Home
To stay at the front of the market trends, it’s important to have the right real estate team to partner with. With the Golden Rule Home buying process, we treat you how we would want to be treated, so that means with expertise, care, and more than a little humor!. If you need an agent who treats you with respect and keeps you educated during your home buying journey, get in touch with our team of community experts!