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Real estate market may bloom come spring

This winter has been unpredictable. One day, it’s hunting season and the next it feels like fishing weather. I hardly know whether to don a parka or put on sunscreen. The market over the past several months has been similarly confusing. Realtors are busy, volume is way up but prices remain a mixed bag, and in many instances on the rise. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to what spring may bring.

We all know that many homeowners are leery of listing their homes during the winter months because they assume there are fewer buyers actively searching the market for a home during that time of year. This is especially true for a community known for its schools. When spring rolls around, many of those same homeowners decide to list their home. Experts expect even more inventory this year since sellers know that buyer confidence is on the rise.

Thankfully, throughout the county and across the country, many areas are starting to see consumer confidence in the housing market return, leading more prospective buyers to begin their search to purchase a home.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales rose more than nine percent in 2012, the highest level in five years, and new-home construction reached a four-year high. Williamson County had its own increase of 28 percent.  With all of this good news, it’s no wonder homeowners and homebuyers are feeling more confident in their investment.

Even with all of these positive reports, those who are ready to buy are faced with few options thanks to a lack of inventory. As a result, many Realtors are seeing steadily increasing home prices. The higher demand means sellers might be able to ask more for their homes. With inventory this low, many people are reporting bidding wars in popular neighborhoods. Realtors are even resorting to unconventional measures, combing through old listings, trying to find a home for their buyers.

Regardless of price, if it’s located in Williamson County, buyers could be interested due to the county’s quality of living. Williamson County has outperformed our neighbors and most of the country for a long time. We can thank our education system, low crime, a broad spectrum of homes and home prices, location close to big city amenities like sports, theatre and employment opportunities.  Our community is among the most popular with buyers, proving that a well-maintained home in good condition will sell, regardless of its size or price.

I feel that we are experiencing all the signs that point to a true market turn. Interest rates are low and potential buyers have built up significant pent-up demand. I have high hopes that the first signs of spring will bring with it the first buds of a busy selling season.

Matt Ligon is a broker with Zeitlin & Co. Realtors and is the 2013 Williamson County Association of Realtors president.

Posted on: 3/8/2013


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