By Cindy Royall Libonati
I sure don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have some thoughts about our real estate market based on many years of being a Realtor here.
I think that many homeowners who may have thought about moving and were able to refinance with a 2.5%-3% interest rate over the last year or so, may be re-thinking their decision to list their home and make a move at this time. This will further impact the inventory available, and we are already in short supply.
I anticipate that the number of sales may decrease as only those with a true need to sell will list their homes for sale and venture out into this market as a buyer. Prices may adjust slightly, or not at all – the demand is still high, and the inventory is still low. I think listings will come from those who need a larger space or are moving out of their parents’ home and need a workspace in their own home. Other reasons to move include a death, marriage, merging households, divorce, a work transfer out of the area, downsizing or needing larger space. Even deciding to move closer to work due to the increase in gas prices could be a reason. And there is still not enough housing available to accommodate all of these.
If someone loses their job or the ability to pay their mortgage, unlike during the recession of 2007-2009 with short-sales and foreclosures, now homeowners have equity and a vested interest in their home, and I don’t believe they will walk away. If they just can’t make ends meet, I believe they would sell, take the money and move out of the area.
If you are considering making a move either as a buyer or a seller, I would recommend not sitting on the sideline.
I also would caution any seller to be realistic in pricing if you are listing your home for sale. We are still seeing multiple offers, three to five is more common than 20, but still happening.
Hire a professional Realtor to represent you and guide you and listen to them. If you’re a buyer and you’re waiting for prices to come down, I wouldn’t recommend that strategy. Rents are rising and are also in short supply. Homeownership is the basis for wealth and creates such amazing memories and a sense of security.
Cindy Royall Libonati is a Realtor® with Sotheby’s International Realty, Encino/ Calabasas Brokerage. She can be reached at cindyagent@aol. com or 818.421.4468. DRE# 00582036/