2016 could be your last chance to list your home in the booming Lancaster County seller’s market, so if you’ve been toying with the idea of selling, now is the time. The projections for this year largely remain in favor to do so. In 2016 sellers can look forward to increasing home prices, low inventory, and intense competition throughout Lancaster County, PA. March is the perfect time to get everything in
order so you’re ready to enter the market and put that for sale sign on the front of your yard. Home buying season begins in April and reaches its peak in June.
But what makes the current market so suitably tailored to sellers this year?
The answer is economics 101: supply and demand. Simply put, the amount of interested buyers shopping around the housing market far exceeds the inventory of available homes. According to the National Realtors Association, in January 2016 an MLS-listed home was on the market for an average of just 64 days, and they found an 11% increase of houses sold in 2015 vs. 2016 on a seasonally-adjusted annualized basis report. This is excellent news for sellers, because they can expect competitive bidding wars on their homes. The bidding will drive up the pricing of the property, and the seller will come out on top. So, if you wait to sell your home until the warmer months, you will miss out on competitive buyers.
What is causing the increase of demand in 2016?
Interests rates are expected to go up. The Federal Reserve has hinted the rates are going to increase sooner rather than later. This is causes passive buyers to take action and make fast decisions in the market to secure low mortgage rates.
Over the past few years we’ve also seen rent prices skyrocketing. The average price to rent an apartment or home has risen 15% in 70 metro areas across the United States. First time homebuyers are entering the market to avoid the rising rent costs, secure a stabilized mortgage payment, and to invest in properties for their future.
Finally, tax benefits still work in favor of the seller. Selling a home can secure a large tax break on your 2017 filings. You can exclude capital gains from the sale of a personal residence on your taxes. Single tax payers can exclude up to $250K, and joint filers can exclude up to $500K. Though be mindful of meeting the requirements before your finale decision to sell is based on the exclusion: you must have lived in the home for 24 consecutive months within the past 5 years, and you cannot have claimed a home-sale exclusion of your returns in the past two years.