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Early 2024 Real Estate Market in 3 Charts

Most of the real estate clients I serve transact in Middlesex County, so I've pulled these charts to illustrate the current market conditions across the county, for all property types.

First up is market type, which I've highlighted in nearly every newsletter and blog post, because we have been experiencing one of the strongest Seller's Market in history. We currently have less than 1 month's supply of inventory, which means that if 100 houses typically sell each month, we have only 83 on the market. Most of those homes will be sold in under one month.

Next up is Property Value. No surprise here - prices are rising steadily across Middlesex County over the past 5 years, including a healthy 6.8% increase on average over the last 12 months. The historical average annual increase for real estate across the US is about 4%, so we've been outpacing for several years.

As the next chart shows, there is a significant trend down over the last five years in the availability of homes for sale. Yes, each year there is an upward bump at year end when fewer buyers are out looking, but the trend line is clear.

Housing market analysts cite three reasons for this trend:

  1. Low interest rates have current homeowners "locked in" on very attractive mortgages

  2. Baby boomers are staying put, deciding not to downsize

  3. Not enough new homes are being built across the country to meet demand. This is an especially acute problem in the Northeast, where there is int much land left that can be built out with new homes.

So what does this all mean? For sellers, the message is clear: if you have somewhere to go, this is a GREAT time to sell your current home.

For home buyers the message may seem a little more nuanced, but I think it is actually just as clear. Yes, finding the right home at the right price in this market can be challenging, but these trends seem to be pretty locked in and unlikely to shift, so it's still a good time to buy. If interest rates do go down later this year, as the markets are predicting, even more buyers may be drawn into the market.

But while the trends and the data help to understand the current market context, buying or selling a home is a uniquely personal decision. If you've been wondering whether the time is right for you, give me a ring. I welcome the opportunity to talk through your own personal plan.

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