Article by Lindsey Borton
It’s a jungle out there- a suburban jungle that’s becoming increasingly difficult for buyers to navigate. Megan Phillips, a first-time home buyer in the area said “Inflation in price on houses has pushed us into exploring every single option possible and still leaving us empty handed.” Her experience is reflected in many buyers in the area, leading to what’s called Buyer fatigue- buyers are becoming so discouraged by the constant cutthroat competition that they’re ready to give up.
Pierce County boasts over 356,000 households and is growing by almost 14% yearly (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019). There are currently fewer than 400 residential homes for sale county-wide to accommodate not only all of that growth but also the current renters looking to buy, the young people ready to purchase their first home, and the current homeowners looking to buy bigger or newer homes. Phillips has been outbid 19 times, has 5 back-up offers in place, and still has not been able to find a home. She and her fiance have been searching for over a year for a starter home and they’re ready to give up, because they can’t offer more. Buyers across the area are in the same boat: frustrated, tired, browbeaten into spending more than their budget or settling for a home they don’t love out of desperation. Potential homeowners are regularly offering up to 100,000 over asking price simply to be considered by sellers.
While all of this is great news for sellers because it means an increased sale price and shortened transaction time, it can be overwhelming for agents and homeowners as well. Sellers and agents having to slog through a dozen or more offers within days of listing a home for sale is increasingly common. Homeowners are being inundated with calls from eager agents looking to sell their homes because there simply is not enough inventory to sustain the housing market at the current level. At the current rate, every home for sale in the county will be sold in less than 2 weeks if new listings are not added to the market. The only answer to these issues on both buyer and seller ends is increased inventory.
The one area that has seen less of a struggle is the 55+ housing market. Homes in this sector of the market have seen less competition and more reasonable prices while still benefiting from the record low interest rates that have enticed so many buyers recently. This means one thing- Homeowners over 55 have the greatest potential of any seller on the market. They alone can take advantage of the record market without having to worry about having so much competition that they end up priced out of any purchase.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Buy low, sell high”- but when has it been possible to do both in the same week? This perfect setup means that those over 55 are in the ideal position to stimulate the economy, upgrade to a home that better fits your needs, and end up with a little cash in their pockets to boot.
Strike while the iron is hot, and maybe help Megan and the other buyers in her position. They really, really want to buy your home.