The Augusta, Columbia County and North Augusta housing market has been fiercely competitive for the past year and a half, but things are starting to look up for hopeful buyers. Several recent signs in the housing market point to a potential opening to buy this fall. Here’s why.
For one, all I have to do is check my email, and I see tons of open houses, price reductions and back on the market announcements. That has not been the case for a very long time. Why? Houses were hardly ever on the market long enough to be able to hold open houses.
Also, more listings are coming to market, giving buyers more choices. More choices means less desperation bidding by home buyers. I guess word finally got out that home prices are skyrocketing, so more homeowners are looking to cash in before it is too late, plus it seems like there is a new subdivision around every corner these days. This means more inventory and less competition for prospective home buyers. As of the time I am writing this, there are 1,057 home listings in the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS® MLS. This is the most I have seen in the Augusta area since the pandemic started.
Finally, Fall has always been considered by many to traditionally be the best time to buy a home, regardless of market conditions. This is because many families prefer to move in late spring or summer when school is out. In our area, summer is also when service members receive their relocation orders. This seasonal decrease in home buyers means less competition for hopeful home buyers, fewer multiple offer situations, more motivated sellers, and greater leverage for buyers to negotiate a good deal.
My best advice to hopeful home buyers is to keep an eye on the “days on the market” metric to indicate whether now could be a better time to buy. You will also want to keep an eye out for the average days on the market for your favorite subdivision, neighborhood or city. My experience is that homes are staying on the market a little longer these days versus selling in a day or two back in the summer. To get the best deal on a home, find one that has been on the market 30 days or more. Those sellers will be much more likely to negotiate versus a home that just hit the market.
Make no mistake, the Augusta real estate market is still a sellers market, and sellers know this, so prices may not necessarily fall in the near future. However, there is no denying that the tables have turned just a bit, and with interest rates still well under 3 percent for those with excellent credit, Fall could be the lull in the market that reluctant home buyers have been waiting for. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and let me know!