“Build it and they will come.” That phrase had characterized Clark County’s real estate market for decades. But are we ready to build the housing that will meet the needs of those who help drive the local market: the baby boomers?
The year 2013 was a continuation of the momentum in home sales that started in 2012. Prices continued to modestly increase. With this stability in the market, many savvy but cautious buyers were ready to take the plunge.
This improvement in the housing market also created hope for many homeowners who had suffered substantial losses in value over the past several years and now found themselves in a more favorable position to sell.
The shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market came early in the year, when buyers very aggressively returned to the market. The listing inventory in certain price ranges was quickly depleted.
A seller’s market emerged, with multiple offers on some properties, especially in the lower price ranges — less than $200,000, and $200,000 to $250,000. Prompted by low interest rates and good values, buyers continued to pursue homeownership.
The next 12 months should be characterized by an increase in housing inventory. More homeowners will be reaching the point where their equity position is improved enough to no longer be “underwater.” As those sellers enter the housing market, we should see inventories adequate to satisfy a thirsty supply of buyers.
Many baby boomers are homeowners who want to move from a large two-story into a single-level home in a quality, secure neighborhood with perhaps a smaller yard. They are not finding many choices in this category, particularly if they aren’t interested in paying more than $400,000 for the home. They want newer, quality construction — they don’t want to downgrade, they just want to downsize.