February Broker Note

As expected, the market has heated up quickly throughout these first several weeks of 2024 – a significant shift from Q4 of 2023. In the last half of 2023, rates continued to increase which saw buyer demand decrease. This, paired with typical holiday/winter seasonality, saw a far slower market the last part of the year, slower than we have seen for several years with fewer sales than pre-pandemic levels.

Today’s market has stark differences. Now, rates are going the other direction – they’re decreasing, and with the pent up demand from last year, we expect more buyers to continue to enter the market with every additional rate decrease. Additionally, most real estate sales in Wisconsin tend to happen in Q2 and Q3 due to the weather warming up and inventory becoming available after spring cleaning can be done. We’re seeing inventory already start to tick up with a year over year increase, making more opportunities for buyers to find what they’re looking for.

For us realtors, February is prime “spring” market where we start to see demand really increase as buyers start to think about their plans and goals for the rest of the year. Even though inventory is increasing, it is still far below the levels needed in order to provide opportunities for all buyers, so we can expect competition throughout this spring paired with increasing prices.

It will be nearly impossible to time a home purchase or sale “perfectly”. On one hand, it is great to sell now when there is less inventory because your home will stand out with the many buyers who are looking - when supply is low and demand is high, prices are high, after all. On the other hand, we expect more buyers to enter the market as the weather keeps heating up, so there may be more of a chance to have additional competing offers later into the spring/summer– yet, as the warming weather brings more buyers, it also brings more inventory options, which can decrease the competitiveness for a single home.

We expect 2024 to be an extremely healthy real estate market in Dane County and beyond, specifically due to the pent-up demand from last year and the forecast of decreasing rates throughout the year. Plus, it’s an election year, and that has historically brought favorable conditions to homebuyers. We’re especially hopeful that inventory options will be prevalent this year for buyers to find what they’ve been looking for.

Posted by Alison Crim on
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