This is a question I answer everyday...and I think RealTrends has a far better response thsan I do:
Buyer demand and seller supply nearly balanced
For the first time in eight years, the overall U.S. housing market is experiencing a rare balance between home buyer demand and home seller supply, according to HouseHunt’s latest “Current Market Conditions” quarterly survey. Only 45 percent of respondents reported more buyers than sellers, compared to a 61%-39% ratio six months ago. Thirty-one percent reported more sellers than buyers; the remaining 24 percent said their markets are almost evenly divided. In the South, the Midwest, the Northeast and in California, the buyer-seller ratio closely matches the national figures. The HouseHunt national survey in the first quarter of 2006 also found:
* It’s taking longer to sell a home in most markets, and the trend is up. Fifty-five percent of respondents said it was taking more than 60 days.
* Seventy-five percent of sellers are still getting at least 95 percent of their asking prices. Only seven percent say they are still getting more than 100 percent. In Southern Maryland, the trend is that Sellers are negotiating about 5.5% on average.
* Home appreciation in the past 12 months is holding firm at about 10 percent. The trend is moving toward single-digit appreciation, however. Fifty-four percent reported five percent or less, 20 percent said five to ten percent, and 26 percent said ten percent or more.
* Eighty-one percent reported a good supply of unsold homes in virtually all price ranges, with inventories steadily growing.
* Multiple offers dropped from 70 percent a year ago to 39 percent in the first quarter of 2006 as demand for unsold homes decreased in many markets.
* Move-up and repeat buyers outnumber first-time buyers by a two-to-one margin in most parts of the country. The margin is three-to-one in California and the South. The national two-to-one ratio has remained constant in the past three to five years despite rapid run-ups in home appreciation.
This applies in Southern Maryland for sure. We are very fortunate, however, to expect continued appreciation over the next 5+ years. Single digit appreciation??? Make you mad because you expect more??? Consider the alternative and smile wide.