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| Kait Walsh, 22 News WWLP
Home sweet home: Buyers are on the hunt for one; owners don’t want to get rid of the one they have. That’s making for a slow spring housing market. It’s all about supply and demand: With fewer homes available to buy, buyers are competing for the same property, and sellers can stick to their asking price or even raise it during a bid war.
“Right now, we’re seeing a definite shift toward a seller’s market,” said Brian Sears of Sears Real Estate in Springfield.
As a result, sales and prices are up from last year. According to the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley, sales were up 38.2%, and the median price of a single-family home was up 2.7% in the Pioneer Valley. In Franklin County, sales were up 6.3% and the median price increased 8.5%. In Hampden County, sales were up 44.8% and the median price increased by 3.9%. Hampshire County saw sales up 27.6% and the median price up 4.4%. This was from March of 2015 to March of 2016.
“Really important as a buyer right now to know how to make sure that your offer stands out, and that’s trying to put down the full deposit, trying to make your offer strong without a lot of contingencies,” said Sears.
The seller’s market isn’t just impacting prospective homebuyers, it’s also affecting many other industries that rely on a booming housing market. Paint companies like Clark Paint in West Springfield, notice a change in business when there aren’t an abundance of homes on the market.
“Certainly the new construction paint sales goes down, but the remodeling seems to hang in there when people feel like spending money. They still like to fix up what they’re currently living in,” said Andy Raker, owner of Clark Paint.
Realtor Mark Sears blames a lack of homes for sale on owners comfortable where they live, or still in debt from the housing crisis. He said a relatively warm winter had buyers looking for homes early, and prospective sellers may not list their homes until May.
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