How to Navigate a Shifting Real Estate Market
It's undeniable that the Bahamas real estate market was super hot in 2021 and the first half of 2022, with declining inventory levels and high competition among buyers for certain properties. However, the market now seems to be making a shift. Starting in 2023 inventory levels of new properties to the market in both homes and land are replenishing the lower inventory levels.
In most of the island markets, sellers are still listing at rates higher than the pre-pandemic years from 2017 to 2019, and the list-to-sales price ratio remains high, but the MLS data is showing signs of a possible market change.
It still appears to be a seller's market right now, but for how much longer? As a first-time homebuyer or even a seasoned homebuyer, it's important to keep up with the shifting market trends in order to secure a successful transaction. Read on to learn more about the shifting real estate market and discover how to better navigate these changes.
What Does the Shifting Market Look Like?
In May 2022, Realtor.com released some housing data that revealed some major turning points in the US real estate market. In terms of inventory, the data shows that the number of active home listings entering the market was higher than it's been since 2019. Nationally, the inventory of active home listings increased by 8% over the prior year.
While having more homes and properties on the market is good for buyers, homes and properties are still spending about the same time on the market compared to last year, and prices are still rising slightly. Like the US market, the Bahamas real estate market is showing signs of a shift, but not necessarily in a buyer's favor just yet.
Tips for Navigating Market Shifts as a Buyer
In addition to partnering with a local, expert real estate agent, utilizing the following tips can help first-time homebuyers better navigate continued market shifts.
Know Your Budget
With increased home prices, it's essential to do your homework and plan what you can truly afford in advance. In a seller's market, you should be prepared to pay the asking price or very close to the asking. However, it is essential that you make buying decisions based on your finances and not on your emotions. Just because you can financially afford to pay the asking price of a home doesn't mean that you should or that it's in your best interest over the long term.
Get Preapproval From a Local Bank
Along with having a thorough understanding of your budget before buying a home, you should obtain a preapproved loan through a mortgage officer at one of the local banks. Getting a pre-approved letter from the bank signals sellers that you are a serious buyer, and it may even gain you access to earlier showings ahead of other buyers.
Be Flexible and Patient
A final tip for first-time buyers navigating today's market shifts is to be flexible and patient. There will undoubtedly be ups and down on your buying journey, especially with today's market and continued market shifts. While there will be ups and downs, just remember that buying a home or property is still within reach, and when in doubt, always reach out to one of Morley's expert real estate agents for help.
Tips for Navigating Market Shifts as a Seller
While the market appears to get ready for a shift, it's still an ideal time for sellers. The following tips will help you get the most out of your selling experience.
Work With a Local Real Estate Agent that You Trust
Even during a seller's market, it's important to work with a local expert real estate agent that you trust when listing your house or property. Any one of Morley agents will be able to give you the most up-to-date information on the market, navigate stressful contracts, and help you get the best price for your home or property.
Have a Pre-Inspection Before Putting Your Home on the Market
In addition to working closely with a Morley agent, it would be to your benefit to have a pre-inspection completed on your home and have any identified deficiencies fixed before you list it on the market. Having a pre-inspection can save you a ton of time, headaches, delays down the road, and ultimately get you a higher price.
The market has favored sellers over the last couple of years. While shifts in the market are beginning to appear, the market still resides in favor of sellers for now. However, the good news is that there are more active listings in the market today than last year. So, whether you're a seller or a buyer, the best way to navigate and stay on top of these market shifts is to work with a local real estate agent who you can trust.