Home Buying Season Not Over Yet

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The Federal Savings Bank discusses the current status for the housing market going into the winter season.

VA and FHA home loans at The Federal Savings Bank

The Federal Savings Bank

Investors have been able to purchase homes at basement prices, but this winter we are encouraging all first-time home buyers to apply and get approved for a mortgage as fast as possible and bid on multiple listings.

What is typically seen during the winter months in the real estate market is a sharp decrease in the number of transactions and homes sold. Prices are usually slightly cheaper than in the summer and spring too. However, The Federal Savings Bank sees this year differently. The real estate market is still hot entering the holiday season, with mortgage applicants on the lookout for a new home purchase.

According to a November 19th Realtor.com report Winter Home Buyer Report, the winter housing market is still going strong. With a lower-than-normal level of inventory of homes listed for sale, prices have been rising quickly over the last year.

"Instead of the usual seasonal slowdown, October data show the 2013 fall market moving at a fast pace," said Realtor.com's President Errol Samuelson. "Inventory has returned to last year's levels, but prices continue to strengthen and homes are moving significantly faster compared to this time last year."

Winter market trends
Home buyers during the seasonal selling months of spring and summer find themselves in an extremely competitive market with bidding wars. Some of the same trends have carried on into the winter market, fewer home buyers are searching for new properties, offering more opportunity. Many of the same buyers who were house hunting in the warmer months are still looking.

"This summer and spring home buying season was particularly challenging for buyers, especially first-time home buyers trying to compete with all-cash offers and bidding wars because of reduced inventory," said Realtor.com's vice president of corporate communications Alison Schwartz. "In fact, a quarter of the winter home buyers revealed they are in the market now because they were unable to find a home during this last home buying season."

There is a lack of inventory in the market, with 45 percent of respondents citing not enough inventories in their price range is an issue. 34 percent of respondents believed there was not enough inventory overall. Lower inventory levels have helped push home prices up over the last year. For first-time home buyers, the competitive seasonal selling was extremely difficult as bidding wars were common and all-cash offers were favored. “We're catering to a younger generation recently, that is, first-time homebuyers, because they will account for the majority of demand going into the next leg of housing growth,” says Nick, a banker at The Federal Savings Bank. Nick continues, “Investors have been able to purchase homes at basement prices, but this winter we are encouraging all first-time home buyers to apply and get approved for a mortgage as fast as possible and bid on multiple listings."

First-time homebuyers who The Federal Savings Bank encourages to remain active this winter are mostly hoping for a better deal. With fewer houses available, this will be tough, however, there are fewer buyers after seasonal selling has ended, which has given first-time home buyers a good shot at appealing serious with their pre-approved loans bids to sellers.

Contact the Federal Savings Bank, a veteran owned bank, to explore affordable housing options.

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