Ask Eli: Is relief coming for buyers?

This regularly scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channelEnjoy!

Question: Do you expect the market to remain this competitive all year?

Answer: It has been a brutal housing market for buyers so far this year, which I have detailed in a few recent posts. Fortunately for buyers, the data says that there will be some relief coming soon as the market typically reaches peak competition in the 18th week of the year, followed by a gradual slowdown through the end of the year, except for a post-Labor Day pop.

The 18th week of the year is next week, so if history is any indication of the future, we should observe drops in the speed of sales and amount of price escalations over ask by early May.

Why the Market Shifts after Week 18

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s longer peak season and thus a delay in the market shift this year because we have even fewer homes being listed for sale this year than last year, a year with historically low listing volume. One of the reasons competition starts to ease by the 18th week of the year is that many of the most driven and over-qualified buyers find a home by May, so there’s less intense competition. With so few homes coming to market, many of those buyers have yet to find a home in 2024.

Another reason the market starts to shift around May, and especially during summer months, is because buyers’ time starts to fill up with more personal obligations (trips, weddings, family gatherings, kids’ sports, etc) and you can count on this continuing to influence market conditions this year (and future years) and helping to ease competition.

Data Trends are Pretty Clear and Reliable

The charts below illustrate market performance/conditions based on the week a property went under contract, using my two preferred market performance metrics – the percentage of homes selling within their first week on market (pace of the market) and the average sold price to the original asking price (price pressure). You can see that both measures follow similar trend lines during the year. Note: I did not include 2020 because the seasonality was reversed due to COVID lockdowns.

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channel.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10CA