This week our listings saw an average of 1.9 showings each. Activity has been steady in our office, but the trend has been focussed on a narrow segment of the market: first time buyers. I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but in Charlotte, NC the first time buyer market is hot. In the past two weeks, we’ve experienced several situations where multiple offers were involved on homes priced under $200,000.
This makes sense because the buyers in this market do not have homes to sell. Additionally, the financing guidelines have changed recently and 100% loan to value no longer exists. Fannie Mae loan programs now require a minimum of 3% down. Perhaps, it is easier for buyers in the lower price range to pull together the necessary down payment than it is in higher ranges.
These new loan guidelines will certainly have an impact on real estate sales nationally and in our area. Over the past several years, a very large percentage of our sales were made with 100% financing, meaning that the buyers needed little to no cash at closing. With this type of financing no longer available, a segment of potential buyers have been removed from the marketplace.
The silver lining in all of this is skewed toward the ‘Trade Up’ buyer with a first time home to sell. They can expect a quick sale at a good price on their sell and a great deal when they buy. If I had a first time home to sell and was considering a move, you can bet that I ‘d be seizing the opportunity.