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Seasonal shifts give frustrated buyers hope

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Recent stock market volatility and seasonal trends may give buyers better financial options and more time to make purchase decisions entering the fall, says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com.

August data remains positive with regard to overall housing health as both demand and supply continue to grow.  

“This year we are seeing inventory continue to grow in August, and while overall demand is strong, the trend in median days on market is suggesting that the market is finding more of a balance,” concluded Smoke. “This bodes well for would-be buyers who have been discouraged by the inability to find a home to buy this spring and summer.”

According to realtor.com’s ‘Advance Read of August Trends,’ which draws on residential inventory and demand trends over the first three weeks of the month, the national median list price is $233,000, up 8% year-over-year and virtually flat over July, demonstrating a continued positive trend in home prices.

 Further, median days on market are down 6% year-over-year and up 6% month-over-month at 75 days, which shows the season is naturally shifting to favor buyers as inventory moves more slowly than in spring and summer.

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(Source: realtor.com)

The recent stock market correction could offer benefits to prospective buyers.

“A temporary drop in demand by those negatively affected by stock market instability might be just what strained would-be buyers need to gain the advantage in a market that has given sellers the upper hand so far this year,” said Smoke, adding that postponement by the Fed due to the market correction could extend accessibility of attractively low mortgage rates.

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