November is often a slow month for the real estate market, and this year was no exception. The County finished the month with 536 single-family contracts, more than 35% fewer than November 2022. On a year-to-date basis the County was 20% behind 2022 totals.
The November total deserves a little more context. Yes, it was far below pandemic-era November deal totals. But it was also well above the totals observed during the bottom of the most recent dip, when November activity was in the 300s from 2010 through 2013.
The 2023 results are what you would expect to see when there is a lot of interest and focus on the real estate markets, but too few active listings for buyers to consider. There were bidding wars for nicer homes in popular locations. Reasonable homes in less popular locations were selling consistently. Buyers were passing on overpriced homes if sellers were not willing to negotiate.
Everything about the market appeared to be rational. This includes the behavior of owners who had their home listed at inflated prices just in case there was a buyer out there desperate enough to pay up for the property. That’s a perfectly valid strategy – though I hope they were doing it intentionally and understood the implications.
The key with this market is to understand the submarkets properly so that you know what to expect and can make smart decisions.