Business Extra: Real estate overview

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 9:54AM

As a full-time Realtor in the Monadnock Region helping buyers and sellers, I would have to say that 2016 was the best year that I’ve had in my 13 years in business. In my opinion, 2017 will be even better. Why?

Let’s go back to 2003. When I started in the business, the market was very active. People would list their homes for sale and within 24 hours the house was either under contract or had multiple offers being presented. It was a seller’s market with very little inventory. So when buyers found a house that they liked, they had to move fast. Part of that process included them having a pre-approval letter in hand from the bank, mortgage company or other lending institution.

In 2006-2007, we saw the downfall of the banking industry, the government’s involvement with stricter regulations, and the recessive general economy. People started losing their homes and in an instant it changed from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. During this period, buyers really called the shots, so to speak. Short sales (selling for less than what is owed with the mortgage holder taking the loss) were happening more and more, and sellers were coming to the closing having to pay.

Fast forward to 2016. We saw a change this year although prices had not gone up. Apparently, more buyers were comfortable investing so inventory became depleted quickly (all-time low interested rates helped, too). We have now started to move to what I’d like to call a more balanced market. We saw multiples offers again, houses of all different price points, as well as houses that had been on the market for 2-plus years begin to sell.

My prediction for 2017? I’ll say it again—this year will be even better. Although I don’t own a crystal ball, I have spoken with others in the Contoocook Valley Board of Realtors and I am comfortable saying that the market is going to keep improving. Buyers have recognized that with the low interest rates and affordable house prices, now is the time to make that investment. If you’ve been waiting to buy, or wanting to sell, wait no more—it’s time to move!

Larry Alvarez is a Realtor with Tieger Realty Co. in Jaffrey.