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Buyer’s vs. Seller’s Housing Market

What’s the difference between a buyer’s and a seller’s market? These terms are constantly thrown around in real estate circles. They greatly determine when it’s appropriate to buy or sell a home–so it’s important to know which type of market you’re in!

The housing market fluctuates seasonally and regionally, but having experienced advisors and skillful timing can lead to thousands of dollars saved. Staying educated on the various conditions of the real estate market helps ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. Here’s everything you need to know about a buyer’s versus seller’s market, including what to expect for the housing market in the rest of 2019.

Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market occurs when supply exceeds demand; the housing inventory greatly surpasses the number of people willing or able to purchase a home. A buyer’s market simply indicates that the market is functioning in buyers’ favor. Sellers may have a harder time getting the asking prices they want and might even have to resort to alternative selling methods.

Having to compete with all the other properties in this surplus, it is likely that your home will be on the market much longer. This situation is ideal for buyers because a larger supply means smaller prices.

Seller’s Market

Opposite to a buyer’s market, a seller’s market happens when the demand is larger than the supply. As buyers come in with more money to spend on real estate, there aren’t enough homes to meet the massive demand. This often leads to multiple interested parties in the same property, subsequently creating bidding wars for the homes available. The shortage of homes helps drive up prices, making it favorable for sellers–i.e. a seller’s market.

How to Determine the Current Market

The state of the housing market is constantly fluctuating, which can make it very difficult to predict whether it is currently favoring buyers or sellers. Furthermore, the market can change before you’ve completed your real estate objective, and it may not change to your favor. The three most significant factors for determining the current market are the time of year, inventory, and location.

Time of Year – “The real estate market goes up and down depending on the season. There are usually a lot more homes for sale in the summer months (June – August) than any other time of year” ( This could lead to a buyers market during the spring-summer seasons while remaining more favorable for sellers during the winter. Seasonal fluctuations greatly depend on inventory.

Inventory – Home inventory is obviously the greatest indicator. The very definitions of buyer and seller markets hinge upon the concept of supply of overall housing inventory. The inventory and availability of homes dictates their prices and can give an indication of how long it might take to sell a home.

Location – While it’s important to keep a national perspective of the housing market, it’s equally crucial to be aware of the local state of the market. If you’re seriously interested in selling or buying a home, it’s worthwhile to hire a real estate agent or advisor to determine whether or not it is the best time to sell your home or property. Having a local educated professional provide assistance is one of the most direct (and successful) ways of determining the current housing market.

What to Expect for 2019

So what should you expect from the real estate market for 2019? Within the last few months, the market has definitely shifted in favor of buyers thanks to the massive drop in mortgage rates. This was surprising considering the Fed’s previous gradual raising of interest rates in 2018. Artificially decreased rates are usually instituted for the sake of stimulating economic activity.

Looking forward, multiple sources indicate we are moving towards a buyer’s market. According to one source, “house prices that have been on the rise for the last four years were predicted to slow to 3% appreciation by October 2018. This slow in the market, experts believe, is a sign that there is a significant impending shift in the market” ( To home sellers’ dismay, more research and evidence show home prices are decreasing steadily.

Do you need help buying or selling your home? Need help navigating the current real estate market? Thomas Group Realty can help! With some of the most experienced and talented realtors in Gainesville, we offer unrivaled service and dedication. Browse our website to learn more, or contact us at (352)-226-8228.

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One Response to “Buyer’s vs. Seller’s Housing Market”

  • Florida Realtors reports significant growth in buyers in November (+10.8%) YoY, so that should help grow home prices. Given the outlook for the economy buying in Florida won’t stop. The prices are excellent compared to many other states/cities and of course they don’t have the Gulf weather and lifestyle.

    Overall, I don’t think you can beat the Gulf coast for value. My nephew built his house down near Tampa for under $200k which is unthinkable for most homebuyers. The market near Gainesville is likely much better for buyers. Given the supply issues in Florida, I’d say your market is a good one. And you have Gainesville Dragway which makes it even more attractive! Good luck in 2020!

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