Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for March 2017 from SFAR

We can comfortably consider the first quarter to have been a good start for residential real estate in 2017. There was certainly plenty to worry over when the year began. Aside from new national leadership in Washington, DC, and the poliSnip20170418_1cy shifts that can occur during such transitions, there was also the matter of continuous low housing supply, steadily rising mortgage rates and ever increasing home prices. Nevertheless, sales have held their own in year-over year comparisons and should improve during the busiest months of the real estate sales cycle.

New Listings were down 18.3 percent for single family homes and 25.7 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 6.7 percent for single family homes and 27.4 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was down 0.2 percent to $1,350,000 for single family homes but increased 4.6 percent to $1,145,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 33.3 percent for single family units and 18.5 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

The U.S. economy has improved for several quarters in a row, which has helped wage growth and retail consumption increase in year-over-year comparisons.  Couple that with an unemployment rate that has been holding steady or dropping both nationally and in many localities, and consumer confidence is on the rise. As the economy improves, home sales tend to go up. It isn’t much more complex than that right now. Rising mortgage rates could slow growth eventually, but rate increases should be thought of as little more than a byproduct of a stronger economy and stronger demand.

For full report click here: SFAR_MarketFocus_2017-Mar

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for February 2017 from SFAR

The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and afSnip20170322_3fordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely remained strong this month.

New Listings were down 36.1 percent for single family homes and 23.7 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 4.8 percent for single family homes but decreased 10.4 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was down 7.6 percent to $1,285,000 for single family homes but increased 10.3 percent to $1,210,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 25.0 percent for single family units and 4.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won’t matter for potential buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.

Click here for full report: SFAR_MarketFocus_2017-Feb

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for January 2017 from SFAR

January brings out a rejuvenated crop of buyers with a renewed enthusiasm in a new calendar year. Sales totals may still inevitably start slow in thsnip20170218_11e first half of the year due to ongoing inventory concerns. Continued declines in the number of homes available for sale may push out potential buyers who simply cannot compete for homes selling at higher price points in a low number of days, especially if mortgage rates continue to increase.

New Listings were down 24.6 percent for single family homes and 7.5 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 9.1 percent for single family homes but increased 0.7 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 7.1 percent to $1,250,000 for single family homes but decreased 5.7 percent to $1,000,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 18.8 percent for single family units and 5.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

In case you missed it, we have a new U.S. president. In his first hour in office, the .25 percentage point rate cut on mortgage insurance premiums for
loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was removed, setting the table for what should be an interesting presidential term for real estate policy.

FHA loans tend to be a favorable option for those with limited financial resources. On a brighter note, wages are on the uptick for many Americans, while unemployment rates have remained stable and relatively unchanged for several months. The system is ripe for more home purchasing if there are more homes available to sell.

Click here for full report: sfar_marketfocus_2017-jan

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for December 2016 from SFAR

Most of 2016 offered the same monthly housing market highlights. The number One-Year Change in of homes for sale was drastically down in year-over-year comparisons, along with days on market and months of supply. Meanwhile, sales and prices were up in most markets. Unemployment rates were low, wages improved and, as the year waned, we completed a contentious presidential election and saw mortgage rates increase, neither of which are expected to have a negative impact on real estate in 2017.snip20170118_3

New Listings were down 26.9 percent for single family homes and 40.5 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 11.5 percent for single family homes and 2.9 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 8.9 percent to $1,309,011 for single family homes but decreased 8.3 percent to $1,007,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 16.7 percent for single family units and 20.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

The overwhelming feeling about prospects in residential real estate for the immediate future is optimism. Real estate professionals across the nation are expressing that they are as busy as ever. There are certainly challenges in this market, like continued low inventory and higher competition for those fewer properties, but opportunities abound for hardworking agents and diligent consumers.

For the full report, click here: sfar_marketfocus_2016-dec

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for November 2016 from SFAR

NOVEMBER 2016

The story has remained consistent as concerns residential real estate. In year-over- year comparisons, the number of homes for sale has been fewer in most communities. Meanwhile, homes are selling in fewer days and for higher prices.

This hasn’t always been the case, but it has occurred with enough regularity and for enough time to make it a trend for the entirety of 2016.

snip20161220_1New Listings were down 21.7 percent for single family homes and 31.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 17.7 percent for single family homes and 10.9 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 8.1 percent to $1,365,000 for single family homes but decreased 7.2 percent to $1,044,500 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 10.5 percent for single family units and 4.5 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Financial markets were volatile in the days surrounding the presidential election, but they self-corrected and reached new heights soon after. Long-term indicators of what it will be like to have a real estate developer for a president remain fuzzy, but the outcome is not likely to be dull. Prior to the election, trend shift was hard to come by, and unemployment rates have not budged since August 2015. Post-election, mortgage rates are up and so are opinions that a trend shift is likely in the near future.

For the full report click here: sfar_marketfocus_2016-nov

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for October 2016 from SFAR

As we enter the final quarter of 2016, not much has changed since the year began. Market predictions have been, in a word, predictable. A relatively comfortable pace of activity has been maintained thanks to continuing low unemployment and mortgage rates. The one basic drag on market acceleration has been inventory decline. There is little to indicate that the low inventory situation will resolve anytime soon.

snip20161116_6New Listings were down 22.4 percent for single family homes and 15.8 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 15.4 percent for single family homes and 14.1 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 11.0 percent to $1,407,500 for single family homes and 4.5 percent to $1,150,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory increased 9.1 percent for single family units and 14.8 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Builder confidence is as high as it has been in more than a decade, yet the pace of economic growth has been slow enough to cause pause. A low number of first-time buyer purchases and a looming demographic shift also seem to be curbing the desire to start new single-family construction projects. As older Americans retire and downsize, single-family listings are expected to rise. The waiting is the hardest part.

For full report, click here: sfar_marketfocus_2016-oct