Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for October 2017 from SFAR

For residential real estate in 2017, the news has continued to provide a relative sense of calm for both buyers and sellers. The national unemployment rate registered in at 4.1 percent for October 2017, which means that joblessness has not been this low in the U.S. since December 2000. Another positive, mortgage rates have held steady at or near 3.9 percent. Historically, the average rate has been around 6.0 percent. These factors help to keep the pool of potential buyers full, even during the so-called off-season of home sales.October

New Listings were down 0.5 percent for single family homes and 2.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 12.2 percent for single family homes and 32.1 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 13.4 percent to $1,588,000 for single family homes and 0.2 percent to $1,140,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 29.6 percent for single family units and 28.6 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Although inventory levels are low in many markets, there has largely been enough listing and building activity, or at least conversation about future activity, to maintain a positive attitude about the prospects of buying or selling a home. Low affordability has started to become a recent topic of conversation and is worth watching. But with a healthy economy, level of demand and national unemployment rate, sellers are going to continue to see strong prices for their homes.

For full report, click here: SFAR_MarketFocus_2017-Oct

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for September 2017 from SFAR

Every market is unique, yet the national sentiment has given rise to the notion that housing markets are stalling. Although desirous buyers are out on an increasing number of showings, there remains a limited number of desirable listings. And although mortgage rates have remained enticingly low, home prices have reached unaffordable levels for many new entrants into the housing pool at exactly the same time that established owners are proving to be less interested in moving.

September

New Listings were down 22.2 percent for single family homes and 12.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 8.6 percent for single family homes and 10.6 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 9.9 percent to $1,337,500 for single family homes and 8.0 percent to $1,104,500 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 31.0 percent for single family units and 20.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Last year at this time, the national storyline was about how high demand was propping up sales and prices despite low inventory and months of supply. That has actually continued to be a familiar refrain for many months in 2017 and now for the past couple of years. But with the likes of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, different employment outlooks, disparate incomes, varying new construction expectations and potential housing policy shifts, regional differences are becoming more prevalent and pronounced.

For full report, click here: SFAR_MarketFocus_2017-Sept

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for June 2017 from SFAR

There has been a general slowdown in sales across the country, and this cannot be blamed on negative economic news. Unemployment remains low and wage growth, though nothing to overly celebrate, has held steady or increased for several years in a row. There is strong demand for home buying, emphasized by higher prices and multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets. As has been the case for month after month – and now year after year – low inventory is the primary culprit for any sales malaise rather than lack of offers.Snip20170717_4

New Listings were down 18.1 percent for single family homes and 36.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 6.6 percent for single family homes and 7.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 10.8 percent to $1,468,000 for single family homes but decreased 2.6 percent to $1,145,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 30.4 percent for single family units and 40.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

With job creation increasing and mortgage rates remaining low, the pull toward homeownership is expected to continue. Yet housing starts have been drifting lower, and some are beginning to worry that a more serious housing shortage could be in the cards if new construction and building permit applications continue to come in lower in year-over-year comparisons while demand remains high. Homebuilder confidence suggests otherwise, so predictions of a gloomy future should be curbed for the time being.

Click here for full report: SFAR_MarketFocus_2017-June

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for May 2017 from SFAR

Home prices across the U.S. are reaching all-time highs, prompting worry over another boom-and-bust scenario like we experienced roughly ten years ago. Yet, as we glance across the state of residential real estate, what is clear compared to the last extended run of price increases is that lending standards are now much stronger than they were before. Incomes must be verified, a reasonable amount of money must be paid toward the home prior to purchase and a more stringent loan approval process is in place to prevent a repeat performance of the Great Recession.

Snip20170618_1New Listings were down 7.4 percent for single family homes and 18.4 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 4.0 percent for single family homes but increased 6.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

 

The Median Sales Price was up 12.0 percent to $1,512,338 for single family homes and 10.9 percent to $1,200,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 24.0 percent for single family units and 25.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

In addition to a stronger base upon which to conduct real estate transactions, the overall economy is in better shape than it was a decade ago. More jobs are available, unemployment is relatively low and workers have more faith in their wages and the potential for wage increases. Although we continue to battle an inventory shortage in much of the country, optimism remains high for a successful summer for buying and selling homes.

Click here for full report: SFAR_MarketFocus_2017-May

Your Real Estate Market Snapshot for April 2017 from SFAR

The employment landscape and wages have both improved over the last few Snip20170515_3years, allowing for more people to participate in the home-buying process. When the economy is in good working order, as it is now, it creates opportunities in residential real estate, and right now is a potentially lucrative time to sell a home. Houses that show well and are priced correctly have been selling quickly, often at higher prices than asking.

New Listings were down 27.0 percent for single family homes and 36.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 10.7 percent for single family homes and 6.1 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 1.6 percent to $1,402,500 for single family homes but decreased 4.3 percent to $1,100,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 30.8 percent for single family units and 25.8 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Although there is a mounting amount of buyer competition during the annual spring market cycle, buyer demand has not abated, nor is it expected to in the immediate future unless something unpredictable occurs. While strong demand is generally considered a good problem to have, it creates an affordability issue for some buyers, especially first-time buyers. And yet, prices will continue to rise amidst strong demand.

Click here for full report.

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