August Market Update & Newsletter
It’s the dog days of summer, and like the weather the real estate market generally acts like that in August. Typically, the market sees less activity in August – people go on vacation, the showings slow, and prices moderate. Nothing to be concerned about, but the difference is the market was so fast-paced the first five months of this year that it seems like things are drastically slow now. The good news is that we have settled into a more “normal” market. The initial shock of the changing market has worn off. Home sellers and most of the less informed agents have recognized and accepted the actualities of the market that I have been telling you about for months.
Inventory levels have stabilized, prices are settling, and buyer demand remains active. Remembering that these are local numbers, the weekly absorption rate of sales this year is 19%, which is good relative to other non-pandemic years. For comparison, the rate in 2019 was 18%, in 2018 it was 15% and in 2017 it was a mere 12%. What we need now is for seller expectations to be in line with where the current market is. It will take longer for houses to sell; there are fewer buyers in the market due to rising rates, inflation eating into other parts of the budget, and buyer fatigue. The great news is that there are still buyers in the market. There is no bubble and prices are not crashing. Why you may ask? Today (versus the previous recession), we have 5 million more buyers in the first-time home buyer age bracket (28-32) and there are 12 million more household formations. Additionally, the number of homes for sale was 3.7 million nationally in 2008. Today we have under 1 million. Builders only build when they have a buyer – they are not building spec homes like they were in the last recession. The overall numbers reflect a better market for both sellers and buyers. The frenetic pace from November through April was not sustainable, nor was it healthy. So, what’s next? We will have a market where buyers will generally be afforded a little bit of time when deciding to buy. When they do write contracts, they will have contingencies in them. There will still be some homes that sell quickly with multiple offers, but it won’t be like it was a few months ago. I want to reiterate that this is a good thing for everyone, as we have seen issues with people who bought homes sight unseen, didn’t do inspections, or have appraisal contingencies. The bottom line is that if you are looking to sell or buy, you need the advice of a trusted professional. Call me to discuss your situation in more detail. I am here to help!
It’s a good life.
BACK TO SCHOOL ORGANIZATION
Alyson McNutt English | read the full article at hgtv.com
It’s a fall tradition: School supplies line the aisles of retailers, attracting parents and children who will meticulously pack every glue stick and pencil into a well-organized back-to-school bag. Families can cut the chaos and embark on smooth-sailing mornings by entering back-to-school season with their own school supplies: a kit of organizational ideas for those manic mornings.
A Fan of the Plan: To create your checklist, look at your regular morning tasks, says Karin Vibe-Rheymer-Stewart, a professional organizer who specializes in helping mothers streamline their overscheduled lives. Stewart says asking yourself questions about your routine can be a good way to figure out what you need to put on the list. “What does your morning routine look like? How could you make it more efficient?” she asks, adding that once you identify the answers, you can begin to identify your most time-consuming activities and schedule accordingly.
Turn Back the Clock: Give yourself a little more time each day by setting your clocks 10 mins ahead throughout the house, then watch your stress levels go down too from not having to rush about so much! Simple changes can make a big difference in getting out the door in the morning, and one timesaver is right at your fingertips. “Set all the clocks in your house 10 minutes ahead,” says professional organizer Alicia Rockmore. “It may sound silly, but it really works.”
Fashionably Great: With two little girls and a business to run, professional organizer Amanda Le Blanc says if she didn’t have a handle on her kids’ clothing, they’d head out the door to the playground wearing their Sunday best. “We pick out all their clothes on the weekend, and they have five hooks in their closet, one for each day of the week,” Amanda says.
Cold Organized: Getting lunches prepared is one of the top problems parents face in that crazy morning rush, but one bright back-to-school idea parents can feast on is professional organizer Janine Adams’ suggestion of getting ‘cold organized.’ “Take clear, shoebox-sized containers and create spaces in the refrigerator for kids’ lunchbox supplies,” Janine says. “Do the same in the pantry. That way, when it’s time to pack kids’ lunches, everything will be in one place.”
Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Back-to-school time also means back to field trips, sports and school programs — and the paper piles and permission slips that come with them. Joyce Dorny, editor-in-chief of Organize Magazine and mother of six, says her paper pile prevention plan begins with a relatively hands-off approach. “I have a philosophy that I touch the papers once,” she says. She signs and returns papers that need to head back to school with the children, and records key info on a large calendar that hangs on the side of her family’s refrigerator.
Overcoming Back-to-School Fears: When faced with everything that comes with the back-to-school rush, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to organize. But Joyce says, “Just take a few minutes. Get one little part of your world under control. Don’t take on a whole closet if you’re not ready for it — maybe just a drawer.” Amanda agrees: “When you carve out the little bits of time to start getting organized, you’ll find more time to do the other things.”
Recipe of the Month
Grilled Barbecue Chicken
Total time: 45 min | Serves 6
- 1 whole chicken cut into pieces (3-4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups barbecue sauce
- Preheat grill to medium heat
- Rub chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Cook chicken skin side down on an oiled grate for 15 minutes
- Turn over, baste with barbecue sauce. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes and continue brushing with sauce (breasts should reach 165F and thighs should reach 175F)
- Let rest for 5 minutes before serving
HALFWAY THROUGH 2022, SIGNS POINT TO A REBALANCING U.S. HOUSING MARKET
Samantha Rotbart | news.remax.com
The first half of 2022 has come and gone. And, based on early indications and several results from June, the ultra-competitive, multiple-offer conditions for homebuyers may be gone too, it seems. According to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report, although June posted the most home sales of any month thus far this year, home sales were down more than 17% from June 2021. Change – and a bit more balance – is in the air.
The astonishing run-up of home prices seen in the past few years seems to have calmed. According to the report, the median sales price of all 53 metro areas included was $428,000, up just 0.6% compared to May 2022. RE/MAX President and CEO Nick Bailey credits the signs of a more balanced market to recent inventory gains and the rise in interest rates.
“The market is moving toward greater balance, especially with inventory gains and the slowing of price appreciation. The past few years have been one of the most competitive times ever for buyers – and we’re finally seeing conditions ease up,” says Bailey.
“It’s due partly to the rise in interest rates – although buyers are also finding solutions in ARMs, FHA products and other financing – but even more significant is the increase in listings after several years of instant sales and low inventory,” he continues. “Markets like Nashville and Phoenix saw an increase in new listings of over 20 percent last month, bringing new options for buyers who may have sidelined themselves in the frenzy of last year.”
RE/MAX Professionals Owner Nate Martinez, based in Phoenix, Arizona, was quoted in the report about the rebalance taking place in his local market.
“The Phoenix metro area is in the process of a market shift from a red-hot market to more of a balanced market,” said Martinez. “With inventory increasing, we’re seeing more opportunities for buyers, a leveling of home prices and a reduction in homes selling with multiple offers.”
Despite the slowing of home price appreciation on a national scale and in some markets across the U.S., many markets are still seeing significant year-over-year increases. In Atlanta, the Median Sales Price rose more than 18% year-over-year, averaging over $400,000 in June 2022. Kristen Jones, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Around Atlanta in Georgia, said in an interview with Atlanta Agent Magazine, “buyers who can purchase at today’s rates probably should.”
In a win for buyers, inventory increased for a third consecutive month, according to the report. New listings and a growing supply of available properties affords homebuyers more options to choose from. While demand still far outweighs supply, some are watching the dip in closed transactions closely. RE/MAX Destiny Broker/Owner Jim Burton, based in Cambridge, MA, told Boston Agent Magazine, “As the summer progresses, we need to watch inventory levels. If inventory climbs and does not get absorbed, the market could shift.”
Regardless of what’s happening in the industry, Bailey notes, people tend to buy or sell homes when they want or need to. “Home is a uniquely personal thing,” he says. “People move mostly because the time is right for them to do so.”
Here’s the need-to-know data from the June 2022 RE/MAX National Housing Report:
The Number of Home Listings Continues to Rise
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in June 2022, the number of newly listed homes is up 7.7% compared to May 2022, and up 1.6% compared to June 2021. Leading the year-over-year new listings percentage increase were Phoenix, AZ at +34.1%, Nashville, TN at +22.8%, and Philadelphia, PA at +21.8%. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year new listings percentage were Kansas City, MO at -18.5%, Honolulu, HI at -15.9%, and Hartford, CT at -15.6%.
Homes Are Still Selling Above Listing Price
The average Close-to-List Price Ratio in June was 102%, meaning that homes, in general, sold for 2% more than the asking price. That dropped from 103% in May and matched June 2021. The Close-to-List Price Ratio is calculated by the average value of the sales price divided by the list price for each transaction. When the number is above 100%, the home closed for more than the list price. If it’s less than 100%, the home sold for less than the list price. The metro areas with the lowest Close-to-List Price Ratio were Coeur d’Alene, ID and Miami, FL, which tied at 97%, followed by Bozeman, MT and New Orleans, LA, which tied at 99%. The highest Close-to-List Price Ratios were in San Francisco, CA at 109%, and Burlington, VT at 107%, followed by a five-way tie between Boston, MA, Richmond, VA, Manchester, NH, Hartford, CT, and Trenton, NJ at 105%.
There Still Aren’t Enough Homes to Meet Demand
While inventory grew for a third consecutive month (by a whopping 34.1% over May and 27.5% year over year), Months’ Supply of Inventory still sat relatively low at 1.4 months in June 2022. The markets with the lowest Months’ Supply of Inventory were Charlotte, NC and Manchester, NH, tied at 0.4, followed by Albuquerque, NM at 0.5.