Existing-home sales grew for the fourth consecutive month in September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million – up 9.4% from the prior month and nearly 21% from one year ago.
The median existing-home price was $311,800, almost 15% more than in September 2019. Total housing inventory declined from the prior month and one year ago to 1.47 million, enough to last 2.7 months – a record low – at the current sales pace.
More than 7 in 10 homes sold in September 2020 – 71% – were on the market for less than a month.
Existing-home sales in the South increased 8.5% to an annual rate of 2.80 million in September, up 22.3% from the same time one year ago. The median price in the South was $266,900, a 13.0% increase from a year ago.
TheNational Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
One referral turned into two resulting in two happy clients. Now we are all connected.
It started with a reciprocal referral from a California agent whose son’s best friend wanted a bigger home for his expanding family. As a recent grad from the United States Naval Academy, becoming a parent to a son and adopted dog Lucky, with mom planning to go back to work and what looked like, job wise a longer stint in Maryland it was time to move, Covid-19 and all. We are currently operating in a highly competitive market with historically low interest rates. After 27+ house tours, interviewing 2 lenders, investing in a pre-home inspection, 3 written and submitted yet rejected offers, they closed on the house that was meant to be. 10,000 lower than list price, plus a seller credit. Well worth the effort. Congratulations! #BestClientsEver
As shelter-in-place orders were implemented earlier this year, many questioned what the shutdown would mean to the real estate market. Specifically, there was concern about home values. After years of rising home prices, would 2020 be the year this appreciation trend would come to a screeching halt? Even worse, would home values begin to depreciate?
Original forecasts modeled this uncertainty, and they ranged anywhere from home values gaining 3% (Zelman & Associates) to home values depreciating by more than 6% (CoreLogic).
However, as the year unfolded, it became clear that there would be little negative impact on the housing market. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, recently revealed:
“The only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market.”
Have prices continued to appreciate so far this year?
Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest Home Price Index. The report showed home prices actually rose 6.5% from the same time last year. FHFA also noted that price appreciation accelerated to record levels over the summer months:
What are the experts forecasting for home prices going forward?
Below is a graph of home price projections for the next year. Since the market has changed dramatically over the last few months, this graph shows forecasts that have been published since September 1st.
“Between May & July 2020, national prices increased by over 2%, which represents the largest two-month price increase observed since the start of the index in 1991.”
The numbers show that home values have weathered the storm of the pandemic. Let’s connect if you want to know what your home is currently worth and how that may enable you to make a move this year.
August Housing Data Reveals a Robust Summer Market Amidst Declines in Inventory
Median Sale Price is up 9.7%
Average Sale Price up 11.2%
Months of Inventory down 60% to 1.4 months
Median days on market are down from 22 to 9
Seven of Maryland’s rural counties have seen over 20 percent increases in average prices over last year.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – September 28, 2020 Maryland’s August housing market demonstrated substantial recovery from spring’s COVID-related disruptions, according to housing statistics released by Maryland REALTORS®*. Data from June through August show both an increase in average and median home prices, and a decline in months of available inventory, echoing nationwide trends and sparking concern over housing imbalances.
“The average sales price increased year-over-year from $361,823 to $402,452 and the median price increased from $310,000 to $340,000, growth of 11.2 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively” said Maryland REALTORS® President John A. Harrison. “Months of inventory dropped 60 percent to just 1.4 months, compared to 3.5 last year, which is a historic low for the state. Moreover, the median days on market fell from 22 to 9 which aligns with stories we’ve heard of bidding wars and homes selling within hours of hitting the market.”
“The most notable, but unsurprising, feature of the current housing market is the sharp rise in activity in rural areas,” said Harrison. Seven of Maryland’s rural counties have seen over 20 percent increases in average prices over last year. With the rise in working from home, commute times are less of a factor. That and the relative affordability of rural areas make urban and some suburban communities less attractive. “The pandemic has prompted individuals and families to reimagine their housing requirements, often desiring home office space and more expansive outdoor living areas.”
Congratulations Dave and Gulmira! After 14 years in Cleveland Park, DC it was time for more space and a sprawling yard. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, three rejected offers, a rent back and a short time rental they ended up with the perfect house and location for them. Thank you for trusting me to facilitate listing one home and buying the next.
There has been much talk around the possibility that Americans are feeling less enamored with the benefits of living in a large city and now may be longing for the open spaces that suburban and rural areas provide.
In a recent Realtor Magazinearticle, they discussed the issue and addressed comments made by Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“While migration trends were toward urban centers before the pandemic, real estate thought leaders have predicted a suburban resurgence as home buyers seek more space for social distancing. Now the data is supporting that theory. Coronavirus and work-from-home flexibility is sparking the trend reversal, Yun said. More first-time home buyers and minorities have also been looking to the suburbs for affordability, he added.”
NAR surveyed agents across the country asking them to best describe the locations where their clients are looking for homes (they could check multiple answers). Here are the results of the survey:
39% rural area
25% small town
14% urban area/central city
13% resort community/recreational area
According to real estate agents, there’s a strong preference for less populated locations such as suburban and rural areas.
Real Estate Brokers and Owners Agree
Zelman & Associates surveys brokers and owners of real estate firms for their monthly Real Estate Brokers Report. The last report revealed that 68% see either a ‘moderate’ or ‘significant’ shift to more suburban locations. Here are the results of the survey:
No one knows if this will be a short-term trend or an industry game-changer. For now, there appears to be a migration to more open environments.
The year 2020 will certainly be one to remember, with new realities and norms that changed the way we live. This year’s real estate market is certainly no exception to that shift, with historic highlights continuing to break records and challenge what many thought possible in the housing market. Here’s a look at four key areas that are fundamentally defining the market this year.
Housing Market Recovery
The economy was intentionally put on pause this spring in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Many aspects of the common real estate transaction were placed on hold at the same time. Thankfully, technology and innovation helped the industry power forward, and business gradually ramped back up as shelter-in-place orders were lifted.
The result? Total transformation of the market from rock-bottom lows to exceptional highs. Today, the housing recovery is being called truly remarkable by many experts and is far exceeding expectations. From pending home sales to purchase applications, buyers are back in business and homes are selling – fast.
According to the Housing Market Recovery Index by realtor.com, the market has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and has regained the strength we remember from February of this year (See graph below):
Record-Breaking Mortgage Rates
Historically low mortgage rates are another 2020 game-changer. Today’s low rate is one of the big motivating factors bringing buyers back into the market. The average rate reached an all-time low on multiple occasions this year, and it continues to hover in record-low territory.
When rates are this low, buyers have a huge opportunity to get more for their money when purchasing a home, something many are eager to find while continuing to spend more time than expected at home this year, and likely beyond.
Continued Home Price Appreciation
One of the key drivers of home price appreciation this year is historically low inventory. Inventory was low going into the pandemic, and it is still sitting well below the level needed for a normal market. Although sellers are slowly making their way back into the game, buyers are scooping up homes faster than they’re coming up for sale.
This is a classic supply and demand scenario, forcing home prices to rise. Selling something when there is a higher demand for what is available naturally bumps up the price. If you’re ready to sell your house today, this may be the optimal time to make your move. As Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans, notes:
“The pandemic has not stopped the consistent home price growth we have witnessed in recent years.”
Even as home prices continue to rise, affordability is working in favor of today’s homebuyers. According to many experts, rates this low are off-setting rising home prices, which increases buyer purchasing power – an opportunity not to be missed, especially if your family’s needs have changed. If you now need space for a home office, gym, virtual classroom, and more, it may be time to reconsider your current house.
“Those shopping for a home can afford 10 percent more home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment unchanged. This translates into nearly $32,000 more buying power.”
With mortgage rates hitting historic lows, home prices appreciating, affordability rising, and the market recovering like no other, 2020 has been quite a year for real estate – perhaps one we’ve never seen before and may never see again. Let’s connect today if you’re ready to take advantage of this year’s record-breaking opportunities.
When shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt earlier this year, many believed the residential housing market would follow suit. Countless analysts predicted buyer demand would disappear and home values would depreciate for the first time in almost a decade. That, however, didn’t happen. It appears the opposite is taking place.
After the bottom fell out of the real estate market immediately following the shutdown, it has come roaring back – and seems to still be gaining steam. Here’s a look at two recent reports – one from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and one from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) – showing this growing strength.
Builder Confidence Hits All-Time High
Last week, it was reported that applications for new home purchases with home builders were 39% higher than in July of 2019. That has builder confidence soaring.
Each month, NAHB releases its Housing Market Index, a survey of NAHB members who rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at the present time and over the next six months, as well as prospective buyer traffic for new homes.
This month, they reported that builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased to the highest reading in the 35-year history of the series. NAHB Chairman, Chuck Fowke, explained:
“The demand for new single-family homes continues to be strong, as low interest rates and a focus on the importance of housing has stoked buyer traffic to all-time highs…Housing has clearly been a bright spot during the pandemic and the sharp rebound in builder confidence over the summer has led NAHB to upgrade its forecast for single-family starts, which are now projected to show only a slight decline for 2020.”
The number of newly constructed homes being built will be almost at the same level as last year, even though the economic shutdown crushed home building earlier in the year.
Existing Homes Are Also Selling Like Hotcakes
Last Friday, NAR released its Existing Home Sales Report. The report revealed that month-over-month salesincreased by 24.7%, setting another record for the category. The Wall Street Journalreported that the increase crushed expert forecasts:
“Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 14.2% monthly increase in sales of previously-owned homes, which make up most of the housing market.”
Home sales increased by 8.7% year-over-year.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR, explained how the resale market is just as hot as the new construction market:
“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days. With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”
In addition, the Housing Market Recovery Index, which is released monthly by realtor.com, also showed the market is recovering nicely. The latest index reading was 104.8, which means the housing market is doing better than it was in January and February of this year. As a reference, the highest point in the index was a 106.5 in early March, just prior to the health crisis setting in.
Both the newly constructed and existing home sale markets are posting numbers greater than a year ago. Real estate is back. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, let’s connect so you have the expert counsel you need along the way.
It’s our goal as agents but we don’t always get too many opportunities to work with people more than once. I am so glad that Sam and Ben were some of those clients. It’s been so rewarding watching their progress and their success come to fruition.
One of the best benefits of working with first time home buyers is that I get to watch how their lives unfold. I first met Sam and Ben in 2016. What a great starter home!
Four years later, plus one little one, a masters degree and a whole lot of hard work and success, they bought their forever home.