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.
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.
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.
Four years ago Jacob and Amanda relocated to the DMV area for a work opportunity with every intention of going back to their home state of Michigan. Despite not knowing their timeline as to when they could go home, they knew it was better to buy versus rent. To be a a small part in their larger plan, a facilitator to the purchase of their home and now selling it, has been rewarding. Their hard work and careful planning is paying off. They are on their way home. With only three day on the market, they received an offer over list price and stand to walk away with a return on their investment.
Pending Home Sales increased by 44.3% in May, registering the highest month-over-month gain in the index since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking this metric in January 2001. So, what exactly are pending home sales, and why is this rebound so important?
According to NAR, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHS) is:
“A leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops. Because a home goes under contract a month or two before it is sold, the Pending Home Sales Index generally leads Existing-Home Sales by a month or two.”
In real estate, pending home sales is a key indicator in determining the strength of the housing market. As mentioned before, it measures how many existing homes went into contract in a specific month. When a buyer goes through the steps to purchase a home, the final one is the closing. On average, that happens about two months after the contract is signed, depending on how fast or slow the process takes in each state.
Why is this rebound important?
With the COVID-19 pandemic and a shutdown of the economy, we saw a steep two-month decline in the number of houses that went into contract. In May, however, that number increased dramatically (See graph below):This jump means buyers are back in the market and purchasing homes right now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR mentioned:
“This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership…This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”
But in order to continue with this trend, we need more houses for sale on the market. Yun continues to say:
“More listings are continuously appearing as the economy reopens, helping with inventory choices…Still, more home construction is needed to counter the persistent underproduction of homes over the past decade.”
As we move through the year, we’ll see an increase in the number of houses being built. This will help combat a small portion of the inventory deficit. The lack of overall inventory, however, is still a challenge, and it is creating an opportunity for homeowners who are ready to sell. As the graph below shows, during the last 12 months, the supply of homes for sale has been decreasing year-over-year and is not keeping up with the demand from homebuyers.
If you decided not to sell this spring due to the health crisis, maybe it’s time to jump back into the market while buyers are actively looking for homes. Let’s connect today to determine your best move forward.
Have you noticed that as soon as a property goes on the market, it seems that within days they’re under contract? All indicators point to a strong summer real estate market.
New pending sales up 25.5% ( Zillow June Report)
New listings taken up 19.3% month -over -month ( Zillow June Report)
Demand for housing is out pacing supply = competitive market for buyers, excellent time to be a seller ( DC Metro area months supply is 1.4)
Our area is above average when it comes to exposure to low risk jobs by market. Meaning, there are more DC metro area residents who remain working in sectors including federal, state and local government, information technology, military and utilities.
#LMRE Most Current Under Contract or Sold Properties
Laurel Murphy Real Estates most recent listing reflects what regional market updates are reporting. With low inventory levels, my owners had no competition within their neighborhood at the time of listing their home located as 13305 Burnt Woods Place Germantown, MD 20874 With the neighborhood average 38 DOM the owners priced the house with in the range of the 90 day sold price history. This listing went on late Friday night and was ratified for full list price by Sunday. Being aware of local real estate trends and knowing how to interpret market data is vital to successfully selling your house in the shortest amount of time for the most amount of money.
Washington D.C. and Baltimore Metro areas felt the effect of COVID-19 with the lowest April volume of new listings in ten years, while also reaching a record monthly median sales price and ten-year low for days on market. – BrightMLS
The DC Metro hit a new median sales price high ($507K) and a decade low for median days on market (7). Homes generally sold at 100.0% of asking price.
This April had the month’s lowest volume of new listings in the past ten years, as many potential new sellers opted to hold back listing their properties until after the “stay at home” orders end.
Month-to-month, new listing declined -26.1%; typically, new listings rise 9.2% in April compared to March.
New pending sales endured their sharpest year-over-year drop in a decade.
This was the weakest April performance and sharpest March to April decline (-24.4%) in the last ten years.
At its core, real estate is about people and the relationships that are created.
Real estate professionals take on the unique responsibility of guiding clients through a highly personal, and often emotional, multi-step process of selling or buying a home. It is a momentous occasion for everyone who’s gone through it. This can easily be overshadowed by the sheer amount of steps it takes to get to the settlement table and close. The constant support throughout the process is your real estate agent.
In this unique reality of Corona virus aka COVID-19, the importance of keeping the focus on people being served will have a greater, longer, lasting effect.
In our professional tool box, real estate agents have technology. We rely on and utilize it on a normal day to make the transaction part of real estate more efficient and convenient for our clients. This current climate is no different. The way in which we use it may vary but the focus remains on the people, first and foremost your safety.
Current industry standards comply with today’s social distancing necessity.
The Internet – its global reach to market RE for sellers to buyers
Social Media – for marketing and communication ie.GoToMeeting, Zoom, Instant messaging
Your phone – text, email, old school calling
Virtual tours – ie. Matterport, use of a videographer
Electronic signing – ie. DocuSign, Dotloop
Real estate apps – 24/7 home searching ie. Homesnap, Redfin, Zillow,
Online lender applications
Close at home with mobile notary
E-signing closing documents (available for sellers and cash buyers)
Wiring funds and EMD’s ( wiring instructions should be obtained over the phone directly from the title company only)
Online scheduling – options for appointment only at the owners discretion
Title companies, lenders and insurance companies are listed as essential and are open for business. Together with real estate brokerages, each sector is doing everything they can to cooperate and comply with the safety measures while meeting clients needs.