Seeing the forest & the trees in real estate: Part II

Two weeks ago I talked about seeing the forest through the trees in real estate. The big point was it’s easy to look so closely at the most recent stats that we don’t see the bigger picture of the market. It’s sort of like noticing only the trees instead of the forest (hence the title). Anyway, in today’s big monthly market update I wanted to show how this concept actually works in real life when crunching numbers in the Sacramento area. Whether you’re local or not, I hope this will be interesting or even provocative for how you think about and share housing trends. I’d love to hear your take in the comments below.

The forest and the trees image - sacramento appraisal blog - image purchased and used with permission from 123rf dot com

Interest Rates & Nerf Battle: Before diving in, I have two quick things to share. Unless you’ve been in a bunker without internet access, you’ve probably heard the Fed finally increased rates. There is some good discussion unfolding on a post on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear your take there or here. Also, in non-real estate news, I recently built a Nerf gun battlefield out of pallet wood for my son’s birthday. Check out a quick video tour at the bottom of the post (or here).

Recommendations for reading THE BIG MONTHLY POST: Compare the numbered bullet points to get a sense of the latest numbers (the trees) with older stats (the forest). If you’re short on time, just skip the graphs or download them for later use. The big question today: What difference does it make to look at both recent numbers and year-old numbers? If you’re new here, once a month I do an in-depth market update, whereas other posts are short and sweet. I know the post is long, but it’s on purpose (thanks for reading).

SACRAMENTO COUNTY:

The Latest Numbers (Trees):

  1. DOM: It took 3 more days to sell a house last month than two months ago.
  2. Volume: Sales volume declined 18% from the previous month.
  3. Inventory: Housing inventory stayed about the same as the previous month.
  4. Median Price: The median price has been the same for 7 months.

Last Year’s Numbers (Forest):

  1. DOM: Last year in November 2014 it was taking 6 days longer to sell.
  2. Volume: It’s normal for volume to decline from October to November, so highlighting an 18% “decline” is silly. The bigger story is volume this November is actually 12% higher than last November.
  3. Inventory: Current inventory is 36% lower than last year at the same time.
  4. Median Price: The median price was 5.8% lower last year, which reminds us values have seen a modest uptick this year.

Some of my Favorite Graphs this Month:

price metrics since 2014 in sacramento county

inventory - November 2015 - by home appraiser blog

CDOM in Sacramento County - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

seasonal market in sacramento county sales volume 2

market in sacramento - sacramento appraisal group

DOWNLOAD 61 graphs HERE: I have many more graphs you can download for study, use in your newsletter, or share some on your blog. See my sharing policy for ways to share (please don’t copy this post verbatim).

SACRAMENTO REGIONAL MARKET:

The Latest Numbers (Trees):

  1. DOM: It took 4 more days to sell a house last month than two months ago.
  2. Volume: Sales volume declined 20% from the previous month.
  3. Inventory: Inventory increased by 3% from the previous month.
  4. Median Price: The median price is down 1% from a few months ago.

Last Year’s Numbers (Forest):

  1. DOM: It took 5 days longer to sell a house the same time last year.
  2. Volume: Sales volume in 2015 is actually 9% higher than last year. Also, in 2014 sales volume declined 23% from October to November, so let’s not freak out about the 20% “decline” above.
  3. Inventory: Current inventory is 28% lower than last year at the same time.
  4. Median Price: The median price was 9.7% lower last year at the same time.

Some of my Favorite Regional Graphs:

prices in sacramento region - FHA and conventional - by appraiser blog

months of housing inventory in region by sacramento appraisal blog

days on market in placer sac el dorado yolo county by sacramento appraisal blog

median price and inventory in sacramento regional market

number of listings in sacramento regional market

PLACER COUNTY:

The Latest Numbers (Trees):

  1. DOM: It took 4 more days to sell a house last month than two months ago.
  2. Volume: Sales volume declined 22% from the previous month.
  3. Inventory: Inventory increased by 10% from the previous month.
  4. Median Price: The median price has been jumping up and down for the past few months (generally hovering between $390-400K).

Last Year’s Numbers (Forest):

  1. DOM: Last year it took an average of 5 days longer to sell.
  2. Volume: Sales volume this November was 12% higher than last November.
  3. Inventory: Current inventory is 23% lower than last year at the same time.
  4. Median Price: The median price was 5-7% lower last year at the same time.

Some of my Favorite Placer Graphs this Month:

Placer County sales volume 2 - by sacramento appraisal blog

number of listings in PLACER county - November 2015

months of housing inventory in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

days on market in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

Placer County price and inventory - by sacramento appraisal blog

Quick Market Summary: On one hand the market in Sacramento has been slowing down. This is normal to see during the fall, and we see a slowness with less sales volume compared to a few months ago, increased days on the market, and a slight increase in housing inventory. The bigger story though is how much different the market is this year compared to last year. In 2014 the fall was extremely dull and incredibly overpriced (as evidenced by 300-400+ price reductions every day). This year housing inventory is over 20% lower, sales volume has been roughly 10% higher, it’s taking 5-6 days less to sell a house, and price reductions have been far less of an issue. However, even with strikingly low housing inventory and more glowing numbers this fall, if the price is not right, buyers are not pulling the trigger. Bottom line. Well-priced listings are tending to attract multiple offers, but otherwise there are homes that are being priced higher that are sitting instead of selling. Sellers would be wise to remember prices tend to soften in the fall, which means pricing like it’s the spring probably isn’t a good move.

Nerf Battlefield I built: Okay, now let me give you a quick tour of a pallet wood Nerf battlefield I built for my son’s birthday. Yes, an epic war happened just two weeks ago in my backyard. Check it out below (or here). Locals, if you want to borrow it for a birthday party, feel free to reach out (you have to pick it up, return it, sign a liability waiver, and of course be trustworthy).   🙂

DOWNLOAD 61 graphs HERE: I have many more graphs you can download for study, use in your newsletter, or share some on your blog. See my sharing policy for ways to share (please don’t copy this post verbatim).

Questions: What stands out to you when comparing the latest numbers with older stats? What impact do you think an increase in rates will have on the housing market? I’d love to hear your take.

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.

Aggressive demand but modest value appreciation in Sacramento

Is it just me, or has the market felt a bit funky? On one hand demand has felt very aggressive, but actual value appreciation has been fairly modest overall. Let’s take a look at the latest trends in the Sacramento housing market below. If you’re local, I hope the 10 quick trends help give you some talking points with clients. If you’re not local, what are you seeing in your area?

the big picture in real estate

One Paragraph on the Market: More listings came on the market last month, but buyers readily absorbed them. Pendings are still a good 20%+ higher than last year in the Sacramento area, and clean and well-priced properties are getting into contract very quickly. As aggressive as demand has felt though, we haven’t seen the rapid appreciation this Spring that we saw in 2013. Values more or less have experienced a normal seasonal increase, though when compared to sales during the Fall of 2014, prices are clearly MUCH higher since there was a lull in the market last Fall. Overall price levels now generally seem to have recovered back to the height of last Summer (or even a bit higher depending on the area). Well-priced listings are getting into contract VERY quickly, and there have been multiple offers. But at the same time buyers are tending to overlook properties that are overpriced and anything with an adverse location or a lack of upgrades. As housing inventory presumably begins to increase over the next few months, keep an eye out for more price reductions, unrealistic expectations from sellers, and buyers gaining more power from sellers. Remember too the market does not behave the same at every price level or in every neighborhood.

Two ways to read my big monthly market post:

  1. Scan the talking points and graphs quickly.
  2. Grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes digesting what is here.

DOWNLOAD 52 graphs HERE for free (zip file): Please download all 52 graphs here as a zip file (or send me an email). Use them for study, for your newsletter, or even some on your blog. See my sharing policy for 5 ways to share.

Sacramento County Market Trends for April 2015:

  1. The median price in Sacramento County is $280,000.
  2. The median price is 5.6% higher than one year ago (April 2014).
  3. It took 42 days to sell a house last month.
  4. Cash sales were only 16.5% of all sales last month.
  5. FHA sales were 27% of all sales in Sacramento County last month.
  6. Sales volume was 9.2% higher this April compared to last April.
  7. There is 1.5 months of housing inventory (1.8 months last April).
  8. The average price per sq ft is 182 (7% higher than last April).
  9. The average sales price is $310,000 (5.7% higher than last year).
  10. It took 3 days longer to sell a house this April compared to last.

CDOM in Sacramento County - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog months of housing inventory by sacramento appraisal blogprice metrics since 2014 in sacramento countyinventory during fall and winter 2 - by sacramento appraisal blog

median price and inventory since 2013 - by sacramento appraisal blog

layers of the market in sacramento county - by sacramento appraisal blogPlacer County Market Trends for April 2015:

  1. The median price in Placer County is $391,500.
  2. The median price is 6.9% higher than one year ago (April 2014).
  3. It took 41 days to sell a house last month.
  4. Cash sales were 17% of all sales last month.
  5. FHA sales were 20% of all sales in Sacramento County last month.
  6. Sales volume was 27.5% higher this April compared to last April.
  7. There is 1.9 months of housing inventory (2.5 months last April).
  8. The average price per sq ft is 200 (3% higher than last April).
  9. The average sales price is $441,163 (3.8% higher than last year).
  10. It took 10 days shorter to sell a house this April compared to last.

days on market in placer county by sacramento appraisal blogmonths of housing inventory in placer county by sacramento appraisal blogPlacer County median price and inventory - by home appraiser blogPlacer County sales volume - by sacramento appraisal bloginterest rates inventory median price in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

Regional Market Trends for April 2015 (Sac, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado):

  1. The median price in the Sacramento Region is $325,000.
  2. The median price is 9.4% higher than one year ago (April 2014).
  3. It took 44 days to sell a house last month.
  4. Cash sales were 16.9% of all sales last month.
  5. FHA sales were 23.7% of all sales in Sacramento County last month.
  6. Sales volume was 10.5% higher this April compared to last April.
  7. There is 1.7 months of housing inventory (2.1 months last April).
  8. The average price per sq ft is 192 (7.2% higher than last April).
  9. The average sales price is $360,351 (6.9% higher than last year).
  10. It took the same amount of time to sell in April 2015 and April 2014.

days on market in placer sac el dorado yolo county by sacramento appraisal blog

months of housing inventory in region by sacramento appraisal blog

median price and inventory in sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

number of listings in Placer Sacramento Yolo El Dorado county - by home appraiser blog

interest rates inventory median price in sacramento regional market by sacramento appraisal blog

Questions: How do you think sellers and buyers are feeling about the market right now? What are you seeing out there?

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.

High demand persists in the Sacramento real estate market

What is the real estate market doing? That’s not always a quick 10-second answer you can give someone while standing in line at Starbucks. Yet here’s the scoop: Demand is very high, values are up, and inventory is down. We are seeing exactly what we would expect to see in a Spring market, and I’d like to invite you to unpack the market with me in this post so you can share specific trends with your clients.

buyers are ready to pull the trigger - image purchased by sacramento appraisal blog and used with permission

One Paragraph to Explain the Market: The market is having a normal Spring so far. Prices are up, sales volume is increasing, and housing inventory is down. Buyers are hungry out there, which is seen with pendings being 25% higher in the regional market in March 2015 compared to March 2014. Cash sales continue to decline in volume, while FHA buyers are gaining a greater share of the market. Short sales and bank-owned sales are still hovering at very low levels, though there was a slight uptick in volume this past quarter (nothing to sound the alarm about). It took an average of 51 days to sell a house in the region last month, which is 4 days longer than it took last year (thus while the market feels hot, we can also see the market is slowing down too). Well-priced listings are going quickly and experiencing multiple offers, but properties with adverse locations and/or a lack of upgrades are tending to sit on the market. There is a huge demand for quality inventory, yet at the same time the market is price sensitive since buyers are showing discretion. Many neighborhoods over these past few months experienced a seasonal increase in value (not all areas though). Remember in coming time that inventory historically sees a huge increase from April onward, and that can very easily change the tone of the market.

NOTE: This post is longer since it is my big monthly market update. I am experimenting with more graphs and less text. Do you miss the numbers and bullet points? I’d love some feedback.

Two ways to read this post:

  1. Scan the talking points and graphs quickly.
  2. Grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes digesting what is here

DOWNLOAD 62 graphs HERE for free (zip file): Please download all 62 graphs here as a zip file (or send me an email). Use them for study, for your newsletter, or even some on your blog. See my sharing policy for 5 ways to share.

SACRAMENTO REGION (Sac, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado):

median price and inventory in sacramento placer yolo el dorado county

days on market in placer sac el dorado yolo county by sacramento appraisal blog

months of housing inventory in region by sacramento appraisal blog

number of listings in Placer Sacramento Yolo El Dorado county - by home appraiser blog

interest rates inventory median price in sacramento regional market by sacramento appraisal blog

SACRAMENTO COUNTY:

Median price and inventory since 2012 by sacramento appraisal blog price metrics since 2014 in sacramento county

cash in sacramento county

fha and cash in sacramento county - by sacramento appraisal blog

Volume and cash since 2009 - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

reo and short sales in sacramento county

months of housing inventory by sacramento appraisal blog

CDOM in Sacramento County - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

sales volume through feb 2015 in sacramento county

sales volume in march in Sacramento County since 2001

PLACER COUNTY:

Placer County median price and inventory - by home appraiser blog

days on market in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog months of housing inventory in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

Placer County median price since 2012 - by home appraiser blog

Placer County sales volume - by sacramento appraisal blog

interest rates inventory median price in placer county by sacramento appraisal blog

Questions: How do you think sellers and buyers are feeling about the market right now? What are you seeing out there?

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.

Why comparing the right numbers matters so much in real estate

You can make numbers say whatever you want in real estate. Sometimes this happens on purpose, but other times it’s an accident. That’s why it’s so important to know how to make the right comparisons. Below I will show you an example of how you can look at the numbers and end up saying two completely different things about the market. Both might be technically true, yet one of the statements really doesn’t reflect the real trend. In an era of big data in real estate, knowing how to communicate these things to clients is key. Enjoy.

Looking at the numbers - image purchased and used with permission by sacramento appraiser blog

THE WRONG COMPARISON: (Volume is down by 30%)

December to January

When we compare January with December, it’s easy to get an inaccurate picture of the market (but it happens all the time in media outlets). In the case above, we see a 30% decline, and this sounds very alarming. Yet volume from December to January almost always decreases by 20-25% easily in any given year in Sacramento, so 30% in not something to freak out about.

Truth: Comparing the previous month to the current month can sometimes give us the wrong picture about the market – especially in the midst of a strong seasonal trend. Volume is ALWAYS lower in January (see this quick graph as proof).

THE RIGHT COMPARISON: (Volume is down by 4.5%)

Month to Month

When we compare January 2015 with January 2014, we see sales volume was down by only 4.5% this year. That’s a far cry from sounding the alarm that “VOLUME IS DOWN BY 30%”. In this case the most accurate thing we can say about the market is that volume was 4.5% lower this January.

Truth: Comparing the current month to the same month last year tends to give us important insight because we are using the same context for comparison. I’m not saying to not compare back-to-back months, but only to get in the habit of looking at the same month last year too. This is especially important when dealing with January and February data since they are typically slower months in terms of closed escrows. Remember too that last month’s sales tell us what the market used to be like when these properties went into contract 30-60+ days ago, but current listings and pendings tell us about the market right now.

Questions: Any thoughts or insight? I’d love to hear your take.

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.