Real estate has been slowing, but it’s still completely nuts. I’ll explain below. But first let me unpack the NAR conference in San Diego and share some exciting personal news. Oh, and let’s talk about smaller homes selling. Then stats and perspective for those interested.
NAR Conference & my new BFF: I had the honor of sitting on an appraiser panel last weekend at the National Association of Realtor’s annual conference. I appreciated being asked to share my two cents and I’m so grateful to have met and mingled with colleagues too. Also, I met former quarterback Drew Brees since he spoke at the conference and he’s pretty much my new BFF.
500 days of no beer: In personal news it’s now been 500 days since I gave up alcohol. I said goodbye to alcohol for health reasons and I’m feeling really good. This was a personal milestone and now I’m targeting two years. At some point in the future I might re-introduce beer back into my life, but for now I’m taking some time to focus on health. This has been good. And my pants fit better too. 🙂
Slowing but not slow: The housing market has been experiencing definitive seasonal slowing and I’ve been talking about that for months, but at the same time the market is still so much more competitive than it usually is for the time of year. In other words, the stats are slower than spring, but they’re elevated way beyond normal for the fall season. On that note, when some say the housing market is crashing, I wonder if they’re in touch with how aggressive some of the statistics are right now.
Smaller homes: During the beginning of the pandemic there was a notable uptick in the size of homes selling. Initially I thought it was maybe due to buyers targeting larger homes to sort of quarantine in style, but now with the benefit of hindsight I think the real culprit was a spiked emphasis on more expensive (and larger) homes due to an influx of buyers at higher prices.
Here are a few visuals to show this spike in size in 2020 and now a slightly smaller size in 2021. I wanted to mention this because part of me wonders if we are starting to see a bit of the pandemic home size sizzle begin to fade slightly.
This visual shows a dip from 2020 to 2021 in home size. It almost looks like 2020 was an elevated year and now the trend is getting back to normal.
Sharp size drop lately: There has been a definitive drop in home size since May. It’s normal to see larger homes sell for about half the year and then smaller homes for the second half of the year. The drop this time around though has been sharp and that’s something I’ll be watching. This could speak to a normalizing of the higher end market (fewer higher-end sales after a pandemic spike), but we need some time to understand. Stay tuned.
No blog post next week: I won’t have a blog post next week because I’ll be thinking about family, woodworking, and eating pie. I am doing Run to Feed the Hungry, so I hope to see some local friends there. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Thanks for being here.
—–——– BIG MARKET UPDATE FOR THOSE INTERESTED ———––
Skim or digest slowly.
The market is so obviously not as hot as it was during the height of spring. Yet the slower speed today is still so much faster than a normal fall season. This is why I keep saying the market is like a car speeding on the freeway that recently let up on the gas. The car is clearly slowing, but it’s still going really fast. Both things are happening at once. Ultimately buyers have been gaining more power and it’s been a bit easier to get into contract, but there is a difference between easier and easy.
Some visuals eh…
YEAR OVER YEAR:
Year over year stats are important to digest, but don’t forget to look at month to month stats to understand what the market is doing right now.
MONTH TO MONTH:
Stats from September to October basically show more seasonal slowing, but not every category is slowing. Remember, stats around this time of year tend to bounce around a bit. One month prices might be up slightly and the next month they could be down slightly. And remember, part of prices dropping has to do with smaller homes selling. Technically the median price in the region has dropped 4% from June, but this does NOT mean prices are 4% lower in every area. Simply put, some of this price drop really has to do with size.
STILL SELLING ABOVE THE LIST PRICE:
Here are some visuals to show how properties have sold in relation to the original list price. In short, we are seeing more properties sell at or below the list price, but last month on average properties still sold almost 0.50% above the original list price. For context, 43% of the market sold at or below the list price last month (most of that is not below). In 2019 more than 70% of all sales sold at or below the list price though, so despite seasonal slowing the market is still moving really fast. It is actually highly unusual to see homes selling above the list price in October. On average homes sold about $2,800 above the original list price whereas in October 2019 homes sold about $15,800 below the list price.
We really don’t have an overpriced market, but some sellers need to adjust to the reality of a slower pace compared to April. Buyers, there is a little more hope for you, but you still have to bring a strong offer. Only 13% of homes sold below the original list price last month. In a normal market his number should easily be 20% or more. Hang in there.
This is a cool visual I’ve been making for a few months. It shows how prices are distributed throughout the market. I actually corrected this visual since I made an error in Excel that pushed the columns over one bin (and that changed everything). Sorry about that.
TWO BRAND NEW VISUALS:
Here are a few new visuals to show how much buyers paid above asking price. I like this format because it compares multiple years at once. But I’m not totally sold on this either because 2020 was such an odd year and 2021 is so far removed from the trend. It just feels a bit awkward maybe. No matter what though, do you see how normal it is at this time of year to see cooling? It’s like the market goes up for about half the year and then things descend.
A BUNCH OF VISUALS:
In case you’re still reading, here are a bunch of visuals to digest. I’m playing catch-up after being out of town, so I don’t have any more time to organize these. Let me know if anything stands out to you.
Thanks for being here.
SHARING POLICY: I welcome you to share some of these images on your social channels or in a newsletter. In case it helps, here are 6 ways to share my content (not copy verbatim). Thanks.
Questions: What are you seeing out there in the market?