IT FEELS LIKE 2005
In 2005, the market in this area was at it’s peak with a lot of multiple offers and prices rising every day. While we can’t say prices are rising at the same rate (thank you government regulations) it does feel like the market environment of 2005. We are actually short about 200-300 homes for sale in the market place right now and buyers and sellers are feeling it. Homes are selling for over asking price and the competition is fierce. Let’s look at the details. . .
DEMAND: The number of sales continues to mirror 2015, almost exactly, which is pretty amazing, up only 3% over last year. The big deal is that there isn’t as much for them to choose from and because of that it feels like there are a lot more buyers in the market. Buyers have to be much more aggressive in their offers than they were last year. In some places where demand is more concentrated, they must be willing to go over asking price and in many cases at least split the difference if the home doesn’t appraise for sale price. It underscores the need for Buyers to have the best representation they can possibly have.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Until April, the supply was averaging about 6% higher than last year until April, when it went about 6% under 2015. The major reason for this is that there were about 200 less homes listed in April 2016 than the year before. This has caused the inventory accumulation to take a serious deviation from last year. This time last year, there was about 6 months of inventory, county wide. That’s a balanced market. This year its at 5 months, which is a pretty solid seller’s market. Unless a whole bunch of folks decide they want to move and put their homes on the market, it’s likely we will continue to see a lack of inventory.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: In April, this figure more closely matched last year, however the two previous months were a good bit below 2015. It’s mostly due to some higher end sales happening, which usually see a lower ratio than the lower price ranges, and that drags the rate down. What this continues to tell us is that sellers are getting more for their homes than they have the last 5 years.
CONCLUSION: Overall, it’s extremely important that anyone entering the Real Estate market have someone next to them that knows the “waters” they are wading into. There is too much at stake financially and otherwise to not have the best expert, that you 100% trust, walking with you.
For buyers, it can mean that you miss out on multiple homes that you really love due to weak offers. For sellers, it could mean leaving a lot of money on the table due to not pricing your home at just the right number, whether too high or low. So make sure that the agent you choose has a lot of experience selling homes in the last 12 months and has strong integrity. Oh, and you should really like them too. That certainly helps.
Chester County Real Estate Market Stats: March 2016 Comments Off
“We have already received 3 offers on this home. If you want to submit an offer, we need it by 6 pm tonight”. That’s a pretty typical situation that a lot of buyers find themselves in right now. On Feb 24th, things were pretty slow and now, April 5th, as I write this, things are the exact opposite. However, that doesn’t mean that the market is headed in a good direction. Let’s look at the details…
DEMAND: Demand, or number of homes sold is tracking with last year. Just like we saw many multiple offer situations last year, we are seeing the same thing. It’s really hard on folks who must sell their home in order to buy. This type of market puts them at a huge disadvantage. We have just begun letting clients of ours that are in that boat know that their best strategy may be to move twice. Meaning that they sell their home and if there isn’t a home they love to buy, they may just wait, move into temporary housing, until the ideal home becomes available. It’s tough but, what is your dream worth?
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: While supply is tracking above last year, the inventory accumulation is mirroring last year. That’s significant because it means that those extra homes that are going on the market are being bought/absorbed. The demand is keeping up with the extra supply.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This one is an anomaly. However, the reason is the market at $1 million and above. For homes under $1m, the ratio is 94.2% and 4 months of inventory. Above $1m its 85% of asking and 26 months of inventory. That’s a big difference. When looking back at sales above $1m, it seems that market may have hit a peak in 2014 with a list to sale price ratio at 92.2% and then 89% in 2015. However that’s hard to say based on one piece of data. One conclusion we can come to is that the high end market is dragging this number down.
RATES: Rates continue to be steady in the 3.75 for 30 year conventional, tier 1 credit and 3.375% on FHA which is way lower than we thought they would be at this point. This makes it very attractive to borrow money.
CONCLUSION: It seems that the slow down has yet to arrive in Chester County. Overall the market is still move quite quickly, with sellers being firmly in control and buyers having to fight for every offer they put in. With rates being very low, STILL, it’s really incentivizing folks to get off the fence and do something.
As many of you know, WE NEED YOUR HELP!! We cannot keep listings on the market. They have been selling just about as soon as they hit the market. We also have buyers looking for just about every type of home out there.
So – WHO do you know who is looking to move in the next 60 – 90 days. Please call us IMMEDIATELY if you know someone and help us get connected. Chances are we have a buyer for their home.
You can reach us at 484-696-4833
Chester County Market Statistics: February 2016 Comments Off
WHO TURNED ON THE LIGHTS?
A flip was switched about a week or two ago. The market turned on. We have had more calls and offers being written and submitted than the last 3 months. The market has turned that “Spring” corner. So if you are thinking of when the best time to put your home on the market or go buy, it’s now! Let’s look at the details. . .
DEMAND: Demand is keeping pace with February of last month, with 306 homes sold in February of 2015 and 302 this year. While this is relatively slow and normal for this time of the year, we do expect to see a big increase in demand in March and have already started to see and feel it. In fact EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 11 homes we put on the market in February sold already. Last year we saw a solid 46% increase in demand between February and March. Things are heating up.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: There is slightly more homes for sale than this time last year, however the inventory accumulation is very slightly less. This means that there is slightly more demand than last year. One factor in this could be interest rates with them sitting between 3.25% and 3.75% depending on qualifications and program. It seems, based on this information so far, we are set for a similar year to last year, which was very tough on buyers but good for sellers.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This is the one anomaly in this data that may hint at the slowdown we’ve been expecting for the last 6 months. The average last month was about 93.6% where last year, during the same month it was about 95%. This could be just that some higher priced homes sold, which typically have a much lower ratio or it could be that sellers aren’t getting as high of offers as they’d like and they are getting less. Only time will tell.
RATES: Right now rates are much much lower than anyone ever anticipated them being. While this may seem like a good thing, especially for buyers, it indicates that the “powers that be” are trying to keep the economy moving. We’ve heard from more than a few economic experts that a slow down is coming, it’s only a matter of time. So, now is the time to take advantage of the lower rates.
CONCLUSION: The market is heating up, no doubt! There are lots of multiple offer situations already and there are not enough homes for most buyers to choose from. No one knows exactly what the future holds and from where we are sitting right now, it seems like a great time to be selling a home.
On the Buying side, we have some very effective tricks up our sleeve to help our buyers find the best home for them that others do not take advantage of. If you are considering a move, especially if you have a home to sell, call us! We can help you make the best decision for you and your family! 484-696-4833.
Chester County Real Estate Statistics: January 2016 Comments Off
MISSING: Homes for sale….
That’s pretty accurate. Many buyers right now are just sitting and waiting for a good home to come up for sale. The market is desperately in need of some good homes to sell. In addition, the latest numbers do not really tell us anything about whether the market this year is headed up or is softening. Not yet. So, with that said, here are the details…
DEMAND: Demand was up slightly more than last year but not too significantly. We can tell you that from a “man on the ground” perspective, there are a lot of buyers just waiting for a good home to buy, but they can’t find much. We have been talking to a lot of other Realtors and they are saying the same thing. So – the question is, do you or someone you know want to sell their home quickly and for top dollar because now is one of the best times to do it.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Just like demand, supply and inventory accumulation was up slightly, but not enough to be of any concern yet. We can tell you that just our team has a great number of homes we will be putting on the market in the next 45 days, more than we’ve ever had before. So depending on the demand, the market could go either way. Bottom line this time around is there isn’t very much to sell at all right now and we NEED homes to sell.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: Typical of the season the sold to list price ratio is low, however it’s right in line with where it usually is this time of year. We expect to see a big jump in what sellers can expect to get for their homes this month, compared to what they are asking. If you didn’t get it before, NOW is the time to sell.
RATES: Due to less than great economic conditions both here and around the world, rates actually dropped over the last month, putting most rates below 4% again. FHA is at or close to 3.5% with Conventional 30 yr at around 3.75% – 3.875%.
CONCLUSION: We need homes to put on the market and sell, especially if it is an “A+” home, meaning it’s in updated condition with little to do to the home. If you or someone you know is considering putting their home on the market, please let us know asap. We’d love to consult with them to get them the information they need to make the best decision for them and their household.
Buyers are having a tough time right now. The pickings are slim and what’s out there is typically the picked over homes that need work. When an “A+” home does come on the market, there are typically multiple offers and it sells very quickly. The very best thing for a buyer to do is work with a Buyer Specialist that sells a large number of homes and knows how to get them the win in a multiple offer situation. We love those situations because we have some tricks up our sleeves that usually help out a great deal.
If you know anyone who is looking to move, please let us know. We’d love to help them!
WARMER TEMPS DON’T HELP SALES
Despite having one of the warmest Decembers on record, it didn’t help home sales. December sales were down compared to last year and there are a few other signs of a slow down. China’s economy troubles certainly doesn’t help either. Let’s look at the details.
DEMAND: Demand in December was still strong, compared to the five year trend. It did end up with less sales than December of last year. In and of itself, that doesn’t indicate anything. Let’s look at the rest of the indicators to see what they are saying.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Seasonally, this number is right on track with where it’s expected to be, which is very low. December is the month that most people pull their homes off the market for the holidays. From here on out, inventory will grow.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: For the second month in a row, this number lagged noticeably behind the same month last year. November was 0.6% behind and December 0.9% behind. When looking at the overall ratio for the year, 2015 shows 94.80% where 2014 was 95.16%. This is something to take notice of.
RATES: Rates have jumped slightly in response to the Fed raising rates, though nothing to detrimental. FHA is still sub 4% and Conventional is around 4.25%-4.5%.
CONCLUSION: With China’s economy on very shaky ground and folks like George Soros saying that he sees signs of a 2008 slow down, there are a lot of signs pointing to a slow down. Locally, the stats are not showing that the market is as strong as it was last year. The Sold to List price being down as well as the number of homes sold being down are signs of some level of a slow down.
For those thinking of selling in the next few years, if the market does slow down, they will be able to get more for their house this year than the next few years. It may be the right time to sell.
For buyers, rates are the “X Factor”. They are headed up and that can have a dramatic impact on what a buyer can get. Now is the time to take advantage of sub 5% rates.
In either case, we’d love to connect them with one of our specialists to give them the info they need to make the best decision. If you or someone you know are looking to make a move, please give us a call at 484-696-4833.
Chester County Real Estate Statistics: November 2015 Comments Off
TIS THE SEASON!
As many people prepare to celebrate the holidays, the market tends to see a slow down. This season is no exception. It is unique in that the market is still seeing multiple offers in places and that the inventory accumulation seems to be rising. Let’s look at the details.
DEMAND: Demand in November was slightly above the demand we saw last year, but nothing too significant. One observation to note, is how much higher demand was than last year in June and how the market has not sustained that increase. In and of itself, it doesn’t mean the sky is falling. It is something to continue to observe and see how demand is doing, so we can know if the market is shifting.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Like demand, supply is mirroring the same time last year. However, when you look at the bigger picture you can certainly see that inventory accumulation should be falling off this time of year. It isn’t . We have the same amount of inventory as we did last month. That’s another sign that momentum in the market is slowing.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: The predicable dip in a lower ratio was held off until this month. What this could mean is that the demand was higher last month, however we won’t see that until January.
RATES: Rates continue to hold steady in the low 4’s.
CONCLUSION: It seems “business as usual” right now, with the only exception being a slight creep in the amount of inventory accumulation. This is a factor to keep watch on. If inventory keeps creeping up, that’s a definite sign of a slow down. We are still experiencing multiple offer situations in the Downingtown, West Chester and Great Valley area’s. This can be frustrating for Buyers, but they just need to set their expectations for this and make sure they plan a winning strategy with their Buyers Specialist. Of course the market continues to be great for Sellers in those areas. Outside of those areas the markets are more “normal” in that it is taking 45-90 days for homes to sell and usually do not have multiple offers.
Lastly, we here at the C & C team want to take this opportunity to wish all of our friends, clients, past clients and “fans” a VERY BLESSED holiday season and hope that it is one filled with hope, life and much time with those you love.
Chester County Real Estate Statistics: October 2015 Comments Off
SIGNS OF A SHIFT…
It seems that Autumn came and went very quickly, with the leaves turning and falling in the matter of a week or two. As the leaves changing and falling are a sure sign of the change of a season, slowing demand is also a sign of a shift of a market. Could this be the signal that the market is slowing? Let’s look at the details….
DEMAND: For the first time this year, the number of closed sales were less than those of the same month the year before. This ends a 14 month run with the numbers for the month exceeded the same month the year before. Its possible this is a sign of a slow down, however this, in and of itself is not enough to signal a slow down. With that said, we feel strongly that the market is slowing down. Nothing like 2008, however, the pace that we’ve experienced for the last year and a half does seem to have slowed. Only time will tell.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Supply continues to mirror last year fairly closely. Inventory still hasn’t caught up with the glut of homes that were sold through the spring season, leaving us around 5 months of inventory for the county. With demand slowing down, we fully expect this number to rise.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: For whatever reason, sellers were able to get about 1% closer to what they were asking for their homes, than this time last year. This is a little outside the trend. It isn’t unusual though, for a few months out of the year to be anomalies. Sellers are still getting higher than “normal” prices for their home.
CONCLUSION: The dip in demand could be a sign of the coming shift that we’ve heard about, that is over due. Luckily, this is nothing to panic about, nothing like 2008. When the market does shift, it will take longer for homes to sell, but this won’t be a huge increase. Right now, the average days on market are around 62. When the market shifts, it will probably increase to around 90 days. Prices likely will stall, not necessarily go down. In other words, the shift will be more like someone put the cruise control on rather than accelerated.
Buyers will be the biggest beneficiaries to the shift as they will not have to face so many multiple offer situations. Sellers will just have to have more patience than they’ve had the last two years. The “X” factor is the interest rate. It’s not predicted to rise dramatically, however, if it did, that could be a tipping point to cause a small shift to become a more major shift.
We are headed into the holiday season, which means folks are going to likely hit the pause button on moving. If you or someone you know either MUST make a move or are planning to move in 2016, please let us know, so that we can make sure we get a chance to dramatically enrich their lives through our real estate service.
Best Deals of the Year….
Fall is here and the Autumn cool brings with it a real estate market that has some great opportunities. This is the time of year that buyers can usually find the best deals. Combine that with rates that are still historically low and it’s a great time of year to buy. Let’s look at the details…
DEMAND: Demand remains elevated over last year as well as continuing a 10 year high for the month. Last month I said that this felt like a “peak” of the market. I continue to have that suspicion. Contributed to this feeling is that the market has definitely cooled off a bit. This time last year there was more activity then we are seeing now which causes the prediction that the next 6 months (Oct – March) will not be as active last year during the same period. Time will tell.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Another reason that supports a peak to the market is inventory/supply. The last few months have seen the lowest inventory accumulation in as much as 10 years. In order for this to go even lower, certain areas like West Chester would have to literally have 0 months of inventory. I honestly don’t know how that would happen. The point being is that I don’t know how much lower the inventory could go.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This number continues to remain steady and very comparable to last years numbers. If anything, it may end up being less than last year, which would add another number to indicate a slow down.
RATES: Rates continue to remain around 4%, going as low as 3.5% for certain programs and impeccable credit.
CONCLUSION: A few weeks ago, in one day, I heard of 3 friends being laid off. In and of itself, this isn’t significant. However when you combine that with reports that a record number of people are not participating in the work force, numbers that haven’t been seen since the 1970’s, it does cause concern. I’d love to hear from anyone who reads this that has some expertise in the economy that might be able to shed some light on what they think is happening.
At the end of the day, for buyers and sellers that have solid reasons for making a move, it’s still a very good time to make the move. The only time I would change that advice would be if someone only was going to stay for 3-5 years. No matter what the market is doing, it’s hard to buy a place and expect to make a good profit in only 3-5 years. That normally doesn’t happen, assuming you are doing no major renovations.
Another huge factor that is going to effect the process of buying/selling real estate is the effect the new TRID changes are going to have. That has JUST been implemented and will most certainly put some serious bumps in some settlements.
This underscores the need to have a top notch team/agent next to you, that is fully versed and prepared in how to make things as smooth as possible.
The Chris & Caleb team has been preparing for this change for 6 months and is fully prepared to help our clients have the smoothest transaction possible. If you or a friend or family member are thinking of moving, we’d be happy to provide a free consultation to help them make the best decision. Just have them call us at 484-696.4833.
Chester County Real Estate Market Stats: August 2015 Comments Off
EVIDENCE OF A SHIFTING MARKET?
It’s true – there is some evidence that the market may shifting. It’s also true that last month was one of the busiest months for both the Chris & Caleb team and the Keller Williams Exton office. Shifts tend to happen when everyone is celebrating the high points in a market, and take people by surprise, so let’s look at the data and see what it tells us….
DEMAND: The numbers for the last few months were revised this month for the number of homes sold over the last 3-4 months. Demand (number of homes sold) was up 19% in June and 18% in July over the year before. At the moment, the numbers for August are not as drastic, however, I expect those to be revised, as our team and our office had one of the best months ever. To be honest, this feels sort of like a “peak” and that is based on rumors from “experts” that a shift is coming. The question becomes – if a shift happens, what does that mean for everyone. I’ll address that in the conclusion
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Supply is still mirroring last year, however, due to increased demand, the inventory accumulation is still below last year. All that means is that homes are selling faster than last year. For sellers, it’s good news – your home will sell faster and for more money. It’s not as good news for buyers as they have to move quickly and pay more for a home than they would have last year.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This number is also mirroring last year. This is one of the numbers that is leading us to think we might be hitting a peak. Folks are getting, on average across the county, about 96% of asking price. In many pockets, that is actually 99% or more, of asking price. Again, great news for sellers, not so great for buyers.
RATES: Rates continue to hold at around 4%. There have been many rumors of the rates going up, however, if the market softens, I don’t know that the fed can follow through with that.
CONCLUSION: August was a C-R-A-Z-Y month for the Chris & Caleb Team. We sold more homes last month than ever, and our office seemed to have every corner booked with settlements. Typically August is more restful, but this August was extremely active.
I mentioned above that this past month has felt like a “Peak”. That is based on several things. First, we are 10 years into a “7 year cycle”. In other words, it usually is about 7 years in between one real estate market peak to another. However, it’s been 10 years since the last peak, which means we are 3 years overdue for a shift.
As I’ve watched the national and international markets, it makes me wonder if we are headed into the shift that is expected. One indicator to watch is the list to sale price ratio. If sellers begin to get less, on average, for their homes, that is a great indicator that the market has shifted. For 6 out of the last 8 months, the average list to sale price ratio was below what it was at the same time the year before. That’s not a great sign. This is a number to watch and see what happens.
If the market is shifting, it’s not expected to be a drastic shift like we saw in 2008, but more of a softer shift, but only time will tell. What this could mean for seller’s is that it will take longer to sell a home and they will not get as much, however location will dictate that greatly. For Buyers, it means that they will get more negotiating power and can breath just a little bit compared to the last few years.
Of course, this is all IF the market shifts. Only time will tell. Either way, we recommend that you always have the very best real estate professional on your side when you go to buy or sell a home. Call us to see how we take the stress out of the process.
Chester County Real Estate Statistics: July 2015 Comments Off
JULY WAS HOT… THE MARKET STRONG.
Last month we brought up the idea that a downshift may be coming in the market. While that still may be true, our local market shows no signs of slowing. In fact, July was one of the strongest months we’ve had in over a decade. Let’s take a look at the details.
DEMAND: The records continue with this past july being the best july for number of homes sold in just over 10 years. 2004 was the last time Chester County saw the activity that it saw last month. 770 homes were sold last month compared to 677 from last year. That represents a 12% increase in activity. While there was a slump in activity through July, we have continued to see elevated activity, which leads us to believe that August will be no slouch either. Only time will tell.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Supply continues to mirror last year, however, due to elevated demand, inventory accumulation is a good tick below where it was this time last year. This was similar to last month, but the gap between last year and this year in July is 17%, meaning the supply is 17% lower than it was last year. The only thing we can say is that the market doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This indicator mirrored, almost exactly, last year at the same time. Year to date, the ratio is at the same level as last year. All this means is that sellers can expect to about 95% of asking price, on average, for their homes. In places that are more active, like Downingtown and West Chester, the ratio increases, in general to as much as 98%. In certain micro markets, it can be as high as 101%.
RATES: Rates remain steady at around 4%. There continues to be talks about raising rates, however that’s the same story that’s been said for the last several years. Our advice is that if you are ready to move, then do it. You won’t get a better rate than today and who knows what “tomorrow” will bring.
CONCLUSION: The market remains extremely strong. Despite rumors of a slow down, our local market continues to show signs of strength and health. There are some government regulation changes that are coming October 1st and that is going to cause a lot of headaches as far as the process is concerned. It will be more important than ever for consumers to choose the most professional and most experienced agents and lenders they can possibly find. If you are thinking of moving, please ask about our Preferred client programs and how they can link you up with the best lenders and service providers, as well as provide discounts to you for using our Endorsed providers.