Chester County Market Statistics: Jan 2015 Comments Off
Cut Throat and Competitive…
Chester County Market Stats: December 2014 Comments Off
VERY, VERY EXCITING NEWS…
Chester County Market Statistics: November 2014 Comments Off
HO-HO-Homes are still selling
Chester County Market Statistics: October 2014 Comments Off
WHAT IS THERE TO BE THANKFUL FOR? A LOT, IT TURNS OUT
The market remains very healthy, showing signs of “responsible” growth. Sellers are getting their home sold quicker than any time in the last 6-7 years and for closer than asking price. Rates are surprisingly and unexpectedly low, which means buyers are getting an unexpected gift. Let’s look at the details…
DEMAND: Demand in October was very healthy. There was a lot of activity and we can tell you from the front lines it was tough for buyers, especially in the “move up” range. Those buyers looking to get more space and buy a bigger house than what they currently had, face many multiple offer situations. This has been the experience over the last two October selling seasons. If this year mirrors next year, then November will see a cool down in the activity. This is good for sellers and, frankly, frustrating for buyers. Good news is that rates are very low and prices haven’t climbed too high.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: October signals the month when many people put selling on hold for the holiday and winter season. The homes that will be left on the market over the next month will be those that are serious about selling. In addition, they will settle for a percentage point less for their homes, statistically, than those that were on the market, up to this point. We hope that we do not see the same inventory drought happen this year, as last year. If inventory can stay at respectable levels, it will help the market overall in the spring.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This number appears to be concerning, as last October the ratio went up, dramatically, to 95%. When comparing this year, it looks bad, however it’s not. When compared to the 5 year trend, it’s par for the course that this ratio trails off this time of year. One reason, we speculate, that the ratio was so high last year was that the inventory dropped off dramatically this time last year, leaving little to choose from. Therefore sellers could demand a higher list to sold ratio.
RATES: Rates are AH-MAZ-ING right now, hovering just below 4%. This is VERY unexpected and those who are ready and wise will take quick advantage of this. This could save a buyer as much as $100-$200 per month, depending on where rates go in the beginning of the year.
CONCLUSION: We expect to see the “auction” atmosphere go to the way side as the year trails off and things calm down for Buyers. While that was somewhat nice for sellers, it makes everything more difficult for everyone. If you are considering buying and are on the fence, jump in!! Rates are well worth the reason to jump and take advantage of them! If you are thinking of selling in 2015, please call us and we can help you take advantage of the winter months and make the most financially savvy updates to your home, to get it ready for the spring market.
DON’T LET THE SEASON SCARE YOU!
Halloween is right around the corner and while many kids and those who are kids at heart are preparing for the spooky observance, the market continues to indicate very solid and stable numbers. Everything is cooling down as seasonally expected and the numbers tell a good story. Let’s look at the details.
DEMAND: Demand is mirroring last years numbers and while demand was down in September from the previous month, it’s still a good deal above the 5 year trend. The 5 year trend is reflective of a depressed market, so as long as we stay 10-20% above that line, then we are “healthy territory”.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Starting in May, the inventory has stayed above the levels of the same time the year before. This number/fact in and of itself is not of any concern at all, however what would be is if there begins to be a gap between last year and this years number in favor of more homes on the market. The overall level in September was around 6.6 months. This is considered a balanced market. That number could even float up just a bit but anything over 8 months would be concerning as it might mean the market is cooling too much.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: Last month the average was around 94.5% for this ration, meaning the average home seller in Chester County received 94.5% of asking price. This number also is a good steady number and as our team is observing many multiple offer situations, that number should stay pretty steady. If this drops to 93% or less, then it could also indicate a cooling market.
RATES: Not much to report on rates. They continue to be sub 4% for FHA and around 4.25% for conventional 30 year loans. The feeling we get from the buying consumer is that a slight rise would be tolerable but if it hit 5% that would negatively effect the psychology of the buyer and put a damper on many folks. As it is, these rates are still encouraging many folks to make a move even though they aren’t 100% ready.
CONCLUSION: The numbers remain solid and steady. This time of year the inventory level starts to drop like a dam letting out water for cleaning. We won’t see inventory rise again until about March. This doesn’t mean it’s a “bad” time to buy or sell a home. What it means for buyers is that there won’t be as much to choose from and that sellers are serious about selling and may accept a bit less than what they would otherwise accept. For sellers it means there is less competition.
Chester County Real Estate Statistics: August 2014 Comments Off
THE TRAIN AIN’T SLOWIN’ DOWN…
The market activity remains strong and healthy with no apparent indicators of any weaknesses other than buyers not having enough to choose from. We certainly saw a slow down in August, but September is already picking up steam. Let’s look at the details…..
DEMAND: August finally caught a breather as far as the pace of activity went. Typically the drop of activity happens between June and July and it waited this year until August. It’s unclear what that may mean for the overall market, but it’s our suspicion that it’s because there wasn’t much to choose from for buyers and it delayed the activity. Overall the demand continues at a health level and is not dropping off and is on pace to match last years DEMAND.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: The big story earlier this year was the lack of inventory but over the last few months the level of inventory has risen to more healthier and even levels. In June the level hit the 6 month mark which is a balanced market – meaning it’s neither a Buyer’s or Sellers market but in-between. The caveat of that is that depending on the area and price, there are still very strong sellers markets happening, mainly in West Chester, Downingtown and Great Valley areas between the price of $250 and $500k.
The next Quarter will be very indicative of where the market next year is going to go. If we see the same drastic dip in inventory we saw in Q4 last year, then we could be in for another year where there isn’t much to choose from. It’s our opinion that this isn’t likely to happen as prices have come up enough that more and more folks that held off selling are going to see that they can get what they want and make the decision to move.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: After spending a few months at a recent high of close to 97%, this number dropped back down to match the same numbers as last year, roughly around 95%. What the higher ratio represents is that prices are headed up. As long as the ratio can stay above 94%, then the market is likely to continue in stability or, even better, appreciation. Right now, it’s in a very healthy place.
RATES: Rates have dipped again to around 4.125% for 30 conventional and for FHA around 3.875%. This is not where we thought rates would be at this point. We thought for sure they’d be much closer to 5%. This is very good news for everyone in the market. Buyers will continue to be encouraged to pursue home ownership and sellers will like the amount of interest there is in the market. My advice is always the same on this – if the rates are favorable, they seem they can only go one way, which is up.
CONCLUSION: Overall we are in a very healthy place. In great indicator of this is that for the first half of the year, (Jan – July) the activity in the price range of $1m to $2m is up about 28.5% over the same time last year. That’s a VERY good sign. Typically it’s this price range that really is a front runner in what’s coming next. If this is any indication, then we should see a healthy and continued active market in 2015. It’s still an amazing time to buy and the big question for buyers is – does “your” house exists? Can you find it? And for sellers there is almost no down side as long as you are priced right.
If you are considering buying, please call us to set up a buyers consultation so we can let you know how easy it will be to find your dream home. If you are looking to sell, let us know and we can help you discover if the amount you can get for your home is what you need to take the next step. You can reach us at 484-713-2413
Chester County Real Estate Statistics: July 2014 Comments Off
IS THE SUMMER HEAT MELTING THE MARKET???
In short – no, especially since it hasn’t been that hot around here, weather wise. However, the market has continued to be very strong through July in record breaking ways. Let’s take a look a the details.
DEMAND: I think someone forgot to tell everyone that the month of July is supposed to be a slower month for real estate in Chester County because July was barely any slower than June, which is crazy. It seems that a lot of folks that couldn’t find a home previously, finally did find a home in may or early june and ended up settling in July. It was VERY busy. In fact, it was a record breaking July for both our team and Keller Williams Exton. I fully expect August to be a good 20% slower than July and June, as folks have taken vacations and the summer slow has officially caught up.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: Supply and inventory accumulation continue to hold at healthy levels, just above 6 months of inventory. As said in previous months, this is neither a buyer’s market, nor a seller’s market. However, keep in mind, that this applies to the overall market in Chester county. If you are in the Downingtown, West Chester or Great Valley markets, it’s likely it’s a pretty solid Seller’s Market. Call us to find out.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This has dipped back into the 95% range, which is about a 1% dip from previous 3 or so months. This is simply a reflection the season and we expect to see this ratio continue to drop as much as 2% as we head into the fall until we hit the January timeframe. This number is a good indicator of the market and where it may be heading.
RATES: Right now rates for conventional loans are steady around 4.25% and FHA could be as low as 3.75%, but it all depends on when you catch them. This is helping to continue to convince buyers on the fence to go ahead and make the step to become home owners. It’s my opinion that if rates head north too much, it will definitely stall the market as there are many folks out there who can just about afford the “Chester County Lifestyle” and if the rate goes up, they won’t be able to afford it. We will see what happens.
CONCLUSION: The market continues to be healthy, even through the seasonal break. Last fall was a very active market, and signs are pointing to the same this year. If that proves to be accurate, there are more multiple offers on the horizon as buyers get done their summer fun and jump back on the purchase train.
Chester County Real Estate Statistics: June 2014 Comments Off
THIS POST MARKS THE 5th YEAR of tracking the Chesco Real Estate Market!! If this has been helpful to you, we’d LOVE to hear from you!!
THE MARKET IS LIKE THE WEATHER…
This spring and early summer has seen very mild and enjoyable temperatures and weather (minus the hail about a month ago…) and the market is no different. While we’ve seen June be a record month for our team and office, the overall market is pleasantly consistent. It’s not overly hot, it’s not cold but it’s moving at a steady and healthy pace. This is great news for everyone. Let’s look at the details….
DEMAND: The number of homes sold continues to follow the same trend it’s been on since February, which is more homes than the 5 year average but less than last year. This fact points to a stable and steady market.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUMULATION: June saw the inventory levels intersect with the levels from last year at the same time. Seasonally, we are at the point where inventory levels are going to trail off. Which means for buyers, the is going to be more of the same of what is out there. If you can’t find what you are looking for, then what you are looking for either doesn’t exist and you need to adjust your criteria or it’s going to take a while for it to appear. Most likely it’s the first. One criteria to watch is that the inventory level doesn’t go much above the 6 month mark. If it starts to drift upwards that’s a clear sign of a slowing market which isn’t good for values. The fact that we just got to the point where short sales and foreclosures are becoming rare, means that we do not want to see another down turn.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This past month the ratio was VERY close to 97% for all of Chester County. That’s significant as we haven’t seen those types of ratios this time of year in over 7 years. And since it’s common consensus that the real estate market seems to move in 7-10 year cycles, it’s clear we are on the bottom of that upswing. And that means its a great time to buy
RATES: Rates continue to be hovering around the 4% mark, which is pretty incredible. We believed that the rates would be more around 5% right now, if you had asked us 9 months ago. This is just another reason to make a move if you are considering it.
CONCLUSION: The market is steady and has certainly found it’s footing. It’s getting easier on Buyers as there is not a much of a famine of great homes to buy, rates are amazing and prices are coming up for home owners and sellers. It’s a great time to talk to us about what a move may look like for you and we’d be happy to help you get a clear picture. Just call us at 484-713-2413
Chester County Market Statistics: May 2014 Comments Off
RETURN TO NORMAL?
The first 4 months of the year started with the market being starved for homes to buy. Finally this month we are seeing relief in that inventory shortage. Demand has remained high and values have come up more causing the inventory to even out. In addition, seller’s are getting closer to asking price for their homes than they have in 7 years. All pretty good news and with rates still hovering around 4%, it looks like we’ve found pretty good momentum. Let’s look at the numbers more closely…
DEMAND: The number of homes sold continues to grasp at last years numbers, inching ever closer. The homes that closed in May most likely went under contract in March. At that point, the inventory shortage was beginning to ease up. So if available inventory is an indicator of demand, which we believe it does affect it, then we should see the demand begin to fall in line with last year. It’s been our feeling that demand has been generally held back due to lack of homes that consumers want to buy. As we will discuss next, the “shortage” is easing and will have a positive affect on closed sales.
SUPPLY AND INVENTORY ACCUM: May saw the number of homes for sale catch up to last year, and finally hit a “balanced” level. Right now there is about 6.5 months of inventory available which is considered a “balanced” market, meaning the sellers don’t have the power and neither do the buyers, it’s evenly split. There are some circles (Downingtown and West Chester) that still have a strong seller’s market, but overall in Chester County it’s balanced overall. This indicates that supplies are coming up which will give buyers more choice. It’s likely that seller’s are beginning to see the value of their homes come up enough to be worth it to actually sell their home and move, which, prior, had not been the case.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This is actually the bright spot for the month as the ratio this month is up to 96.3%. On one hand this is great news and is reflective of what sellers were getting about 1.5-2 months ago. On the other, if this ratio goes much higher, then it’s indicative of the market heading north too quickly, which is what we saw around 2002 – 2005. 95% is a good place to be and indicates that there is healthy growth. The last time we saw the ratio at this level was in mid 2007 as the market began to cool here. During the height of the crazy market, ratios were up in the 97%-98% range. That is way too high for the entire county.
RATES: Right now rates are close to 4% and FHA is below that. This is certainly helping the market to continue momentum and also helping values to continue to head north.
CONCLUSION: As the title for this month indicates, it looks like we are beginning to return to a more “normal” market, meaning it isn’t overly tipped to buyers nor to sellers. Ideally, if we can stay in this sweet spot, it will be great for everyone moving forward. We will continue to watch the numbers and see how it goes, but it’s our feeling that the rest of the year should see steady sales with home values continuing to head north at a sustainable pace.
As always, if you need any real estate help, please do not hesitate to call us. We consider you a close friend and would love to serve you!
Want to see updated graphs like in previous months? Email us and let us know you miss them! We want to be good stewards of our time and depending on the demand, we may leave the other graphs out. . .
Chester County Market Statistics: April 2014 Comments Off
A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL SHIPS…
The market continues to look strong overall, with inventory rising slightly and bringing some slight relief to buyers who are having a hard time finding what they want. Demand continues to be strong and while property values continue to increase, appraisals may be holding back a stronger market. Let’s look at the details….
DEMAND: Market demand continues to struggle when compared to last years numbers. Last year was like a release valve was let out of the market – many people just made the decision that things weren’t going to improve much in the next few years, at least to make a difference, and they bit the proverbial bullet and made the move, even though it may have been painful. This year in 2014, the pressure has been relieved and, while there are still folks wanting to make a move, the hard thing they are running into is the lack of great choices. Many buyers say to me “If I find the right place” and right now, there aren’t an abundance of “right places” in the market. We are even calling whole neighborhoods to see if we can shake the tree and find someone who wants to sell for our buyer clients. It’s not an easy market for buyers.
SUPPLY & INVENTORY ACCUM: In addition, the typical Spring Inventory Bump has happened. 1123 homes were added to the market last month and already 600 of those are gone. For those buyers that are figuring they will wait for this spring inventory bump, all we can say is… well, it’s happened. Has it made a difference in your search? Did you find the right home? If not, then it may very well be that what you are looking for either doesn’t exist or it doesn’t exist in your price range. We always tell buyers that if you want to wait longer for the “right house” to come along, just know that statistically you are only going to see more of what is currently on the market. Of course, if what you are looking for is very unique, it’s just going to take time. Bottom line is that the inventory still does not favor buyers and be prepared to make some adjustments to what you want to buy.
SOLD TO LIST RATIO: This ratio continues to hover around 95%. I believe that appraisals have a big effect on this, based on my recent experience. Many clients are experiencing appraisal issues where the home does not appraise for the agreed upon sale price. Appraisers are put into some really tough positions because their assessment of value is based on what happened in the last 6 months or so. At this point in the “season”, many comps they are looking at are as far back as the fall and if prices are heading up, as they are, then they have a hard time justifying any increase in price. It’s quite possible that if we looked at what many buyers originally agreed to pay for the homes, that we would see a higher ratio, perhaps as much as 1%-2%.
CONCLUSION: While the inventory shortage has eased slightly, buyers still find it very tough to find what they want, quickly. It’s also very likely that they are paying list price or something very close to it. The good news is that if you are considering selling or own your own home, that your value is continuing to head up. Just about all indicators are pointing to a continued recovery but one that is not out of control. The key figures to continue to watch are interest rates, the list to sale ratio and the months of supply of inventory. Until next month, choose to make it a beautiful day!
Want to see updated graphs like in previous months? Email us and let us know you miss them! We want to be good stewards of our time and depending on the demand, we may leave the other graphs out. . .