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National homebuying stats

National homebuying stats shows a dip in sales, as median residential home sale prices continue to climb.


Existing-home sales fell for the second month in a row

Existing-home sales fell for the second month in a row in March as rising prices and interest rates sapped purchasing power, the National Association of REALTORS® said. 

At the same time, total housing inventory jumped 11.8% on a month-over-month basis to 950,000 units.   

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slid 2.7% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in March. Year over year, sales were down 4.5% from 6.04 million transactions in March 2021.

Median existing-home prices are up 

The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $375,300, up 15% from a year before, as median prices rose in each region.     

March’s unsold inventory represented a 2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 1.7 months in February and down from 2.1 months a year ago.   

Boston condo rising mortgage rates

“The housing market is starting to feel the impact of sharply rising mortgage rates and higher inflation taking a hit on purchasing power,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “Still, homes are selling rapidly, and home-price gains remain in the double-digits.” 

Despite the speedy pace of sales, Yun expects transactions to fall 10% this year, while home prices will rise a relatively modest 5%. 

Home prices have consistently moved upward as supply remains tight,” Yun said. “However, sellers should not expect the easy-profit gains and should look for multiple offers to fade as demand continues to subside.” 

Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in March, down from 18 days in February and 18 days in March 2021. Eighty-seven percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month. 

By property type, single-family home sales slid to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.13 million, down 2.7% from 5.27 million in February and down 3.8% from a year earlier. The median existing single-family home price was $382,000, up 15.2% on a year-over-year basis.  

Condo sales drop  

Existing condominium and co-op sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 units in March, down 3% from 660,000 in February and down 9.9% compared to March 2021. The median existing condo price rose 11.9% year over year to $322,000.   

In March, first-time buyers were responsible for 30% of sales, up from 29% in February and down from 32% in March 2021, while individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 18% of homes, down from 19% in February and up from 15% in March 2021.

Boston condos and the bottom line  

“It appears first-time homebuyers are still looking to lock in at current mortgage rates before they inevitably increase,” Yun said, and noted an uptick in the share of buyers paying in cash. “With rising mortgage rates, cash sales made up a larger fraction of transactions, climbing to the highest share since 2014.”  

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National homebuying stats

National homebuying stats, as you follow the news, you’re likely seeing headlines discussing what’s going on in today’s housing market. Chances are high that some of the more recent storylines you’ve come across mention terms like cooling or slowing when talking about where the market is headed.

But what do these terms mean? The housing market today is anything but normal, and it’s still an incredibly strong Boston condo sellers’ market, especially when compared to the few years leading up to the pandemic. With that in mind, what can previous years tell us about today’s real estate market and if it’s truly slowing?

We’re Still Seeing an Above Average Real Estate Number of Sales

You may see headlines about a drop in home sales. But are those headlines telling the full story? The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) does show a drop of about 2% from July to August. But the month-over-month decline doesn’t provide the full picture (see graph below):What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market? | Simplifying The MarketAs the graph shows, historical context is key. Today’s home sales are well ahead of some of the more normal years that led up to the health crisis. That means buyers are still in the market, which is great news if you’re planning to list your home.

Houses Are Selling Faster Than Usual

When headlines mention the market is slowing, sellers may naturally wonder if their house will sell as quickly as they’d like. According to the most recent Realtors Confidence Index from NAR, homes are still selling at record speed (see graph below):What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market? | Simplifying The MarketAgain, if we look back at data from previous years, we can see the average time on market – 17 days –  means homes are selling faster than a normal pace.

Real Estate Bidding Wars Are Still the Norm

The Realtors Confidence Index from NAR also shows a drop in the average number of offers homes are receiving in August, and many headlines may simply focus there without providing the important context (see graph below):What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market? | Simplifying The MarketAgain, it’s important to compare today’s market to trends from recent years. Currently, the average number of offers per listing is higher than 39 of the previous 45 months. That means the likelihood of a bidding war on your home is still high. And the number of offers your house receives can have a major influence on the final sale price.

So, Is the Real Estate Market Slowing Down?

While there are slight declines in various month-to-month data, it’s important to keep historical context in mind when determining what’s happening in today’s market. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, put it best recently, saying:

“It’s not the white-hot market from earlier in the year & it’s not the 2020 market benefiting from a wave of pent-up demand but make no mistake this is still a hot housing market.”

Boston Condos For Sale Bottom Line

Don’t let headlines make you rethink listing your home this fall. Selling today means you can still take advantage of high buyer demand, multiple offers, and a quick sale. If you’re thinking of selling your house, let’s connect and discuss why this fall is the perfect time to do so.

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The National Association of REALTORS held their annual meeting last week. The purpose was to compile homebuyer stats. Here are some of their results:

– Four out of 10 buyers in 2011 were first time buyers, down from 50% last year;

– For first-time buyers, the median age was 31; median income was $62,400. The typical home was 1,570 square feet and cost $155,000, with mortgage and interest payments being $794.

– The typical repeat buyer was 53 years old with a median income of $96,600, up from $87,000 in 2010. The typical home was 2,100 square feet and cost $219,500, with the mortgage and interest payments being $1004.

– About 91% of buyers used the Internet and bought through a real estate agent and 70% of those who did not use the Internet used a real estate agent.

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