Real Estate Market

October 2015

Existing Homes Sales Report

After three consecutive months of increases, sales of existing homes slightly declined in August, this despite a reduction in prices and an uptick in sales to first–time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Also according to NAR, none of the four major regions saw sales increases in August.

Total existing–home sales (including single–family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co–ops), dropped 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million in August from a slight downward revision of 5.58 million in July. Notwithstanding August's decline, sales have grown year–over–year for 11 consecutive months and now sit 6.2 percent above a year ago (5.00 million).

Existing Home Sales By Region

NAR's chief economist noted that home sales in August lost some momentum. Economist Lawrence Yun said, "Sales activity was down in many parts of the country last month — especially in the South and West — as the persistent summer theme of tight inventory levels likely deterred some buyers." Yun also noted, "The good news for the housing market is that price appreciation the last two months has started to moderate from the unhealthier rate of growth seen earlier this year."

Key Housing Data Takeaways

  • The median existing–home price (for all housing types) in August was $228,700, which is 4.7 percent higher than August 2014 ($218,400). August's price increase marks the 42nd consecutive month of year–over–year gains.
  • Total housing inventory at the end of August grew 1.3 percent to 2.29 million existing homes, which is 1.7 percent lower than a year ago (2.33 million).
  • Unsold inventory is at a 5.2–month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.9 months in July.
  • August's share of sales to first–time buyers grew to 32 percent, up from 28 percent in July and matching the year's highest share set in May. A year ago, first–time buyers were 29 percent of all buyers.

Find the Right Coverage

When purchasing a home, you will need to acquire homeowners insurance. In fact, all lenders will require a policy to be in force prior to funding the loan. Make sure you have enough coverage should anything happen. Policies refer to "replacement costs" that may not cover everything. You should ask your insurance agent a lot of "what if" questions. The deductible amount also plays a big part in setting your premium. Higher deductibles lower the number of claims, and reduce your insurance costs.

Check with your insurance agent for more information on these issues and others. If you don't have an insurance agent, we have access to several top-notch agents to whom we can refer you with confidence.

Seller Opportunities

Selling your home in today's market requires strategy and execution. Here are three tips to help sellers reduce their time on market:

  • Make it shine. Buyers are attracted to attractive homes. Make your home stand out by mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, washing windows, and cleaning the carpets. These are small things that make a big difference.
  • Remove clutter. Not only do clean homes show better, but tidy homes offer more to the imagination. One person's treasure is another person's trash. Removing unnecessary clutter will help potential buyers envision their own potential for the home.
  • Consider removing art and personal keepsakes. Beyond general de-cluttering, some sellers also remove all or most of their personal artwork, family photos and personal mementos to give potential buyers an even better chance to imagine the home being theirs. This can be hard emotionally, but don't take it personally.
  • Pay attention to the market. Work with your agent and price your home to sell. A competitively priced home is the one that sells first, and in this market that counts for a lot. Overpriced homes often end up selling for less or incurring much greater holding costs than if they had been appropriately priced in the first place. An experienced agent will help you arrive at the most advantageous price for your home.

These simple tips can help you sell your home and take advantage of our today's market. Please contact us if you have any questions about selling your home. We are here to help!

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