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Market Commentary – 2015 October

Market Summary

Many of the indicators I track are showing the slow and shifting momentum for prices, inventory, and sales.

  • 86% of sales in September sold in 60 days or less.

    Major Indicator Summary, 2015 Sep

    Major Indicator Summary, 2015 Sep

  • Inventory has dropped over 20% year-over-year.
  • Equity sales (not REO, not Short) increased by almost 20% year-over-year.

This is how I advise my sellers in this market:

The market is mixed right now.  The 1.8 Months Inventory indicates a seller’s market but it feels more like a buyer’s market.  Nice homes, priced well, in good locations are selling in about 30-40 days.  The “rough” listings are taking twice as long.

Remember, there is a trade-off between Time and Money for you.  The longer you try to sell at a price that has not attracted a motivated buyer, the less your Net profit becomes due to holding costs and the time value of money.

Your house and property has been on the market for 15 days.  We’ve had 4 showings with no feedback.  (A license in selling real estate does not a professional make.)

The market, last month, had sales with the breakdown shown in the pie chart.  These numbers

Days on Market, Sold, 2015 Sep

Days on Market, Sold, 2015 Sep

tell me 86% of the sales (68% + 18%) took less than 60 days to enter escrow.  If yours is priced correctly for the condition, location, and market timing, then there’s a 79% chance (68%/86%) yours will get into escrow within 30 days.

Therein lies the trick to selling before your competition:  Price it well.

Please let me know if you’re seeing the competition on your portal, needing a more detailed look at the trends and changes, or wanting to discuss anything about your house’s condition or pricing.  I’m here to help you sell.  If we are not realistic about your pricing, it’s hard for me to accomplish your expectations.

Catch-22 for Buyers who are Renting

Rents skyrocketed in 2014 and many analysts did not think those escalating costs would be sustainable. But they have yet to slow in 2015 – and in fact, rents have gotten higher — and the increases likely will continue into next year. Annual rent growth in September was 5.2 percent – the highest since 2011. That also marks the eighth consecutive month the rate has been 5 percent or higher. A year ago, annual rent growth was 4.1 percent.

The eight months the rate has been above 5 percent is the longest sustained period of strength we have seen. The last growth cycle was only four years, and this cycle is already five years long — with no sign of stopping. Some studies are showing that it is more affordable to buy a home than rent. But inventory constraints in the for-sale market – particularly on the lower end – can keep renters renting, as well as the inability to save for a down payment due to the high rental costs.

Fits and Starts

My Swing Indicator is the EKG of the general market. It shows 54 momentum indicators; 51 are zip codes and 3 are the Counties. All but 23 are unchanged or decreasing. Seasonal changes, new mortgage regulations, anticipated interest rate increases, and the general malaise of the economy are having an impact on sales. The fact that the Fed is NOT changing rates may push sales out. (It also indicates the Fed is completely lost and is running a Ponzi scheme.)

Major Swing Indicator, 2015 Sep

Major Swing Indicator, 2015 Sep

Appraiser’s Notes

My favorite appraiser (Ryan Lundquist) does a good analysis of the market on a monthly basis. And his bullet points and charts are helpful.

  • The median price has been hovering around $290,000 for 5 months (5% higher than last
    Sacramento Median, 2015 Sep

    Sacramento Median, 2015 Sep

    year).

  • It took an average of 36 days to sell a house last month (up 2 days from the previous month).
  • Last year at this time it was taking an average of 41 days to sell a house.
  • FHA sales were 29.5% of all sales last month (nearly 28% of all sales in Sacramento County last quarter).
  • Sales volume is 10.1% higher so far in 2015 compared to last year.
  • Sales volume was 13% higher in Sept 2015 compared to Sept 2014.
  • There is a 1.74 month supply of homes for sale (similar to previous month).
  • Housing inventory is nearly 30% lower right now compared to Sept 2014.
  • The average price per sq ft is 188 (5.6% higher than last September).
  • The average sales price is $314,317 (1.9% higher than last September).

One Paragraph on the Market:

Shocking titles tend to get clicked more on Facebook. So if I wanted more clicks, I probably could have gone with a sensational title like, “The market is taking a turn downward”. Or maybe I could have said, “Big changes you MUST know about in Sacramento real estate.” After all, the stats are showing values are softening, so hyping up this point could certainly lead to more traffic. But you know what? I’m not interested in hype, and I never want more clicks at the expense of my integrity. Yes, the market is growing softer right now, and that can feel scary for some, but truth be told there really isn’t any shock here because this is exactly what we expect to see happen during the fall months. Nonetheless, the fascinating part is the fall season this year has still been different than it was last year. This year is actually much more competitive and far less dull. So let’s unpack some trends below with the goal of understanding what values are doing so we can more effectively tell the story of the market to our clients and contacts. I hope this is helpful for locals as well as out-of-town readers (what is your market doing right now?).

7 Ways to Get Top Dollar for Your Home During the Off-Season

Increase Your ProfitAfter a record-setting summer selling season in many parts of the country, home sales have quieted down for the fall. If you’re putting your home on the market, you might see that as an obstacle, but it can be an opportunity. Even if there is less traffic, there’s less competition from other sellers. In a market where inventory is getting tighter, that gives you an even greater advantage.

Fall is a particularly good time to sell if you’re marketing to retirees, millennials, or those with very young children — they’re less concerned about tying a purchase to the school calendar. Going into winter, you’ll find that buyers who are willing to trudge through rain to see a home tend to be much more motivated to make a purchase than those who spend a sunny Saturday dropping into open houses.

If you’re thinking of listing your home in the next few months, follow these steps to ensure a quick sale at a great price:

1. Skip the holiday décor

Staging basics such as decluttering and depersonalizing still count during the holidays, so it’s best to keep the inflatable Rudolph and the tinsel in storage. You never know who your potential buyer is. You don’t want to pigeonhole or potentially turn someone off.

2. Update your photos

Even without holiday decorations, photos can quickly look dated as the seasons change. It’s fine to lead your listing right now with a gorgeous photo of crimson- and gold-leaved trees on the front lawn, but once the leaves have fallen, you’ll want a new photo to keep the listing looking fresh. Try to snap photos on days when there’s a blue sky, which will pop against a blanket of white snow. I hire a professional photographer to maximize the beauty of the pictures. Does your agent take their own pics with their phone?

3. Keep the outside neat

Curb appeal is just as important but slightly more difficult to achieve in fall and winter (especially in our area). A leaf- or snow-covered lawn can be beautiful, but it can also get messy quickly. Make sure it’s neat and tidy. Put an added focus on raking and removing leaves to be sure that your driveway and walkways are clear and safe for visitors at all times. Refresh the ground cover and mow the lawn regularly (if it’s not dormant or dead). You could even paint your lawn.

4. Clear the entryway

You’ll want to make sure there’s space for a few people (like a couple and their agent) to stand in the foyer, shed their winter clothes, and stomp off the debris on their shoes. Provide an umbrella stand and shoe covers to keep visitors from tracking mud and snow through your home.

5. Make it warm — literally and figuratively

If you’re going to be out of the house, be sure that you turn up the thermostat before a showing (or leave it at a warmer temperature when you leave in the morning), which will help potential buyers feel more comfortable. It’s vital that a house be warm but not too warm that people have to peel off all their clothes, but definitely not so cold that they want to get out as fast as possible. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure it’s lit, and enhance that warm, hospitable feeling with a tasteful throw blanket or area rug.

6. Be more flexible with showings

There are fewer hours of daylight, when your home looks its best, in the winter months, so try to accommodate potential buyers who want to come for daytime visits. Otherwise, you’re limiting your own exposure to weekends or darkness.

7. Light it up

lampEven during the day, cloudy gray skies can make window-lined rooms feel gloomy. Adding floor lamps and turning on all the lights will make the property feel more welcoming. Light up every dark corner because they can make a room feel smaller than it is. If visitors are coming at night, you’ll want to turn on all exterior lights as well (including landscape lighting).

 

Harvest Pumpkin Pie

pieIngredients

  • 1 nine-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 16-ounce can of pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and pour mixture into pie shell. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes more, or until a knife comes out clean from the center of the pie. Allow to cool, decorate and finish with topping, slice and enjoy!

Call or text me: 916-517-9606

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