homes

June 2015 Home Sales up 12.3% Year-to-Date with 9.1% Rise in Average Price

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (“GLAR”) reported year-to-date sales up 12.3% with 7,633 homes and condos sold versus 6,796 at the same time last year. Sales were up 20.5% in June 2015 (1,835 units) compared to June 2014 (1,523 units), and the median selling price in all Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”) areas was up 8.4% compared to the same month last year. The median price (year-to-date) in Jefferson County was up 7.1% ($150,000) and the average (year-to-date) was up 7.3% ($189,796). For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties for sale was 16.7% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Paula Colvin commented that, “GLAR members are recording sales nearing the record high volume in 2007, at prices that are approximately 10% higher than the pre-recession peak.” At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that, “The return of first-time buyers is an encouraging sign,” and is the result of strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low down payment options. Yun also remarked that the national market is “clearly not a bubble,” noting that the overall demand for housing is 25% lower than it was during the previous boom, new home construction is about half of what it was during the previous boom and mortgage debt outstanding is 10% lower than during the previous boom.

June 2015 Stats Release

The Help Buyers Need to Navigate Increasingly Tight Market

nov2

Spring is traditionally a favorable time of year for home buyers; however, with a limited number of homes available for purchase, sales nationwide are slowing. According to the National Association of Realtors® housing inventories are near decade lows, and are continuing to pressure home prices.

Recent data shows there is more demand than supply in the current market, which means conditions broadly favor sellers. Meanwhile, buyers are out there looking to purchase homes. Buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago and sellers are reportedly receiving multiple bids. The good news for buyers is home construction is rising and low mortgage rates are keeping housing affordable. However, underwriting standards remain excessively tight.

NAR data shows that total housing inventory at the end of March is 1.93 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stressed the need for a housing supply of over 6 months to have a generally balanced market between buyers and sellers. The current supply of homes for sale is 17 percent below year-ago levels, according to NAR data, and homes are also selling much faster. The typical home sold in March was on the market for one month less than it took to sell a year ago. The median time on market for all homes was 62 days in March down from 74 days in February.

Despite these conditions, homeownership remains desirable to many renters.  The benefits of homeownership are still very evident and opportunities for buyers exist. Just because the current market tends to favor sellers doesn’t mean buyers can’t still find their dream home.

There are several tips for buyers in today’s market. First, before you start looking at potential homes, know your budget. Lenders will evaluate your income, savings and credit history to qualify and approve you for a mortgage.  Antoher tip is identifying neighborhoods of interest. Also, think about what you need and want in a home, whether it’s a certain number of bedrooms, a small yard, or a garage. Once you have a good idea about what you’re looking for, it’s easier to know it when you see it.

When homes are selling quickly it’s important for buyers to visit the home as close to when it goes on the market as possible. Open houses are also a great way to see a lot of houses in a short amount of time. Buyers can get a good sense of what’s available in the area and what their budget can afford.

Most importantly, start working with a Realtor®. Whether you are buying or selling a home, using a Realtor® is a smart move. Realtors® understand their local markets and can negotiate on your behalf. Buying and selling a home is one of life’s biggest decisions and a Realtor® can guide you through the process.

Whether you’re ready to buy or looking to sell, consumers can find tips and advice for making the most of their open house experience at http://inr.synapticdigital.com/nar/openhouses/.

Market Overview for March

Members of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® posted 907 sales during the month of March 2012, a 1.8% increase over March 2011. March’s total sales continued a nine-month trend of outpacing the same period last year, which posted 891 sales during March 2011. The average selling price paid for single family and condominium homes in March was $162,583, up $4,692 from February and was its best monthly performance since September 2011.  The March ’12 average selling price outperformed March ’11 by 6.3%, or nearly $10,000. Average sales prices have retreated from the past 12 months peak of $179,758 posted in July 2011, but remain above the past 12 months low which was posted in March 2011 at $152,801. March 2012 beat the post peak (peak=2005-2007) 4-year same month average (2008-2011) of $152,000 by over a 6% margin.  

Inventory, or the number of homes listed for sale, increased to 7,557 units in March, an increase of 271 units over February and 226 units over January 2012. The number of homes for sale continues to exceed a similar period last year, which posted 7,021 active listings for March 2011. That said, the 7.6% increase in supply was balanced by a 7% increase in pending sales, when compared to a similar period in 2011.  GLAR’s inventory of active listings fell to an 8.3 month supply, from February’s 9.4 month supply; inventory levels near a 6 month supply are often associated with an in-balance market.  

Overall, the 1st quarter of 2012 posted positive gains in sales volume and average sales prices, when matched against the 1st quarter of 2011. GLAR members posted a double digit gain in sales volume for the first 3 months of the year, when compared to the 1st quarter of 2011. March was by far the strongest month of the 1st quarter, posting a 15% increase over February and an 18% increase over January.  Market segment performance varies, but in sum, GLAR members are encouraged by the positive streak of early 2012 data. 

Jefferson County Market:
Realtors® posted 620 sales in March in Jefferson County, a near match with March ‘11’s 621 sales. March sales volume posted the strongest month of the 1st quarter, beating February by 84 units and January by 95 units.  For the month, the county’s average selling price posted a 5% increase over March ’11, to $162,291. The average sales price measured a 7% gain over February 2012, and broke a downward trend that began in December ’11.  The supply of homes on the market in Jefferson County stands at 4,675 up 216 units from February and nearly 12% over a similar period last year. A growth in active units placed in pending status for March offset the jump in inventory; pending sales grew by 178 units when matched against February, and outpaced March 2011 by nearly 11.8%. The current inventory in Jefferson County stands at a 7.5 month supply, down from 8.3 last month.  In sum, Realtors® were enthused by the upward tick in average sales prices, which snapped a 3 month declining trend, and welcome the strength March showed in the quarterly snapshot.

Oldham County Market:
The number of closed sales in Oldham County was up 63% when comparing March 2012 to March 2011 and up over 17% for the first quarter of the year.  The average sales price remained steady when compared to the prior year with the monthly average sales price at $238k and the 1st quarter of the year at $241K.  While monthly comparisons of median selling price showed a decline of 8%, the median price for the 1stquarter rose slightly with a 1% increase. The number of sales going under contract in March 2012 was lower than March 2011 by 9.8% and the inventory of unsold homes remained higher than last year by 9%.

Bullitt County Market:
Realtors® posted 62 closed sales in Bullitt County in March, an increase of 1 sale from February, and 3 units from January. March 2012 volume fell below March 2011, but an increase in the average sales price to $133,900, from $127,207 was encouraging. Supply, or the number of homes on the market, increased to 542, from 526 units in February and 522 units in January, reflecting an 8.7 month inventory.