Tag Archives: #firstamerican

Top Questions About Selling Your Home During the Holidays

In our blog two weeks ago, we made the suggestion that you should consider selling your home before or during the holidays.

That led to several questions.

1. But, doesn’t it make more sense the wait?

Even though the supply of homes for sale has increased in 2022, inventory is still low overall. That means it’s still a sellers’ market. The graph below helps put the inventory growth into perspective. Using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it shows just how far off we are from flipping to a buyers’ market:

Top Questions About Selling Your Home This Winter | MyKCM

While buyers have regained some negotiation power as inventory has grown, you haven’t missed your window to sell. Your house could still stand out since inventory is low, especially if you list now while other sellers hold off until after the holiday rush and the start of the new year.

On Cape Cod, we have a 2.2 months inventory of homes which means that if nothing else would become available, it would take 2.2 months to exhaust the supply. A “normal” market is considered six months.

2. Are there buyers still out there?

If you’re thinking of selling your house but are hesitant because you’re worried buyer demand has disappeared in the face of higher mortgage rates, know that isn’t the case for everyone. While demand has eased this year, millennials are still looking for homes. As an article in Forbes explains:

At about 80 million strong, millennials currently make up the largest share of homebuyers (43%) in the U.S., according to a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) report. Simply due to their numbers and eagerness to become homeowners, this cohort is quite literally shaping the next frontier of the homebuying process. Once known as the ‘rent generation,’ millennials have proven to be savvy buyers who are quite nimble in their quest to own real estate. In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they are the key to the overall health and stability of the current housing industry.”

While the millennial generation has been dubbed the renter generation, that namesake may not be appropriate anymore. Millennials, the largest generation, are actually a significant driving force for buyer demand in the housing market today. If you’re wondering if buyers are still out there, know that there are still people who are searching for a home to buy today. And your house may be exactly what they’re looking for.

3. If I sell, can I afford to buy my next home?

If current market conditions have you worried about how you’ll afford your next move, consider this: you may have more equity in your current home than you realize.

Homeowners have gained significant equity over the past few years and that equity can make a big difference in the affordability equation, especially with mortgage rates higher now than they were last year. According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American: “. . . homeowners, in aggregate, have historically high levels of home equity. For some of those equity-rich homeowners, that means moving and taking on a higher mortgage rate isn’t a huge deal.” 

For us, that meant that we were able this spring to use our equity to make a significant down payment on our new home, then market our old one. We didn’t have a home sale contingency in the offer to purchase our new home.

If you’re intrigued about the idea of selling your house before year’s end, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review your options. Remember: your home never looks better (or is more marketable) than during the holidays.

Thursday is Thanksgiving and we would be remiss if we did not wish everyone a blessed and memorable day. We’ve all come to appreciate this holiday more because we lost the chance to celebrate it during the height of the pandemic. So we hope you enjoy the chance to spend time with family and friends.

Mari and Hank

Questions Homebuyers Should Be Asking Right Now

The increase in interest rates has started to slow the overheated housing market as potential monthly mortgage payments have pushed — at least temporarily — some buyers to the sidelines. This is leaving some people, who want to purchase a home or sell their current one, wondering if now is really the right time.

If this sounds like you, here are two questions you should be asking yourself.

1. Where Do I Think Home Prices Are Heading?

There are two places to turn for answers to this question. If you look at what experts are projecting for home prices in 2023, they’re forecasting home price appreciation around 2%. While it’s true that a few are calling for depreciation, most are calling for appreciation in home values over the next year.

The second spot to turn to for information is the Home Price Expectation Survey from Pulsenomics – a survey of a national panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists. According to the latest release, the experts surveyed are also calling for home price appreciation for the next several years (see graph below):

Two Questions Every Homebuyer Should Ask Themselves Right Now | MyKCM

2. Where Do I Think Interest Rates Are Heading?

Most experts see mortgage rates rising over the next several months. According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American: “While mortgage rates are expected to continue to drift higher over the coming months, much of the rapid increase in rates is likely behind us.”

To date, we’ve seen mortgage interest rates generate head-line grabbing increases only to inch back with little or no fanfare. It’s important to remember that mortgage rates remain lower than they have in years, and while they won’t return to historical lows, rates also won’t spike to the historic highs of the late 90s.

Buyers should keep in close contact with their lenders to stay up-to-date on what they can afford.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, asking yourself about prices and mortgage rates will help you make a powerful and confident decision. The alternative is renting, but they’re also increasing and are often higher than what your mortgage could be. That may mean buying a home makes more sense. And don’t forget that when you rent, you’re really just paying your landlord’s mortgage. So, you might as well pay your own.

Questions? We’re happy to sit down with you and review your options. We can also put you in touch with qualified lenders, who can discuss with you financial options. It’s important that you speak with experts in order to make an informed decision and not your Mother’s cousin Gretchen, who sold a few houses 20 years ago.

So, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Let’s talk soon…

Mari and Hank

Is the Boom Over?

If you’re following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may be leaving you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here’s what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren’t enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that just wasn’t going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction.

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s a good indication of buyer demand. Here’s a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn’t crashing – it’s just at a turning point that’s moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Based on our own experience and that of our colleagues we can say that not every Open House has lines of potential buyers stretching down the driveway, as was the case not that long ago. Appropriately priced homes still attract a crowd, but buyers have become a bit more discerning. Houses whose asking price aren’t realistic because of condition or location are getting less attention when they might have a year ago.

What we are seeing — and again, this is anecdotally — are some homes becoming available to see if they will sell at some crazy price, because buyers are thought to still be “desperate.” But, there’s not much interest.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

The headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters here, as well. Let’s look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

It’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal year to show the current housing market is still strong. First American sums it up like this: “…today’s housing market looks a lot like the 2019 housing market, which was the strongest housing market in a decade at the time…”

Housing sales statistics for May have just been released by the Cape Cod and the Islands Board of Realtors and show that YTD the median sales price for a single family home is $690,000.00. (The YTD number one year ago was $607,000.00) New listings YTD are 1,613 compared to 1,836 in 2021.

New listings in May numbered 468. Last May there were 511. Months of housing supply in May is 1.4. In January it was 0.7 meaning more homes are coming on the market. This trend is expected to continue, but we have a long way to go to reach the more than five months supply we had pre-pandemic when good houses were available for sale for more than 100 days.

If recent headlines are concerning you and you’re thinking about buying, selling or both, look at a more typical year for perspective. The current market is not a crash or correction. It’s just a turning point toward more typical, pre-pandemic levels.

We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the correct information before making a decision.

…and remember, we just sold our house of 28 years and moved to a smaller property. So, we get it.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank

What Does the Rest of 2022 Hold for the Housing Market?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, you’re at an exciting decision point where timing can be crucial. So, what does the rest of the year hold for the housing market? Here’s what experts have to say.

The Number of Homes Available for Sale Is Likely To Grow

There are early signs housing inventory is starting to grow and experts say that should continue in the months ahead. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com: “The gap between this year’s homes for sale and last year’s is one-fifth the size that it was at the beginning of the year. The catch up is likely to continue…This growth will mean more options for shoppers than they’ve had in a while, even though inventory continues to lag pre-pandemic normal.”

  • As a buyer, having more options is welcome news. Just remember, housing supply is still low, so be ready to act fast and put in your best offer up front.
  • As a seller, your house may soon face more competition when other sellers list their homes. But the good news is, if you’re also buying your next home, having more options to choose from should make that move-up process easier.

Here on Cape, there has been a very modest, but steady increase in new listings this year. In January, there were 209. In April, there were 375. For some perspective, there were 629 new listings in April 2019 and we had 5.8 months of housing inventory.

Commenting on social media last week, Ryan Castle, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape and Island Association of Realtors, reported that “162 of 223 properties that became available over the last two weeks are still for sale.”

Cumulative days on the market before sale (YTD) is 36 seeming to indicate that not every property is selling in a day. Just a few years ago, days on market for well-maintained and appropriately priced homes could number in the months.

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Continue To Respond to Inflationary Pressures

Experts also agree inflation should continue to drive up mortgage rates, albeit more moderately. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First Americansays: “…ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even high in the months to come.”

  • As a buyer, work with reputable lenders, so you can learn how rising the mortgage rate environment impacts your purchasing power. It may make sense to buy now before it costs more to do so, if you’re ready.
  • As a seller, rising mortgage rates are motivating some homeowners to make a move up sooner rather than later. If you’re planning to buy your next home, talk to us and we can give you some advice on timing your move based on our own experience.

Home Prices Are Projected To Continue To Increase

Home prices are forecast to keep appreciating because there are still fewer homes for sale than there are buyers in the market. That said, experts agree the pace of that appreciation should moderate – but home prices won’t fall. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “Given the extremely low inventory, we’re unlikely to see prices decline, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.”

  • As a buyer, continued home price appreciation means it’ll cost you more to buy the longer you wait. But it also gives you peace of mind that, once you do buy a home, it will likely grow in value. That makes it historically a good investment and a strong hedge against inflation.
  • As a seller, price appreciation is great news for the value of your home. Again, you can take advantage of our experience to find the best way to strike the right balance for both selling your house and buying your next one. (We just did that!)

On Cape, the median sales price for a single family home (TYD) is up 12.5% to $675,000.00. In April 2019, it was $420,000.00.

But, the percentage of original list price received (YTD) is 101.1% suggesting that the days of head scratching offers may be fading. (Although there will always be exceptions.) In 2019, percentage of list was 92.9%. Back then asking price was the best you could hope for, not the starting point as it often is today.

Thinking about making your move? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the most accurate information to make the best decision for you.


…and speaking of making your move, today (Monday) is moving day for us. We closed on our new condo this past Wednesday and have used the last several days to finish packing up our house where we have lived for the last 28 years and bringing in painters, etc. to our new place. We close on our “old” home this coming Wednesday,

We’ve been chronicling what we’ve been doing in a series called “Mari Makes the Move” that you can find on our YouTube channel Mari Sennott Plus and on many of our social media platforms.

We’ll let you know next week how it all went…

Mari and Hank