Tag Archives: #housinginventory

Should You Sell Your House This Year?

There’s no denying that the housing market is undergoing a shift as buyer demand slows and the number of homes for sale grows.

On Cape Cod, there were 231 homes for sale in January. In August, there were 563. This is nowhere near what we consider to be a normal market. But, what it does represent is a slow tick upward in the number of homes available.

So, here’s a look at the key opportunities you have if you list your house this fall.

Opportunity #1: Where Can You Go?

We often hear from those who are thinking about selling that their biggest concern is that they don’t know where they can go. But, one of the biggest stories today is the growing supply of homes for sale primarily because higher mortgage rates helped cool off the peak frenzy of buyer demand. But what you may not realize is, this actually can benefit you as a seller

If you’re marketing your house to make a move, it means you’ll have more options for your own home search. This gives you an even better chance to find a home that checks all of your boxes. So, if you’ve put off selling because you were worried about being able to find somewhere to go, know your options have improved.

Opportunity #2: The Number of Homes on the Market Is Still Low

Just remember, while data shows the number of homes for sale has increased this year, housing supply is still firmly in sellers’ market territory. To be in a balanced market where there are enough homes available to meet the pace of buyer demand, there needs to be a six months’ supply of homes nationally. According to the latest report from the Cape and Island Association of Realtors there’s a 1.9 month supply here.

While you’ll have more options for your own home search, inventory is still low, and that means your home will still be in demand if you price it right. On Cape, the Cumulative Days on Market Before Sale is 29 (YTD), still quick by traditional standards, but not the gone-in-a-weekend pace of even just a few months ago.

Opportunity #3: Your Equity Has Grown by Record Amounts

The home price appreciation that the market experienced over the past few years has likely given your equity (and your net worth) a considerable boost.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comexplains: “Homeowners trying to decide if now is the time to market their homes are still in a good position in many places across the country as a decade of rising home prices gives them a substantial equity cushion…”

While there are no statistics available on individual equity, we can report based on our own personal experience and that of our sellers that this is true.

So, if you’ve been holding off on selling because you’re worried about how rising prices will impact your search, rest assured your equity can help. It may be just what you need to cover a large portion (if not all) of the down payment on your next home.

That’s what we did a few months ago. We used the equity in our home as down payment for our new one. So, we were able to secure where we were going before the For Sale sign ever went up in our yard.

There’s often never a “good time” to market a home: an unexpected job transfer, the loss of a loved one, or a family break up can make the decision hard and the process difficult. But sellers manage to get through it with the help of a knowledgeable professional.

If, however, the market is presenting you with an opportunity to benefit from your long-term real estate investment and make the change that you’ve been contemplating for years, why not move forward?

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to talk about your possibilities. We’re happy to help.

Mari and Hank

A Bit of What We Learned in Dallas

Like many of you, we were dodging the downpours last week. Only we were in Dallas where the torrential rains flooded parts of the downtown stranding people in their cars with many needing to be rescued by first responders.

We were attending our seventh Success Summit, sponsored by the Tom Ferry organization. Ferry is consistently voted the leading trainer in our profession. He’s also an FOM. (Friend of Mari)

With us were about 25,00 of our colleagues from the States and around the world. (About 6,000 in person; the rest on live stream.)

We had an opportunity to network with other professionals and learn about where they work and what has been successful for them in helping their buyer and seller clients.

The conference itself provided a wealth of information about the status of the market and its somewhat confusing behavior. Bad memories of 2008, worse advice from inernet “experts” and relatives who know “a few things about real estate,” and the charged political atmosphere with the mid-terms looming have many concerned about a possible crash.

But, one of the key reasons why the market won’t crash this time is the current undersupply of inventory. Housing supply comes from three key places; 1.current homeowners putting their homes up for sale; 2. newly built homes coming onto the market, and 3.distressed properties (short sales or foreclosures)

For the market to crash, you’d have to make a case for an oversupply of inventory headed to the market, and the numbers just don’t support that. So, here’s a deeper look at where inventory is coming from today to help prove why the housing market isn’t headed for a crash.

Current Homeowners Putting Their Homes Up for Sale

Even though housing supply is increasing this year, there’s still a limited number of existing homes available. The graph below helps illustrate this point. Based on the latest weekly national data, inventory is up 27.8% compared to the same week last year (shown in blue). But compared to the same week in 2019 (shown in the larger red bar), it’s still down by 42.6%.

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So, what does this mean? There simply aren’t enough homes on the market to cause prices to crash. There would need to be a flood of people getting ready to sell their houses in order to tip the scales toward a buyers’ market. And that level of activity simply isn’t there.

Newly Built Homes Coming onto the Market

There’s also a lot of talk about what’s happening with newly built homes today, as builders are actually slowing down their production. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, notes: “It has become a very competitive market for builders where they are trying to offload any standing inventory.”

To avoid repeating the overbuilding that happened leading up to the housing crisis, builders are reacting to higher mortgage rates and softening buyer demand by slowing down their work. It’s a sign they’re being intentional about not overbuilding homes like they did during the bubble.

But, with not enough new homes being built over the last several years, builder caution is not helping to increase supply as much as needed.

Distressed Properties (Short Sales or Foreclosures)

The last place inventory can come from is distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures. Back in the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to secure a home loan they couldn’t truly afford. Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions on properties with foreclosure filings to help paint the picture of how things have changed since the crash:

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So for those of you looking for a deal, your wait could be a long one.

The forbearance program during the height of the pandemic was a game changer, giving homeowners options for things like loan deferrals and modifications they didn’t have before. And data on the success of that program shows four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are either paid in full or have worked out a repayment plan to avoid foreclosure. These are a few of the biggest reasons there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

With the real experts agreeing that, in general, prices will moderate, but not decrease, is it time to make your move? As many of you know, we did earlier this year selling our home of 28 years and moving to something that makes more sense for our current needs and lifestyle. You can, too!

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’d be happy to share our experience as sellers and buyers, as well as more of what we learned in Dallas and how it can apply to your personal situation. Let’s talk soon.

With school beginning in many of our communities this week, please be aware of kids walking to school and waiting for the bus. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

Why People Are Making Their Move

Many were surprised when during the height of the pandemic, the housing market remained strong. In fact, it’s credited with getting the country’s economic engine moving again.

You also may remember that many so called experts, well-meaning observers, and not so well-intentioned TV talking heads were predicting disaster. But, the people who were truly familiar with the housing market were urging calm and saying that things would be fine.

Just like now.

“Those who know” are once again looking at the current economic situation and raising doubt about today’s shifting market and questioning what it means for consumers.

While mortgage rates are higher than they were at the start of the year and home prices are rising, you shouldn’t put your plans on hold based solely on market factors. Instead, it’s necessary to consider why you want to move and how important those reasons are to you. Here are two of the biggest personal motivators driving people to buy homes today.

A Need for More Space

Moving.com looked at migration patterns to determine why people moved to specific areas. One trend that emerged was the need for additional space, both indoors and outdoors. (Something that Cape Cod can certainly provide.)

Outgrowing your home isn’t new. If you need office space, crave a large yard, more room to entertain, or just need additional storage areas or bedrooms overall, having the physical space you need for your desired lifestyle may be reason enough to make a change.

A Desire To Be Closer to Loved Ones

Moving and storage company United Van Lines surveys customers each year to get a better sense of why they move. Their latest survey finds that nearly 32% did so to be closer to loved ones.

A similar company, Pods, also highlights this as a top motivator for why people move. They note that an increase in flexible work options has helped many homeowners make a move closer to the people they care about most.

According to Pods: “a shifting of priorities has also affected why people are moving. Many companies have moved to permanent remote working policies, giving employees the option to move freely around the country, and people are taking advantage of the perk.”

If you can move to another location because of remote work, retirement, or any other reason, you could leverage that flexibility to be closer to the most important people in your life. Being nearby for caregiving and or just seeing those who are important to you on a regular basis could be exactly what you’re looking for.

What Does This Mean for You?

As a seller, especially if you need to downsize, there is a strong demand for your property. Open Houses for typical three bedroom, two bath “family” homes continue to be popular and often result in multiple offers.

If you’re a buyer, sitting on the fence waiting for prices to go down or the market to crash is no more than wishful thinking that is costing you money. Reputable experts — not the alleged ones posting on Facebook — say that prices will moderate, but not drop.

Selling and buying a home is a very personal decision. (We just did both.) But, if there’s one universal lesson from the pandemic it is that life does indeed go on. In the face of genuine tragedy and not insignificant logistical challenges, people nonetheless decided to make their move, whether for work, finances, or personal situations.

Is this your time? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review your options. We’ll provide you with the most up-to-date market data, as well as share our own experience as recent sellers and buyers.

We hope that you continue to be safe during the heatwave. Please pay special attention to those kids (and adults) who may not be familiar with the water, but will jump in stay cool. Thanks.

Best regards,

Mari and Hank

But Where Will I Go?

That’s a question we frequently hear from homeowners who are sitting on the fence about selling.

The answer: wherever you want.

That’s because today’s market is undergoing a shift, and the supply of homes for sale is slowly increasing as a result. That means you may have a better chance of finding a home that will meet your current need, whether upsizing, downsizing or moving to that “someday” community. Here are some options to consider.

Buying an Existing Home Can Give You That Lived-in Charm

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of existing homes nationally has steadily increased since the beginning of the year. The graph below indicates inventory levels are rising, and that’s largely due to more homes coming onto the market and the pace of sales slowing:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, if you’re looking for a home with lived-in charm, supply is rising, and that’s great news for you.

There are several benefits to buying an existing home. Many buyers want to purchase a home with history, and the character of older houses is hard to reproduce. Existing homes can often be part of an established neighborhood featuring mature landscaping that can give you additional privacy and boost your curb appeal.

Plus, timing can be a consideration as well. With an existing home, you can move in based on the timeline you agree to with the sellers, rather than building a new home and waiting for construction to finish. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you need to move sooner rather than later.

Just remember, while more sellers are listing their homes, supply is still low overall. That means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home, but you’ll still need to be prepared for a fast-moving market.

Purchasing a Newly Built or Under Construction Home Means Brand New Everything

Census data shows there’s an increasing number of new homes available for sale. It includes homes that are under construction, soon to be completed, and fully built. As the graph below highlights, the supply of new homes for sale has also grown this year:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

When building a new home, you can create your perfect living space and customize it to your lifestyle. That could mean everything from requesting energy efficient options to specific design features. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of all new appliances, windows, roofing, and more. These can all help lower your energy costs, which can add up to significant savings over time.

The lower maintenance that comes with a newer home is another great advantage. When you have a new home, you likely won’t have as many little repairs to tackle, like leaky faucets, shutters to paint, and other odd jobs around the house. And with new construction, you’ll also have warranty options that may cover portions of your investment for the first few years.

But, keep in mind purchasing a new home could mean waiting a considerable amount of time before you can move. That’s an important factor when making your decision and depends on your personal time line.

Anecdotally, the number of homes available for sale on Cape appears to be increasing based on the time spent at our office and company-wide meetings discussing new listings. We’re also receiving more emails announcing price reduction announcements. Sometimes they involve properties where homeowners waited too long to sell and, as a result, the sale price that a neighbor received six months ago — that the seller wants today — isn’t realistic.

So, is it finally time to make your move? We put our Sandwich home under contract at the end of April and last month moved to an area in Mashpee that we had been thinking about for years. You can do it, too!. (And we received no special consideration from anyone, because we’re realtors.)

We’re happy to answer your questions about the current housing market. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll provide you with the most up-to-date marketing data, as well as our thoughts based on our experience as sellers and buyers. Talk soon…

Please continue to be careful in the warm weather and pay attention to the kids and adults, who are not familiar with water. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

It’s Just Fireworks…

…the sky isn’t falling.

Nonetheless, we continue to read the headlines and hear the talk about a potential housing bubble or a crash, while the data and expert opinions tell a different story.

recent survey from Pulsenomics asked over one hundred housing market experts and real estate economists if they believe the housing market is in a bubble. The results indicate most experts don’t think that’s the case (see graph below):

Two Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t a Bubble | MyKCM

As the graph shows, a strong majority (60%) said the real estate market is not currently in a bubble. In the same survey, experts give the following reasons why this isn’t like 2008:

  • The recent growth in home prices is because of demographics and low inventory
  • Credit risks are low because underwriting and lending standards are sound

If you’re concerned a crash may be coming, here’s a deep dive into those two key factors that should help ease your concerns.

1. Low Housing Inventory Is Causing Home Prices To Rise

The supply of homes available for sale needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation.

As the graph below shows, there were too many homes for sale from 2007 to 2010 (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s still a shortage of inventory, which is causing ongoing home price appreciation (see graph below):

Two Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t a Bubble | MyKCM

Inventory is nothing like the last time. Prices are rising because there’s a healthy demand for homeownership at the same time there’s a limited supply of homes for sale. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains: “The demand for homes continues to exceed the supply of homes for sale, which is keeping price growth high.”

2. Mortgage Lending Standards Today Are Nothing Like the Last Time

During the housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. Here’s a graph showing the mortgage volume issued to purchasers with a credit score less than 620 during the housing boom, and the subsequent volume in the years after:

Two Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t a Bubble | MyKCM

This graph helps show one element of why mortgage standards are nothing like they were the last time. Purchasers who acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified than they were in the years leading up to the crash. Realtor.com notes: “…lenders are giving mortgages only to the most qualified borrowers. These buyers are less likely to wind up in foreclosure.”

Has the housing market moderated a bit? It seems to be. We’re heading towards a more pre-pandemic — aka “normal” — market. It means that open houses aren’t as crazy. It’s taking more than a weekend to sell a property. There are more price reductions as sellers, who stayed on the sidelines and now want to get the same price for their homes that their neighbors got six months ago, realize that they’ve missed out.

As predicted, the uptick in interest rates has caused some buyers to pause their search. But, places like Cape Cod remain attractive destinations. Our home prices are less than many communities in the Boston area and we offer more in terms of lifestyle opportunities, quality local schools, etc.

Are you thinking of selling but asking yourself: “But, where can we go?” The answer is where ever you want. That’s what we just did. We sold our home of 28 years and moved to an area that we’ve been thinking about for years. We had no real advantage being realtors. We competed like everyone else for property. We made a few offers before one was accepted. We had to find the best mortgage interest rate. We had to weigh what was the best offer for our home.

We learned a lot that will make us better realtors and advisors for our clients.

Curious about your options? We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll share with you current market statistics and what strategies work best for buying and selling a home.


Happy 4th of July! If you’re heading to the beach this week, please keep watch on the kids and adults who aren’t familiar with the water. We’ve had too many fatal or near fatal accidents already. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation

If you follow the news, you know about inflation. You’re also likely feeling its impact in day-to-day life as prices go up for gas, groceries, and more. These rising consumer costs can put a pinch on your wallet and make you re-evaluate any big purchases you have planned to be sure that they’re still worthwhile.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home this year, you’re probably wondering if you should continue down that path or if it makes sense to wait. While the answer depends on your situation, here’s how homeownership can help you combat the rising costs that come with inflation.

Homeownership Offers Stability and Security

Investopedia explains that during a period of high inflation, prices rise across the board. That’s true for things like food, entertainment, and other goods and services, even housing. Both rental prices and home prices are on the rise. So, as a buyer, how can you protect yourself from increasing costs? The answer lies in homeownership.

Buying a home allows you to stabilize what’s typically your biggest monthly expense: your housing cost. If you get a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your loan, often 15 to 30 years.

James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrate, says that a fixed rate mortgage allows you to maintain what is probably your largest monthly expense at the same level. While property taxes will rise and other expenses related to your home will creep up, your monthly housing payment will remain the same.

In other words, no calls from the landlord telling you that your rent is going up – again.

Use Home Price Appreciation to Your Benefit

While it’s true rising mortgage rates and home prices mean buying a house today costs more than it did a year ago, you still have an opportunity to set yourself up for a long-term win. Buying now lets you lock in at today’s rates and prices before both climb higher.

In inflationary times, it’s especially important to invest your money in an asset that traditionally holds or grows in value. The graph below shows how home price appreciation outperformed inflation in most decades going all the way back to the seventies – making homeownership a historically strong hedge against inflation (see graph below):

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation | MyKCM

So, what does that mean for you?

Experts are saying home prices will continue to go up thanks to the ongoing imbalance in supply and demand. Once you buy a house, any home price appreciation that does occur will be good for your equity and your net worth. And since homes are typically assets that grow in value (even in inflationary times), you have peace of mind that history shows your investment is a strong one.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review a plan for you to buy and/or sell.

…and remember. We know of what we speak. We’re selling and buying now, too. Check out our series “Mari Makes the Move” on our YouTube Channel, Mari Sennott Plus.


We hope to see you this Saturday from 9am to Noon at the Today Real Estate parking lot at 299 Cotuit Road in Sandwich, where you can safely dispose of your important documents. Great White Shred will be there to shred your valuable paperwork that contain personal information.

Stephanie (Viva) in the Morning from 102.3FM will be there spinning your favorites and we’re joining with Kristi Sassone from First Home Mortgage to provide Cape Cod Coffee and donuts.

Limit of ten boxes of material to be shredded, please.

See you there!

Mari and Hank

If You’re Waiting for the Bubble to Burst….

recent survey revealed that many consumers believe a housing bubble is beginning to form. That feeling is understandable, as year-over-year home price appreciation is still in the double digits.

We’ve seen comments on our own Facebook page from posters reacting to recent listings saying that they’re waiting for the market to crash. We see references on various social media sites comparing today’s market to “the last time.”

However, this market is very different than it was during the housing crash 15 years ago. Here are four key reasons why today is nothing like the last time.

1. Houses Are Not Unaffordable Like They Were During the Housing Boom

The affordability formula has three components: the price of the home, wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time. Conventional lending standards say a purchaser should spend no more than 28% of their gross income on their mortgage payment.

Fifteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%. We remember buying our first home and the rate was 14%!

Today, prices are still high. Wages, however, have increased, and the mortgage rate, even after the recent spike, is still well below 6%. That means the average purchaser today pays less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than they did back then.

In the latest Affordability Report by ATTOM Data, Chief Product Officer Todd Teta addresses that exact point: “The average wage earner can still afford the typical home across the U.S, but the financial comfort level zone continues to shrink as home prices keep soaring and mortgage rates tick upward.”

Affordability isn’t as strong as it was last year, but it’s much better than it was during the boom. Here’s a chart showing that difference:

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

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2. Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed During the Boom

During the housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. As an example, let’s review the number of mortgages granted to purchasers with credit scores under 620. According to credit.org, a credit score between 550-619 is considered poor. In defining those with a score below 620, they explain: “Credit agencies consider consumers with credit delinquencies, account rejections, and little credit history as subprime borrowers due to their high credit risk.”

Buyers can still qualify for a mortgage with a credit score that low, but they’re considered riskier borrowers. Here’s a graph showing the mortgage volume issued to purchasers with a credit score less than 620 during the housing boom, and the subsequent volume in the 14 years since.

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Mortgage standards are nothing like they were the last time. Purchasers that acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified. Let’s take a look at what that means going forward.

3. The Foreclosure Situation Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

The most obvious difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. The Federal Reserve has a report showing the number of consumers with a new foreclosure notice. Here are the numbers during the crash compared to today:

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

There’s no doubt the 2020 and 2021 numbers are impacted by the forbearance program, which was created to help homeowners facing uncertainty during the pandemic. However, there are fewer than 800,000 homeowners left in the program today, and most of those will be able to work out a repayment plan with their banks.

Why are there so few foreclosures now? Today, homeowners are equity rich, not tapped out.

This suggests that the forebearance equals foreclosure narrative pushed by many so called experts and news network talking heads was incorrect.

In the run-up to the housing bubble, some homeowners were using their homes as personal ATM machines. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up. When home values began to fall, some homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation where the amount they owed on their mortgage was greater than the value of their home. Some of those households decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a rash of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at huge discounts, thus lowering the value of other homes in the area.

Homeowners, however, have learned their lessons. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over 40% of homes in the country having more than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like the last time, as evidenced by the fact that national tappable equity has increased to a record $9.9 trillion. With the average home equity now standing at $300,000, what happened last time won’t happen today.

So, there will be nowhere near the same number of foreclosures as we saw during the crash.

4. We Don’t Have a Surplus of Homes on the Market – We Have a Shortage

The supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation. As the next graph shows, there were too many homes for sale from 2007 to 2010 (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory, which is causing the acceleration in home values to continue.

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Inventory is nothing like the last time. Prices are rising because there’s a healthy demand for homeownership at the same time there’s a shortage of homes for sale.

According to the Cape Cod and Island Board of Realtors, inventory for last month was 256 single family homes. It was 300 in January 2021. In January 2020? The number was 1,397.

As a result, open houses are crowded again and multiple offer situations are frequent. At an Open House we had this past Saturday, more than 30 groups visited the property in just two the first hours! As a result, our sellers are considering multiple offers.

If you’re a buyer waiting for the bubble to burst or for the market to crash before making your move, you’re potentially going to have a long wait. Sellers sitting on the sidelines, should be thinking about getting into the game.

Curious about your options as either a buyer or seller? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Have a good week…

Mari and Hank

How to Get Top Dollar for Your House

When you’re selling any item, you want to get the greatest profit possible. That happens when there’s a strong demand and a limited supply. In the real estate market, that time is right now. If you’re thinking of selling your house this year, here are two reasons why now’s the time to do so.

1. Demand Is Very Strong This Winter

recent article in Inman News notes: “Spring, the hottest time of year for homebuyers and sellers, has started early according to economists.”

And they aren’t the only ones saying buyers are already out in full force. That claim is backed up with data released last week by ShowingTime.

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the average number of monthly buyer showings on active residential properties, which is a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future trends for buyer demand. The latest index reveals this December was the most active December in five years (see graph below):

Want Top Dollar for Your House? Now’s the Time To List It. | MyKCM

As the data indicates, buyers have been very busy this winter. December 2021 saw even more showings than December of 2020, which was already a stronger-than-usual winter. We know this from personal experience and that of many of our colleagues.

2. Housing Supply Is Extremely Low

Each month, realtor.com releases data on the number of active residential real estate listings (listings currently for sale). Their most recent report reveals the latest monthly number nationally is the lowest we’ve seen in any January since 2017 (see graph below):

Want Top Dollar for Your House? Now’s the Time To List It. | MyKCM

One statistic to track available listings is by calculating the current month’s supply of inventory. A months supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace.

On Cape Cod, the monthly supply at the end of January was 0.7! That’s 231 homes for sale as compared to 519 a year ago.

For condos, the calculated monthly supply is 1.0. That’s available 90 units this January versus 206 in 2021.

The ratio of buyers to sellers favors homeowners right now to a greater degree than at any other time in history. Buyer demand is high and supply is low. That gives sellers an incredible opportunity.

But, buyers shouldn’t be discouraged as still record low interest rates will help them afford the homes that they’re seeking.

Curious about your options as either a buyer or seller? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Mari and Hank

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way

There are several reasons why potential buyers tell us that they are waiting to make their move.

One theory is that with forbearance plans coming to an end, there will be a wave of foreclosures similar to what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. These buyers are figuring that they will then swoop in and purchase a home at a discounted price.

Here are a few reasons why that won’t happen.

There are significantly fewer homeowners in trouble this time

After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their homes to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they simply gave it back to the bank.

As stay-at-home orders were issued early last year, the fear was the pandemic would impact the housing industry in a similar way. Many projected up to 30% of all mortgage holders would enter the forbearance program. In reality, only 8.5% actually did, and that number is now down to 2.2%.

As of about two weeks ago, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at  1,221,000. That’s far fewer than the 9.3 million households that lost their homes just over a decade ago.

Most of the mortgages in forbearance have enough equity to sell their homes

Due to rapidly rising home prices over the last two years, of 1.22 million homeowners currently in forbearance, 93% have at least 10% equity in their homes. This 10% equity is important because it enables homeowners to sell their homes and pay the related expenses instead of facing the hit on their credit that a foreclosure or short sale would create.

The remaining 7% might not have the option to sell, but if the entire 7% of those 1.22 million homes went into foreclosure, that would total about 85,400 mortgages. To give that number context, here are the annual foreclosure numbers for the three years leading up to the pandemic:

  • 2017: 314,220
  • 2018: 279,040
  • 2019: 277,520

The probable number of foreclosures coming out of the forbearance program is nowhere near the number of foreclosures that impacted the housing crash 15 years ago. It’s actually less than one-third of any of the three years prior to the pandemic.

The current market can absorb listings coming to the market

When foreclosures hit the market back in 2008, there was an oversupply of houses for sale. It’s exactly the opposite today. In 2008, there was over a nine-month supply of listings on the market. Today, that number is less than a three-month supply. Here’s a graph showing the difference between the two markets.

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The data indicates why Ivy Zelman, founder of the major housing market analytical firm Zelman and Associates, was on point when she stated: “The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With housing prices continuing to rise and mortgage interest rates inching up, waiting to make your move is simply not a solid financial strategy.

Curious about your options? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.


We’re often asked about whether it’s a good idea to market your home during the holidays. As part of her 30 Days, 30 Questions series, Mari explained why it’s not such a bad idea.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Homes Are Not “Unaffordable”

It’s impossible to research the subject of buying a home without coming across a headline declaring that the drop in home affordability is a cris

However, when you add context to the most recent affordability statistics, you soon realize that, though homes are less affordable than they have been over the last few years, they are actually more affordable than they historically have been.

Black Knight, a premier provider of data and analytics for the mortgage industry, just released their latest Monthly Mortgage Monitor which includes a new analysis of the affordability situation. The big headline from the report: the payment to income ratio standard that has long been used to determine affordability has actually dropped!

Important Distinction: Homes Are Less Affordable, Not Unaffordable | MyKCM

Today’s payment-to-income ratio is more affordable than the average over the last 25 years. Given that context, we can see that today’s homebuyers still have the same ability to be homeowners as their parents did 20 years ago.

This confirms the recent analylsis of ATTOM Data resources where Todd Teta, Chief Product and Technology Officer, said that the typical median-priced home around the U.S. remains affordable despite prices going through the roof.

“Super-low interest rates and rising pay continue to be the main reasons why,” he says.

So, while it’s true that it’s less affordable to buy a home today than it has been the last few years, it is more affordable to buy today than the average over the last 25 years. Homes are less affordable, but they’re not unaffordable.

That’s an important distinction.


What are your questions about the housing market?

Mari has started a “30 Questions; 30 Days” project to provide answers.

Please visit our Facebook page, Mari Sennott Plus, to see what we’ve posted and send along your questions.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank