Tag Archives: #realestatemarket

Selling Your Home Before the Holidays

As you look ahead to the winter, you’re likely making plans about what you want to accomplish before 2022 ends. If the location or size of your current home no longer meets your needs, finding a house that better suits your lifestyle may be a top priority. But with today’s cooling housing market, is this really a good time to sell, or should you wait?

If you’re ready to make your move, here are three reasons why you may want to decide selling before the holidays.

1. Get One Step Ahead of Other Sellers

Typically, homeowners are less likely to list their houses toward the end of the year. That’s because people get busy around the holidays and deprioritize selling their home until the start of the new year when their schedules and social calendars calm down.

Selling now, while other homeowners are holding off, can help your house stand out. Start the process today so you can get your property on the market and be ahead of your competition.

It’s also around the holidays that we often complete minor maintenance projects, because relatives and friends will be visiting. We paint the extra bedroom, fix a broken step on the back deck or give the guest bathroom a quick touch up. These are all tasks that will also help in marketing your home.

2. Get in Front of Serious Buyers

Even though housing supply has increased this year as buyer demand has moderated, it’s still low overall. That means there aren’t enough homes on the market today, especially as the millennial generation reaches their peak homebuying years. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americansays: “While not the frenzy of 2021, the largest living generation, the Millennials, will continue to age into their prime home-buying years, creating a demographic tailwind for the housing market.”

Serious buyers will continue to look this winter and your house may be exactly what they’re searching for. If you list your house now, you’ll be able to get in front of the eager buyers, who are hoping to make a move before the year ends or by early in 2023.

3. Seize a Great Chance To Move Up

Don’t forget, that as a homeowner you quite possibly have a substantial amount of equity. According to CoreLogic, the average amount of equity per mortgage holder has climbed to almost $300,000. That’s an all-time high. That means the equity you have in your house right now could cover some, if not all, of a down payment on your next home. (That’s what we did.)

As you weigh the reasons to sell before winter, don’t lose sight of why you’re thinking about moving in the first place. Maybe it’s time to buy a house that’s in a better location, has the space you and your loved ones have been craving, or simply gives you that sense of home.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your house so you can find a home that better suits your needs, don’t delay your plans. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@ todayrealestate.com so we can develop a marketing plan for your current home and begin the search for your new one.

The Friday, November 11, is Veterans Day, a federal holiday set aside to honor the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces.. We thank all of them for their service and sacrifices. We are forever grateful.

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

Multiple Offers Are the New Normal

If you’re thinking of buying a home right now, you know very well that the number of houses available is limited. As a buyer, low housing supply coupled with high buyer demand means you should be prepared to navigate a highly competitive market where homes sell fast and receive multiple offers. 

In a bidding war situation, doing everything you can do to get ahead of the competition is your best move. That’s because when you find a house and submit an offer, it will likely be up against other strong offers from other buyers.

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are receiving an average of 3.9 offers nationally. That’s the most offers we’ve seen in January for the last 5 years (see graph below):

How To Navigate a Market Where Multiple Offers Is the New Normal | MyKCM

Over the last few weeks, homes on Cape Cod have been receiving more than the national average of offers. In the last few days, one Sandwich home received 10 offers and sold for significantly above asking price. Anyone waiting for the Open House was out of luck. They were cancelled.

To help you navigate bidding wars with multiple offers, working with a real estate professional is important. They know what has worked for other buyers and what sellers are looking for. They can help you prepare when it comes time to making an offer. Here are three tips to keep in mind that will help you make the best offer possible.

1. Know Your Numbers​

Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a reputable lender so you can be pre-approved for a loan. Pre-approval shows sellers you’re serious, which can give you a competitive edge. As a practical matter, an offer that is not accompanied by a pre-approval letter receives scant attention, if any at all. Offers that are all cash need to provide proof of funds.

You should also realize that making an offer at the home’s asking price probably won’t be enough. In just about every situation, asking price is now the starting point for negotiations. So, submitting a low ball offer to “see what happens” is a waste of time. (Unless the house needs to be totally gutted. But, even then…)

2. Be Ready To Move Fast​

Speed and the pace of sales are contributing to today’s competitive housing market. When homes are selling quickly, it’s important to stay on top of the market and be ready to move. Stay up to date on the latest listings and if you find the home you want to buy, submit your best offer as soon as possible.

3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer​

​When you’re up against others, presenting your best offer from the start is key. Submit a strong offer and use whatever leverage you can to make it as enticing as possible. One option is to wave some of your contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Just remember there are certain contingencies you may not want to give up, like the home inspection. But, there are ways to make a home inspection enticing.

Curious about your options? 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

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 Is the Housing Supply Still So Low?

The one question that’s top of mind for homebuyers as we start the new year is: why is it still so hard to find a house to buy? The truth is, we’re in the ultimate sellers’ market, so real estate is ultra-competitive  right now. The number of buyers searching for a home greatly outweighs how many homes are available for sale.

While low inventory in the housing market isn’t new, it’s a challenge that continues to grow over time. Here’s a look at two reasons why today’s supply is low and what that means if you’re looking to buy.

1. New Home Construction Has Fallen Behind Demand

The graph below shows new home construction for single-family homes over the past five decades, including the long-term average for housing units completed. Builders exceeded that average during the housing bubble (shown in red on the graph). The result was an oversupply of homes on the market, so home values declined. That was one of the factors that led to the housing crash back in 2008.

Since then, the level of new home construction has fallen off. For the last 13 straight years, builders haven’t been able to construct enough homes to meet the historical average (as illustrated in green on the graph). That underbuilding left us with a multi-year inventory deficit before the pandemic started.

Buyers Want To Know: Why Is Housing Supply Still So Low? | MyKCM

2. The Pandemic’s Impact on the Housing Market

The pandemic fueled a renewed appreciation and focus on the meaning of home. Having a safe space to live, work, learn, and exercise became even more important for Americans throughout the country. So, as mortgage rates dropped to at or below 3%, buyers eagerly entered the market looking to capitalize on those low rates and secure a home that would fulfill their changing needs. But, at the same time, sellers hesitated to put their houses on the market as concerns about the pandemic mounted.

The result? The number of homes available for sale dropped even further. On Cape Cod, the supply of available homes last month was 53% less than it was at the same time in 2020.

We ended the year with 14.7% fewer single family home sales in 2021 than 2020. (4,192 vs. 4,915). Median sales prices were up 26.6% over the same period. ($510,000 vs. 619,950).

Condominiums saw an 8.2% drop in sales (1,202 vs 1,104) and a 10.1% increase in median sales price. ($345,000 vs. $380,000).

What Does All of This Mean for You?

Buyers need to remember that low inventory doesn’t mean no inventory. If you want to find the home of your dreams, be sure that you’re pre-approved, have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and have your home on the market if you need to sell it. (You just won’t be able to compete with buyers who are offering large down payments or paying cash, if you home isn’t even being marketed.)

There is also some good news. Experts are projecting more homes will become available thanks to sellers re-entering the market to take advantage of high returns on their investment or finally deciding that it’s time to get on with their lives.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, shares this hope, but offers perspective: “For buyers, the market is likely to continue to move fast. If you see a home you like, be right to jump on it right away.”

Today’s market is favoring sellers. If you have questions, we’d be happy to provide answers. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options. You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Have a great week.

Mari and Hank

Listing Prices Are Like an Auction’s Reserve Price

For generations, the process of buying and selling a home has never really changed.

A homeowner and their real estate professional would estimate the market value of the house, then tack on a little extra for some negotiating room. That figure would become the listing price. 

Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price they could offer and still get the home.

As a result, the listing price was generally the ceiling of the negotiation. The actual sales price would almost always be somewhat lower than what was listed. It was unthinkable to pay more than what the seller was asking.

Today is different.

The record-low supply of homes for sale coupled with very strong buyer demand is leading to a rise in bidding wars on many homes. Because of this, homes today are selling for more than the list price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “For every listing there are 5.1 offers. Half of the homes (nationally) are being sold for above list price.”

You may need to change the way you look at the asking price of a home.

In this market, you likely can’t shop for a home with the former approach of negotiating to a lower price.

Due to the low supply, many homes are now being offered in an auction-like atmosphere in which the highest bidder wins the home. In an actual auction, the seller of an item agrees to take the highest bid, and many sellers set a reserve price on the item they’re selling. A reserve price is the minimum amount a seller will accept as the winning bid.

When navigating a competitive housing market, think of the list price of the house as the reserve price at an auction. It’s the minimum the seller will accept in many cases.

So, if you really love a home, know that it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking.

We have found that in working with buyers that there is an education process to this new way of thinking. Just last week, a new buyer was honestly shocked that their offer of $5,000 over asking price was the lowest of five bids. Their offer for the next home that they bid on was much more in line with the new pricing reality. We’re still waiting to hear if they were successful, but these buyers learned quickly. Sometimes others lose out on a few homes before they adjust.

Remember: someone like good old Uncle Harry who “knows a little something about real estate” may be telling you that it’s foolish to offer more for a home than the listing price. But, he’s more familiar with the housing market of the past than that of today

Frequent and competitive bidding wars are creating an auction-like atmosphere in many real estate transactions right now. Let’s connect today at 508-568-8191or msennott@todayrealestate.com so we can provide you with the best advice on how to make a competitive offer on a home.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Frustrated?

There are a record number of buyers looking for homes on Cape Cod, yet sellers are leaving money on the table.

While there are certainly instances of homes being sold for sometimes head scratching amounts, the Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors reports that nearly 1 in 2 listings are actually going for BELOW asking price.

So what’s going on? Mari answers the question in her latest YouTube video.

We also have anecdotal evidence that even homeowners selling property on their own are not taking the time to get the best price possible.

Too often we’ve heard from a For Sale by Owner — who promised a showing or said to call back in a day or so — that they accepted an offer when we contacted them again as instructed. We suspect that because they don’t fully understanding how the real estate market is working now — for example, waiving home inspections is not unusual — these individual sellers accept what appears to be the first “good” offer they receive.

But, they’ll never know what our buyer — or potentially others — might have been willing to pay for the property.

There are many reasons why people are looking to move including new freedom made possible by work from home options; room for fitness and family activities, and a desire to spend more time outside.

Cape Cod checks all the boxes, so homeowners should not be selling themselves short by limiting the exposure their property receives.

Before marketing your home, let’s talk about how Mari Sennott Plus can provide you with a full marketing plan that will get you the best price for your property.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

508-568-8919 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

Patience Is Key to Buying a Home This Year

There’s one question were consistently asked: “Why is it so hard to find a house?

The answer is that we’re in the midst of the ultimate sellers’ market, which means real estate is ultra-competitive for buyers right now. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says homes are getting an average of 4.8 offers per sale, and that number — and prices — keep rising.

On Cape Cod, 43% of all transactions that closed in March 2021 were for above asking price, compared to 11% in March 2020 and 9.5% in March 2019.

In addition, the median sales price for a single family home in Barnstable County rose to $653,500 last month, setting a new record high for median sale price on Cape.

Why?

It’s because there are so few houses for sale.

New listings in March on Cape for single-family homes were 391 and 93 for condominiums. This is a 18 percent decrease, and a 19.1 percent decrease respectively from last March, which had 477 new listings for single-family homes and 115 new listings for condominiums.

At the end of this March, there were 346 single-family homes for sale and 131 condominiums for sale in the Cape Cod & Islands Multiple Listing Service. Last March, there were 1,567 single-family homes and 446 condos listed for sale, a 77.9 percent decrease, and a 70.6 percent decrease, respectively.

Low inventory in the housing market isn’t new, but it’s becoming more challenging. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com put it simply: “Buyers can’t buy what’s not for sale.”

While many homeowners paused their plans to sell during the height of the virus crisis, this isn’t the main cause of today’s gap between supply and demand. (But, the lack of current homeowners looking to upsize, downsize or move to that someday neighborhood certainly isn’t helping…)

Sam Khater, Vice President and Chief Economist at Freddie Mac’s Economic and Housing Research Division, says that the main driver of the housing shortfall is a long term decline in the construction of single family houses, which has resulted in a decrease in the supply of starter homes.

When you consider the number of houses built in the U.S. by decade, the serious lack of new construction is obvious. (See graph below)

Patience Is the Key to Buying a Home This Year | MyKCM

To catch up to current demand, Freddie Mac estimates we need to build almost four million homes. The good news is that nationally there were 1.74 million housing starts in March – the highest in 14 years. Experts say the industry will need to keep that pace for three years to make up for the shortfall.

If you’re planning to buy this year, the key to success is being patient and working with real estate professionals — like Mari Sennott Plus — who know the Cape Cod market and can guide you through this very competitive environment. Providing our clients with the best advice has been our full time job for more than 20 years. So, let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@today realestate.com to review your options.

Your new home is out there waiting for you. It’s just going to take a little longer to find it.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

PS: If you’ve been thinking about selling, what are you waiting for?? Let’s talk soon…