September 2018 News
U.S. Real Estate Overview
Note: July 2018 data below are the most recent from the National Association of Realtors
According to the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors® (July), existing-home sales subsided for the fourth straight month in July to their slowest pace in over two years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The West was the only major region with an increase in sales last month.
Total existing-home sales (completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops), decreased 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million in July from 5.38 million in June. With last month’s decline, sales are now 1.5 percent below a year ago and have fallen on an annual basis for five straight months.
NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, says the continuous solid gains in home prices have now steadily reduced demand. “Led by a notable decrease in closings in the Northeast, existing home sales trailed off again last month, sliding to their slowest pace since February 2016 at 5.21 million,” he said. “Too many would-be buyers are either being priced out, or are deciding to postpone their search until more homes in their price range come onto the market.”
The national median price for existing homes (all housing types) in July was $269,600, up 4.5 percent from July 2017 ($258,100). July’s price increase marks the 77th straight month of year-over-year gains.
U.S. total housing inventory by July's end decreased 0.5 percent to 1.92 million existing homes available for sale (unchanged from a year ago). Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace (also unchanged from a year ago).
Properties typically stayed on the U.S. market for 27 days in July, up from 26 days in June but down from 30 days a year ago. Fifty-five percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month.
The average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.53 percent in July from 4.57 percent in June. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99 percent.
First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in July, which is up from 31 percent last month but down from 33 percent year ago.
Find the Right Coverage
When purchasing a home, you will need to acquire homeowners insurance. In fact, all lenders will require a policy to be in force prior to funding the loan. Make sure you have enough coverage should anything happen. Policies refer to "replacement costs" that may not cover everything. You should ask your insurance agent a lot of "what if" questions. The deductible amount also plays a big part in setting your premium. Higher deductibles lower the number of claims, and reduce your insurance costs.
Check with your insurance agent for more information on these issues and others. If you don't have an insurance agent, we have access to several top-notch agents to whom we can refer you with confidence.
Selling your home in today's market requires strategy and execution. Here are three tips to help sellers reduce their time on market:
- Make it shine. Buyers are attracted to attractive homes. Make your home stand out by mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, washing windows, and cleaning the carpets. These are small things that make a big difference.
- Remove clutter. Not only do clean homes show better, but tidy homes offer more to the imagination. One person's treasure is another person's trash. Removing unnecessary clutter will help potential buyers envision their own potential for the home.
- Pay attention to the market. Work with your agent and price your home to sell. A competitively priced home is the one that sells first, and in this market that counts for a lot.
These simple tips can help you sell your home and take advantage of our today's market. Please contact us if you have any questions about selling your home. We are here to help!