Last week I documented how our real estate market is showing signs of slowing. In that column I noted an increase in the number of price reductions for metro area listings and compared statistics from this summer with those from last summer, showing how the ratio of sold price to original listing price and the median days on market suggest a slowing in our real estate market.
One reader asked whether prices were also leveling off or falling, so this week I am presenting that data. As documented in the chart below, the answer is pretty obvious — prices have increased from 6.8% to 9.8% year-over-year this summer, and price per square foot has increased from 5.4% to 9.4% year-over-year. That’s comparable to or greater than the increases experienced in previous summers.
That presents an interesting dichotomy. We are not seeing as many quick sales and multiple offers, and we are seeing more price reductions than last year, yet the median sales price is increasing. It’s hard to come up with a reasonable explanation of what’s going on, but I’ll keep working on it!
I’ll be curious to see how market activity and price changes look this coming winter compared to last winter. In the past I have pointed out (more than once!) that winter can be the best time to sell a home. That’s because there are fewer listings yet lots of buyers are still getting email alerts from the MLS whenever a new listing matches their search criteria. I myself have 60 different clients receiving email alerts based on their different search criteria. You can be sure that when these would-be buyers get an email describing a house they want to see, they will call me to see it — even on Christmas eve or in a snow storm!
That’s the nature of our changed real estate business. Buyers and not their agents are doing their searching and finding online, then asking their agents to set a showing.
Remember: Summer may be the “listing season” in real estate, but there is no one “selling season.”