Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, yet finding the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family is certainly still top of mind for many right now. This year, there’s another type of buyer that’s very active this holiday season – the home buyer.
Each month, ShowingTime releases their Showing Index which tracks the average number of appointments received on active U.S. house listings. The most recent index notes:
“The Showing Index reported a 60.9 percent jump in nationwide showing traffic year over year in October, the sixth consecutive month to see an increase over last year.”
Here’s the breakdown of the latest activity by region of the country compared to this time last year:
- The Northeast increased by 65.5%
- The West increased by 64.7%
- The Midwest increased by 55.7%
- The South increased by 54.7%
Why is the traffic so active?
The health crisis definitely put home-buying plans on pause for many earlier this year. Buyers, however, are in the market and making moves well past the typical busy home-buying seasons of spring and summer.
One of the main reasons buyer traffic has continued to soar in the second half of 2020 is how dramatically mortgage rates have fallen. According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate last December was 3.72%. Today, the rate is a full percentage point lower.
There are first-time, move-up, and move-down buyers actively looking for the home of their dreams this winter. If you’re thinking of selling your house in 2021, you don’t need to wait until the spring to do it. Your potential buyer is very likely searching for a home in your neighborhood right now.
THE WEEKEND WARRIOR
The Weekend Warrior is your guide for the best events happening around the Reno/Sparks/Lake Tahoe region brought to you by Intero Real Estate Services Reno! The action around Northern Nevada is picking up, both virtually and in-person. Check out the happenings this weekend!
ONLINE AND VARIOUS LOCATIONS AROUND NORTHERN NEVADAArtown… The entire month of July is historically THE MONTH when Reno’s art and culture scene explodes. Daily during non-pandemic times, the parks, plaza, galleries and theaters overflow with locals and visitors here to embrace the beauty and intrigue of creativity in every form. This year, Artown performers take most of their performances to the virtual world where we can login and enjoy their works. For those who need to get out of the house, masks and social distancing practices will be exercised at events that are taking place live. Discover all events and classes offered at Artown.org.
JULY 2 (7-9 pm)
POTENTIALIST WORKSHOP (836 E. Second St., Reno)Are you a blossoming comedian? A funny-man or woman in the making? Test your skills for live entertainment at The Curtain Calls Improv/Sketch Comedy Game Show Thursday night, July 2. Should you have the itch to take part, you’re invited to emerge from the audience to indulge in a creative & imaginative fantasy on-stage. This is a donation based admission, and food/beverages are served. For more info about the event and COVID-19 guidelines, visit Artown.org.
FRIDAY, JULY 3 (9-11 pm)
WEST WIND EL RANCHO DRIVE-IN, SPARKS, NVArtown and Cordillera International Film Festival‘s “Movies in the Park” has changed residency this year in an effort to keep event-goers safe. Rather than kicking it on a blanket or beach chair at Wingfield Park, you can snuggle with your loved ones in the comfort of your car at the West Wind El Rancho Drive-In and enjoy the 1997 movie Con Air. Con Air is an action-packed film about a newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger, Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) who finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control. As an added bonus the showing of the movie is followed by a Q&A session with the film’s Director, Simon West. Free popcorn will be served! Entry is limited, so visit ciffNV.org.
SATURDAY, JULY 4 (10 am-12 pm)
DOWNTOWN RENO, NEVADATake a docent-led tour and learn about the more than 40 murals painted by local, national and internationally-recognized artists. This two-hour walk around downtown Reno gives insights into the area and our eclectic public art. You’ll see a wide range of styles — from graffiti lettering, illustration, landscape and realism portraits. Meet up with the mask-donned, socially-distanced group at the BELIEVE statue in City Plaza (10 N. Virginia St., Reno). A donation of $10 is greatly appreciated. For more information about the mural tour and other public art tours around Downtown and Midtown Reno, visit ArtspotReno.org. Note that the photo above was taken in Midtown and that is my daughter whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the subject.
ANYWHERE ON THE TRUCKEE RIVER YOU WANT TO GET IN & OUTOMG… For those of you looking for a little adventure, you can rent or buy a raft or rafting tube, and make your way down the Truckee River. I just did this last weekend, and it was a blast! Yes, there are some mini rapids depending on where you begin and end your float, so if you are at all uncomfortable with water, don’t do it. Our mini voyage started at Tom Cooke Trail and finished at Doroskar Park. It was only about a 1 mile ride, so a good warmup to test my comfort level for our next longer expedition. Go with a friend and self-guide, or take a tour with a WildSierra.com. Enjoy!
MT. ROSE SUMMIT TRAIL, RENO, NV Are you in need of some post-quarantine exercise? Get your blood pumping and taking in the beauty of the Sierras on a hike of Mt. Rose. Enjoy a 7 mile loop or forge ahead to the summit, 10 miles total. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the serenity of wilderness amidst flowers and grasses, Galena creek, waterfalls, the forest, an ultimately the splendor of Lake Tahoe and the views of the entire Tahoe Basin at the summit. For more detailed information about this gorgeous outing, visit HikingProject.com.
SATURDAY, JULY 4 (12 pm-5 pm)
NATIONAL BOWLING STADIUMRarely is the public invited to make use of the lanes at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium. This 4th of July, the doors are open to all bowing fans, young and old! Space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, so pre-registration is paramount. Groups of 2 to 5 who are within the same household may sign up in advance for the family-fun Red, White and Bowl event. Model your masks and your American flag colored outfits and enjoy a bowling session in what National Bowling Stadium that is also known as the “Taj Mahal of Tenpins.” For more information and to register now, visit RenoEvents.com.
SATURDAY, JULY 4 (12-1 pm)
HISTORIC DOWNTOWN VIRGINIA CITY, NVIn place of the traditional Virginia City Independence Day parade that decorates C Street, the historic Northern Nevada mining town hosts a spectacular 4th of July Cruise this year! No registration is necessary to participate. Just start lining up your cruiser at 11 am at Fourth Ward School, located at the junction of State Route 342 and 341 at C Street, at 11 a.m. and creatively adorn your vehicle with your best patriotic-spirited decorations. Business are open at reduced capacity with use of protective measures. Click here to check out an entertaining video of what the annual parade looks like on a normal year. And go to VisitVirginiaCityNV.com for more about the cruise. Please note that the fireworks spectacular has been cancelled.
EVERY WEDNESDAY (Begins at 5 pm)
McKINLEY PARK (925 Riverside Dr, Reno)At Feed the Camel, you and your loved ones are invited to “come hungry with your face covered.” The only trick is how to get the food through the mask… Joke. The beloved weekly food truck event brings in some of the best restaurants on wheels under the Keystone bridge and just across the street from the Truckee River. McKinley Park is your place to establish your own eating space on a blanket or beach chairs, and savor the delicious cuisine our local food trucks have to offer. Learn more at the Feed the Camel Facebook Page.
THE WEEKEND WARRIOR
Great news! With the re-opening of businesses and some “altered” events in Reno-Sparks, I am pleased to bring back THE WEEKEND WARRIOR. While it was interesting to look at real estate market statistics and news over the last few months in THE WEEKLY WATCH, I will now provide the market update once per month. And naturally, as events and activities pick up in Northern Nevada, my content will grow over the coming months. Stay positive, stay healthy, and enjoy life everyone!
Actually… it’s not just in Reno anymore! Reno Restaurant Week is a fabulous 10-day (Thru June 24) culinary exploration that will fancy your taste buds from Sparks, to Reno, to Carson City. 69 of Northern Nevada’s finest eating establishments open their doors and welcome you in for a wonderful meal out. Then for added fun, do the following:
- Follow @RenoFoodWeek on Instagram
- Follow the establishment you have chosen to visit on Instagram
- Take a photo (or photos) of your food/drinks and/or a photo with the owner/chef/server
- Post photos on Instagram, tag the establishment and @RenoFoodWeek and use the hashtag #RenoFoodWeek in your caption
- Winners will be notified via Instagram direct message the last week of June, 2020.
Every year, Gallup conducts a survey of Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are asked to select real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.
For the seventh year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment. Gallup explained:
“Real estate remains the most favored investment to Americans, as has been the case since 2013, when the housing market was on the rebound. More than a third of Americans have named real estate as the top investment since 2016.”
This year’s results indicated 35% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 21%. The full results covering the last decade are shown in the chart below:
The belief of the American people in the stability of housing as a long-term investment remains strong, even through the many challenges our economy faces today.
** Data in this report reflect market activity from MAY 2020 compared to the previous month and year. Information is gathered from the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors® (RSAR) for the Greater Reno-Sparks region via Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service (www.nnrmls.com). Data accounts for single-family resale residences only, and excludes townhouses/condos, manufactured/modular and new construction.
Here is the market overview:
And here are a more detailed look at the stats for May 2020 compared to the previous month and year:
- In May 2020, the Median Sales Price for single-family re-sale properties in Reno-Sparks combined was $399,900, a 3.6% decrease from April 2020, and a 2.5% increase from May 2019. As seen in the graph above, the median sales price has hugged the $400k price point over the last year and appears to be steady at this time.
- # of Units Sold inched up 387 to 396 from April to May 2020. The sales volume is down 42% compared to the same month last year. This volume is representative of properties that likely went under contract for sale in April and were in escrow for about 30 days.
Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) decreased 11.8% month over month from 2.4 to 2.1 months supply. This measure of inventory is also about 5% higher than last year. MSI accounts for the time it would take to “sell out” of the Reno-Sparks inventory at the current rate of sale if no new listings came to market. A balanced market is around 5-6 months of supply. Therefore, with a low 2.1 months supply, we are still very much considered to be in a “Seller’s Market.”
The Average # of Days from Listing to Contract in May 2020 was 39 days. Single family residences are taking 20% longer to sell this year than in May 2019, and only 1.6% longer than the previous month. These averages account for all price ranges.
As seen in the graph above, homes that sold in the $200k to $700k range during May 2020 received acceptable offers significantly more quickly than the rest of the market. The $1M to $1.5M range went into contract fairly quickly (66 days) compared to the $750k to $1M range and the $1.5M+ range (108 days).
With Seller’s receiving an average of 99% of asking in May 2020, we continued to see no significant change for this statistic overall. Please note that price reductions may have occurred prior to receiving 99% of asking.
Is the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic causing foreclosures and short sales in Reno-Sparks at this time? So far, homeowners appear to be hanging in through the highest unemployment rate most of us have ever seen. The percentage of distressed sales on the market did increase 7% month over month, but is still down 30% from May 2019. Only 1.7% of homes listed on multiple listing service were considered “distressed,” meaning a bank-owned/foreclosure or short sale.
The last several weeks of real estate activity have brought a significant increase in the # of New Contracts. Month over month, we saw a 635 New Contracts for sale, a 63.7% leap from April 2020 and a 3.9% increase from last year.
# of New Listings to hit the market the week ending in May 2020 increased slightly by 3.8% compared to April 2020. Our # of New Listings are still down nearly 40% from the same period of time last year.
- Inventory is still low, but what IS on the market is moving, as indicated by the significant increase in New Contracts, which should lead to an increase in sales volume in the coming months.
- The Median Sales Price at $399,900 appears to be fairly steady at this time. Over the last year, the $400k Median has been a benchmark the market has hovered around during the last 13 months.
- The consensus among many real estate professionals is that “summer is the new spring.” The typical influx of activity that happens in March, April and May is beginning happening now. My colleagues and I have been extremely active over the last couple of months.
- With low inventory, however, we’ll need to see if buyer demand for fewer homes listed will continue, and ultimately put more upward pressure on prices again. Will the Median Sales Price start moving up again in the near future? We shall see…
- Buyer activity in Reno-Sparks comes largely from out-of-state, particularly California. While many of our relocation clients are looking to escape the crowds, traffic and high taxes of California during COVID-19 uncertainty, they are finding more reasons now than ever to make that move. We call them “California Refugees,” and we are here to help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the many benefits of moving to Reno-Sparks.