A Historic Rebound for the U.S. Housing Market

Pending Home Sales increased by 44.3% in May, registering the highest month-over-month gain in the index since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking this metric in January 2001. So, what exactly are pending home sales, and why is this rebound so important?

According to NAR, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHS) is:

“A leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops. Because a home goes under contract a month or two before it is sold, the Pending Home Sales Index generally leads Existing-Home Sales by a month or two.”

In real estate, pending home sales is a key indicator in determining the strength of the housing market. As mentioned before, it measures how many existing homes went into contract in a specific month. When a buyer goes through the steps to purchase a home, the final one is the closing. On average, that happens about two months after the contract is signed, depending on how fast or slow the process takes in each state.

Why is this rebound important?

With the COVID-19 pandemic and a shutdown of the economy, we saw a steep two-month decline in the number of houses that went into contract. In May, however, that number increased dramatically (See graph here):

 

This jump means buyers are back in the market and purchasing homes right now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR mentioned:

“This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership…This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”

But in order to continue with this trend, we need more houses for sale on the market. Yun continues to say:

“More listings are continuously appearing as the economy reopens, helping with inventory choices…Still, more home construction is needed to counter the persistent underproduction of homes over the past decade.”

As we move through the year, we’ll see an increase in the number of houses being built. This will help combat a small portion of the inventory deficit. The lack of overall inventory, however, is still a challenge, and it is creating an opportunity for homeowners who are ready to sell. As the graph below shows, during the last 12 months, the supply of homes for sale has been decreasing year-over-year and is not keeping up with the demand from homebuyers.

Bottom Line

If you decided not to sell this spring due to the health crisis, maybe it’s time to jump back into the market while buyers are actively looking for homes. Let’s connect today to determine your best move forward.

 

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 2:24 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , ,

June 2020 Market Report

** 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.

SUMMARY:

  • 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 dhallerbach@intero.com to learn more about the many benefits of moving to Reno-Sparks.
Posted on June 18, 2020 at 3:38 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: Reno-Sparks Market Report | Tagged , , , ,

Weekly Watch (Week Ending May 30, 2020)

For those of you who have followed my blogs over the past several years, my usual content offers the most exciting and interesting events and activities in Northern Nevada every week.  It is called “The Weekend Warrior.”  Since our social calendar has been obliterated by the COVID-19 pandemic, I shifted my focus to what is happening in the Reno-Sparks real estate market in “The Weekly Watch.” My objective is to keep you well-informed about weekly market trends so you can make informed decisions regarding your real estate investments.  The graphs below represent activity for single-family residences (excluding condos, townhouses and new construction) from the week ending May 30, 2020 compared to the previous week and year.  The numbers are subject to change slightly, due to late reporting by real estate agents to Northern Nevada Multiple Listing Service.

 

The Median Sales Price for single family residences in Reno-Sparks combined, at $420,000, increased 5% week-over-week and 8.3% year-over-year.  The Median Sales Price has hovered around the $400,000 mark over the last several months, and appears to be unaffected by coronavirus at this time.

 

The # of Closed Sales statistic is starting to show some hope, as 103 homes closed escrow the week ending May 30 compared to 93 homes the previous week, a 10.8% increase.  Though sales volume is still about 40% lower than this same time last year, we anticipate the # of Closed Sales should continue to increase as these are homes that went into contract about one month ago, and over the last several weeks, the # of New Contracts has steadily and rapidly increased.

 

Low inventory and continued Buyer demand are likely contributors to the high percentage of list price that Sellers are receiving.  The week ending May 30, Seller’s received and average of 98.6% of asking price.  Please bear in mind that some of these contracts may have come at a point after the Seller had reduced the list price.

 

During the week ending May 30, single family homes that closed escrow took an average of 44 days from listing the property to negotiating a contract.  This statistic is unchanged week-over-week, and up about 28% from the same week last year.  The # of Days to Contract stat is representative of properties that went into contract about 30 days ago, a customary timeframe for escrow.

Looking at the length of time from the property hitting the market to the date of written offer acceptance, the average days to contract were the greatest in the $900k to $1M price range.

 

The # of Active single family homes available for sale dipped again another 8% (-5.4%) week-over-week.  Since the WHO (World Health Organization) Pandemic Declaration, our active inventory has held fairly constant, as indicated in the circled timeframe.  Overall, 38% fewer active listings are on the market than the same week in 2019.

 

As more businesses resume “semi-normal” activity, and Buyers are getting out to find new homes and investments, we continue to see an increase of New Contracts week-over-week and year-over-year.  There were 7.5% more New Contracts the week ending May 30 than the week ending May 23.  And there are 19.3% more New Contracts than this same week last year.

 

The # of New Listings brought to market (116 listings) dropped again, with 18.3% fewer homes being listed the week ending May 30 compared to the week ending May 23.  There were nearly 31.4% fewer homes listed this week than during the same week in 2019.

Summing It Up…

  • Overall, the Sales Volume and # of New Listings on the market remains low, especially this time of year.
  • With New Contracts on the rise over the last several weeks, we should start seeing a subsequent increase in number of Units Sold in the weeks to come as well.
  • Sellers are receiving a high percentage of their list price and the Median Sales Price has ticked up to $420k again, likely due to the low-inventory market and steady buyer demand.
  • Mortgage interest rates are still extremely low, and many Buyers are taking advantage.  Email me today for a highly skilled and knowledgable lender recommendation.
  • For more information about the ins and outs of buying &/or selling real estate in today’s market, please do not hesitate to call me at 775-233-0682 or email dhallerbach@intero.com.
Posted on June 4, 2020 at 12:20 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: Reno-Sparks Market Report | Tagged , , ,

Top 8 Reasons to Own Your Home

There are numerous reasons why owning a home is beneficial.  We’ve quickly summed up the Top 8 Reasons to Own Your Home and here they are…

  1. Privacy.  Creating space that is solely your own means no landlord visits.  It’s not your landlord’s house… It’s yours, so nobody should be stopping by to “check in on things.”
  2. Accomplishment.  Buying your own home is a reflection of your efforts and successes.  Give yourself a pat on the back and be proud of what you acquire.
  3. Family.  Purchasing and living in a home that is dedicated to your family brings them together and is your special place to make lasting memories.
  4. Community.  Owning your home ties to you the community and neighborhood, giving you a sense of belonging (if you so desire).
  5. Comfort.  Having a place to call your own allows you to surround yourself with enhanced experiences…  Construct a home gym, design a hobby room, create a killer home office and enjoy!
  6. Stability.  Investing in and controlling your future direction and security could prove to be beneficial in the long-run.
  7. Personal Expression.  Painting rooms your favorite colors and hanging art are just a couple benefits to putting your own style into your abode.
  8. Financial Investment.  Investing in the real estate puts you in a position to grow your assets and wealth.

Some Highlights

  • June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home.
  • If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year.
  • Let’s connect today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.
Posted on June 3, 2020 at 8:12 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

Weekly Watch (Week Ending May 23, 2020)

Phase 2 of the re-opening of Nevada officially begins this weekend.  While many keep a close eye on what is happening with COVID-19 and the economy, we at Intero Real Estate Services are committed to keeping you informed with what is happening in the Greater Reno-Sparks real estate market. “The Weekly Watch” provides you with the most current information on a weekly basis to help you make informed decisions regarding your investments.  The graphs below represent activity for single-family residences (excluding condos, townhouses and new construction) from the week ending May 23, 2020 compared to the previous week and year.  The numbers are subject to change slightly, due to late reporting by real estate agents to Northern Nevada Multiple Listing Service.

 

The Median Sales Price the week ending May 23 was nearly $400,000, exactly where the Median Sales price was sitting this same week last year.  This aspect of the market does not appear to be affected by COVID-19 at this time.

 

The # of Closed Sales dipped (-8.4%) from the week ending May 16 to the week ending May 23.  Looking at the same period of time last year, sales volume is about 1/2 of what posted the week ending May 25, 2019.  Over the last 7 weeks, sales volume has been fairly consistent as seen in the circled section in the chart above.
As seen in the chart above, the bulk of sales last week were in the $300k-$500K range.  The high-end market also saw some action as well.  These figures represent properties that went into contract about 1 month ago.

 

Though sales volume continues to be lower than in recent years, the Percentage of List Price received remains high.  The week ending May 23, Sellers received an average of 98.9% of their asking price.  This continues to likely be a strong factor for the Median Sales price staying steady over the last few months.

 

During the week ending May 23, single family homes that sold this week took an average of 44 days from listing the property to negotiating a contract.  This stat is representative of properties that went into contract about 30 days ago, a customary timeframe for escrow.

 

The # of Active single family homes available for sale dropped slightly (-5.4%) week-over-week.  Over the last 2 months, since the WHO (World Health Organization) Pandemic Declaration, our active inventory has held fairly constant, as indicated in the circled timeframe.

 

This is the stat we like to see!!  The most promising news of the market, AGAIN, is the now 7-week upward trend of the # of New Contracts/Pending Sales.  This marks a 17.7% increase week-over-week and a 25% increase compared to this week last year.

 

The # of New Listings brought to market dipped slightly, with 6.6% fewer homes being listed the week ending May 23 compared to the week ending May 16.  There were nearly 45% fewer homes listed this week than during the same week in 2019.

Summing It Up…

  • Buyer demand continues to keep pace with the level of active inventory, resulting in continued steadying of the Median Sales Price that has hovered around the $400k mark for months.
  • Sales Volume, Active Inventory and # of New Listings are still down significantly from the same week last year.  However, with Buyers staying on track with purchases, our activity appears stable.
  • Mortgage applications rose for the 6th straight week, as they were fueled by historically low mortgage rates and pent-up demand.  The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage applications are up 9% year over year.  Refinancing applications have doubled since the same week last year as well.  If you are in need of a qualified loan officer, contact me now and I will refer you to the best in our industry.
  • For more information about the ins and outs of buying &/or selling real estate in today’s market, please do not hesitate to call me at 775-233-0682 or email dhallerbach@intero.com.
Posted on May 28, 2020 at 4:28 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: Reno-Sparks Market Report | Tagged , , ,

What is the Forecast for the U.S. Housing Market This Year?

Today, many people are asking themselves if they should buy or sell a home in 2020. Some have shifted their plans or put them on hold over the past couple of months, and understandably so. Everyone seems to be wondering if the market is going to change and when the economy will turn around. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen and how to play your cards this year, you’re not alone. This spring in the 2020 NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been tracking the behavior changes of homebuyers and sellers. In a reaction to their most recent survey, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, noted the beginnings of a turn in the market:

“After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy…Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”

What does the survey indicate about sellers?

Sellers are positioning themselves to make moves this year. More than 3 in 4 potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes as stay-at-home directives continue to be lifted and they feel more confident, which means more homes will start to be available for interested buyers.

Just this week, Zillow also reported an uptick in listings, which is great news for the health of the market:

“The number of new for-sale listings overall has shown improvement, up 5.9% last week from the previous week. New listings of the most-expensive homes…are now seeing the biggest resurgence, up 8%. The uptick is likely a sign sellers are feeling more confident because of improving buyer demand, as newly pending sales have also jumped up during the same period.”

 

What does the survey note about buyers?

The recent pandemic has clearly impacted buyer preferences, showing:

  • 5% of the respondents said buyers are shifting their focus from urban to suburban areas.
  • 1 in 8 Realtors report changes in desired home features, with home offices, bigger yards, and more space for their families becoming increasingly important.
  • Only 17% said buyers stopped looking due to concerns about their employment or loss of a job.

As we’ve mentioned before, buyer demand is strong right now, and many are simply waiting for more inventory to become available so they can make a move, especially as the country reopens.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, let’s connect today. We can strategize about preparation and marketing when the timing is right for you.  There’s a good chance an eager buyer is looking for a home just like yours when you’re ready to sell.

Posted on May 21, 2020 at 1:09 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

Weekly Watch (Week Ending May 16, 2020)

As many Nevada business are beginning to enter Phase 2 of re-opening, we at Intero Real Estate Services are continuing to keep a very close eye on when is happening in the Greater Reno-Sparks real estate market. “The Weekly Watch” provides you with the most current information on a weekly basis to help you make informed decisions regarding your investments.   The graphs below represent activity for single-family residences (excluding condos, townhouses and new construction) from the week ending May 16, 2020 compared to the previous week and year.  The numbers are subject to change slightly, due to late reporting by real estate agents to Northern Nevada Multiple Listing Service.

 

At $389,500, the Median Sales Price the week ending May 16, was slightly lower (-1.6%) than the previous week, and 7.4% higher than the same time last year.  The median sales price has not dropped below the $390,000 threshold since mid February.  Overall, the Median Sales Price in Reno-Sparks has been holding fairly steady through the COVID-19 crisis.

 

The # of Closed Sales rose 22.2% from the week ending May 9 to the week ending May 16.  Sales volume is still about 36% down from the same period in time last year.  This lower sales volume has also been a fairly consistent statistic since early to mid April.

 

While sales volume is down, many Sellers are still receiving a high percentage of their list price.  Sellers received an average of 99.1% of list price the week ending May 16.

During the week ending May 16, single family homes that sold took an average of 32 days to go into contract.  Week-over-week, there was no significant change in the # of Days to Contract and compared to this same week in 2019, the # of Days to Contract has increased 17.7%.  This stat is representative of properties that went into contract about 30 days ago, a customary timeframe for escrow.

 

The # of Active single family homes available for sale dropped slightly (-2.6%) week-over-week.  The Active Inventory mirrors the # of Sold Properties this week compared to last year, in that we have 32.4% fewer active listings available for purchase year-over-year.

 

After a significant spike in the # of Withdrawn, Temporarily Withdrawn, or Expired Listings a few weeks ago,  this pull-back activity has drastically dropped another 71.4% from the week ending May 9.  While only 4 properties were removed from the market this year, 20 single family homes where pulled this same time last year.

 

Once again!!  The brightest news of the market is the 6-week upward trend of the # of New Contracts/Pending Sales.  The week ending May 16 saw a 23.7% leap compared to the week ending May 9, and a slight increase of 1.4% since mid-May 2019.

A more detailed look at the # of New Contracts/Pending Sales in the chart above shows that, the $300k to $800k priced single family homes showed an increase of New Contracts week-over-week.  And 4 of those 5 price ranges revealed an increase in New Contracts from this same week last year.  VERY encouraging news!

 

The # of New Listings is still lagging a bit, with 13% fewer homes being listed the week ending May 16 compared to the week ending May 9.  Consistent with the # of Sold Units this week AND the # of Active Listings, the New Listing count is down about 34% compared to this same week last year.

Summing It Up…

  • With the re-opening of businesses across the states, and increased activity of potential buyers over state borders, the real estate market in Northern Nevada continues to forge ahead through the current global health crisis.
  • While Sales Volume, Inventory and the # of New Listings are all down about 36%, 32% and 34% respectively compared last year, the market is concurrently experiencing a upward trend in new contracts that should result in an increase in sales volume in the coming months.
  • Buyer demand continues to keep pace with the rate of sale in the low inventory climate, and Sellers are receiving an average of 99.1% of their list price. Therefore, the Median Sales Price has been bopping above and below the $400k mark for several weeks.  The rate of market appreciation appears to be on idle through this strange COVID-19 time.
  • According to Bankrate.com, the average benchmark mortgage interest rate today (May 21, 2020) is still low… At 3.54% the average rate is down 2 basis points over the last 7 days.  Naturally, rates can fluctuate from day to day, and are reflective of the borrowers strength of employment history, credit score and debit-to-income ratio.  If you are looking to purchase now and need to connect with a great lender to find your best mortgage rate, contact me.  I’ll point you in the right direction!
  • For more information about specific property values and to search real estate for when YOU are ready to purchase/sell, please do not hesitate to call me at 775-233-0682 or email dhallerbach@intero.com.
Posted on May 21, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: Reno-Sparks Market Report | Tagged , ,

May 2020 Market Report

** Data in this report reflect market activity from April 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 is the breakdown for a couple of interesting statistics from April 2020:

  • At $416,500, the April 2020 Median Sales Price for single-family re-sale properties in Reno-Sparks combined for the month was $416,500, a slight 0.4% increase from March 2020, and up 10.5% April last year.

  • As seen in the chart above, the # of Closed Sales at dropped from 507 in March 2020 to 374 in April.  This marks a 26% decline in closed sales month-over-month, and nearly 30% fewer closed sales compared to last year.

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) in April 2020 jumped back up 31% compared to March, recording 2.2 months supply.  This measure of inventory is also about 6% higher than in April 2019. MSI accounts for the time it would take to “sell out” of the Reno-Sparks inventory at the current rate of sale.  A balanced market is around 5-6 months of supply.  Therefore, this the low 2.2 months supply, we are still very much considered to be in a Seller’s Market.

The average # of Days from Listing to Contract in April 2020 was 39 days.  This is still quite a short period of time when looking back over the last few years.  The # of Days to Contract is about 7% lower than April 2019.  These averages account for all price ranges.

With Seller’s receiving an average of 98.9% of asking in April 2020, we have continued to see no significant change for this statistic overall.

One may wonder if coronavirus is having an effect on the percentage of distressed sales in Reno-Sparks.  At this time, the answer appears to be “no.”  In April 2020, Distressed Sales (short-sales and foreclosures) are nearly 50% lower than the same time last year.

Here is what is happening now… The Week Ending May 9, 2020:

After 4 straight weeks of an increase in New Contracts, the week ending May 9 saw a relative leveling out of New Contracts, with just a slight 2.2% decrease from the previous week.  Overall, the number of new Contracts for this week last year is down about 10%.

# of New Listings to hit the market the week ending May 9 increased 25% compared to the previous week.  The Reno-Sparks real estate market saw nearly 42% fewer new listings than the week ending May 11, 2019.

SUMMARY:

  • Real Estate in Nevada continues to be an “essential service.”  Governor Sisolak’s mandate to eliminate in-person open houses for all properties, and in-person showings of tenant/renter-occupied properties has been extended to May 30, 2020.   All owner-occupied and vacant properties may still be shown to prospective buyers with practice of social distancing, use of personal protective equipment and frequent 20-second hand-washing &/or hand-sanitizing.
  • Starting May 4, California Bay Area agents were allowed to show occupied properties and to stage vacant properties once again. The allowance for such activities could potentially mean an increase of activity in Nevada, a place where many Californias are expected to call their “new home.”
  • Lending qualification parameters have tightened, but the Mortgage Interest Rates are staying low!  For a super reputable, local lender recommendation, contact me.  I will be happy to connect you with the best!
  • Looking more closely at the last full week of activity (ending May 9) the # of New Contracts has leveled week-over-week, and the # of New Listings rose slightly.
  • While the sales volume took a hit in April, the Median Sales Price has held steady, largely due to buyer-demand keeping pace fairly stable rate of sale and continued low inventory.
  • Nationally acclaimed economist and author of the Blog “ECON 70” Elliot Eisenberg, PhD checked in again with the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors.  This month, Elliot stands by last month’s assertion that the current recession is very different from previous recessions, and that it will be deep but relatively short.  Click HERE to watch the April 2020 “Monthly Economic Minute.”
Posted on May 14, 2020 at 6:06 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: Reno-Sparks Market Report | Tagged , , , , ,

How Are Home Searches Changing in the Wake of COVID-19?

In the wake of COVID-19, many who live in more populated city limits today are beginning to rethink their current location. Being in close proximity to everything from the grocery store to local entertainment is definitely a perk, especially if you can also walk to some of these hot spots and have a short commute to work. The trade-off, however, is that highly populated cities can lack access to open space, a yard, and other desirable features. When it comes to social distancing, as we’ve experienced recently, the newest trend seems to be around re-evaluating a once-desired city lifestyle and trading it for suburban or rural living. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at Realtor.com notes:

“With the re-opening of the economy scheduled to be cautious, the impact on consumer preferences will likely shift buying behavior…consumers are already looking for larger homes, bigger yards, access to the outdoors and more separation from neighbors. As we move into the recovery stage, these preferences will play an important role in the type of homes consumers will want to buy. They will also play a role in the coming discussions on zoning and urban planning. While higher density has been a hallmark of urban development over the past decade, the pandemic may lead to a re-thinking of space allocation.”

The Harris Poll recently surveyed 2,000 Americans, and 39% of the respondents who live in urban areas indicated the COVID-19 crisis has caused them to consider moving to a less populated area.

Today, moving outside the city limits is also more feasible than ever, especially as Americans have quickly become more accustomed to, and more accepting of, remote work. The number of people working from home has also spiked considerably, even before the pandemic came into play this year.

Bottom Line

If you have a home in the suburbs or a rural area, you may see an increasing number of buyers looking for a property like yours. If you’re thinking of buying and don’t mind a commute to work in exchange for a little elbow room, you may want to consider looking at homes for sale outside the city. Let’s connect today to discuss the options available in our area.

Posted on May 13, 2020 at 4:14 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

Unemployment: Hope on the Horizon

On May 8, the unemployment rate for April 2020 was released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At 14.7%, the rate is the highest it has been since the Great Depression when it reached 24.9%.  Today’s data represents real families and lives affected by the COVID-19 economic slowdown. Without a doubt, the numbers are alarming, and headlines broadcast doomsday scenarios that can, quite frankly, feel overwhelming.  However, there is hope that as businesses reopen, most people will become employed again soon.

Although this chart appears to be daunting, the our next chart, labelled “U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Weekly Unemployment Filings in millions” shows another picture we must bear in mind.  See below:

 

 

Looking over the last several weeks, the number of unemployment claims has decreased week-over-week since the beginning of April.  Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) states based on what he is seeing:

He goes on to say that this doesn’t mean all companies are hiring, but it could mean they are at the point where they’re not cutting jobs anymore. Let’s hope this trend continues.

What will the future bring?

Most experts predict that while unemployment is high right now, it won’t be that way for long. The length of unemployment during this crisis is projected to be significantly shorter than the duration seen in the Great Recession and the Great Depression.  While forecasts may be high, the numbers are trending down and the length of time is not expected to be indefinite.

Bottom Line

Don’t let the headlines rattle you. There’s hope on the horizon as we start to safely reopen businesses throughout the country. Unemployment affects our families, our businesses, and our country. Our job is to rally around those impacted and do our part to support them through this difficult time.

Posted on May 12, 2020 at 5:24 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , ,