A lot transpires at the end of the year. There are resolutions for the new year, and reflection upon the year just passed. There’s wrapping up the holiday decorations and reflecting upon the celebratory memories.
And then there’s wrapping up the year-end business for us. Surveying what happened in our local housing market and taking a stab at the “Why”?
We posted an article for our blog in December which we authored and was originally printed in the Examiner. It was aptly titled, “Shifting Market in Play”. In it, we discussed the subtle but noticeable shift in our housing market towards a market approaching equilibrium—that being a market wherein the demand is nearing the supply. That’s a good thing, as a more normal market is a more sustainable market.
It’s not simply that demand for housing is waning, but rather demand at the newly established price point is down. In other words, fewer people can afford the median price home which has had a dampening effect on home sales.
Affordability is affected by three major factors: median house price, mortgage interest rates, and household income. Mortgage rates are still below historical averages, and household income is on the rise. So, what is keeping housing affordability down are home prices—which are ironically artificially inflated due to the first two factors, low interest rates and high income.
Comparing the year-end numbers for Belmont, we see that listings were up but sales were down. The time it took to sell a home was higher, but the price the sellers received and the percent of the seller’s asking price were lower.
The median price appears to have taken a hit too, but upon further examination, one can see that while the median price was down 1.5%, the median size home that sold last year was down even more, at 3.4%.
When the housing market dropped in 2007, home values bounced along at the bottom for several years before climbing again. This is typically true at the peak as well. Are we there? We could be. Data from Q1 & Q2 will give us a more clear picture.
Drew & Christine Morgan are REALTORS/NOTARY PUBLIC in Belmont, CA. with more than 25 years of experience in helping sellers and buyers in their community. They may be reached at (650) 508.1441 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information contained in this article is educational and intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute real estate, tax or legal advice, nor does it substitute for advice specific to your situation. Always consult an appropriate professional familiar with your scenario.