Are home values near the top? Thus far this year the media focus has been to highlight the hot local housing market. Now it seems they are looking for any signs of it faltering to present a new angle. And in deed you may have already heard the recent reports from Case-Shiller and others indicating that the market is showings signs of cooling off.
When will it begin to cool? Has it already?
Remember—real estate is local yet media reports often are not. What you might be hearing in the news may not apply to the neighborhood where you live.
With the biggest housing crash since the great depression* still front and center in our memories, it’s no wonder that potential purchasers might be wary of how fast the market has rebounded.
We recently released an article discussing those very points—“What’s in store in Q4”. In it, we delve into why we believe if recent changes in market forces continue, the once rapid rise in home values will begin to wane.
AUGUST 2013—For now, the numbers are in for Belmont for August 2013 (Septembers will be out soon), and there’s no sign of a let up in our fervent housing activity—at least according to the numbers for August.
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MEDIAN HOME PRICE
Most notably is the pace of the median home price in Belmont. It stands at $1,105,000 which is a 20% increase over last year during the same time. We’re the first to look at the size of homes selling in the two periods to see if perhaps larger or smaller homes sold and skewed the median home price. But what we found was that in August of this year the homes that comprised the sales mix were 16% smaller and yet cost 20% more. Also interesting to note was that the median home price in Belmont has been over the million dollar mark for the last four consecutive months—in fact had the median home price not dipped just below that threshold in April of this year, it would have been over the million dollar mark every month so far this year. Contrast that to the historical median price trend in Belmont which has never had consecutive months over the million dollar mark.
Summary—Belmont homes values have hit a new high.
August of 2013 saw a 55% increase in home sales and paradoxically a 70% decrease in new listings.
MONTHS OF INVENTORY†
That brings us to the inventory which was down 131% from August of 2012 resulting in a record low “Months of Inventory” factor of .73, down from 2.6 months in 2012.
DOM [Days on Market]
The average time it took to sell a home which closed in August was 17 days, down from 31 in 2012.
PERCENT RECEIVED OF ASKING
This August 80% of the sellers received on average $130,000 or 9% over their asking price as compared to 44% of sellers receiving $60,000 or on average 2% more than asking in 2012.
In short, the inevitable slowdown in the RATE of appreciation is news but it hasn’t appeared in the statistics yet. If you talk with a Belmont REALTOR® you’ll no doubt hear they think the market has cooled off a bit. We’ll look at September’s sales to see if that’s true, because July sales, (which resulted in August statistics), didn’t bear that out and neither did our first-hand experience.
Sellers of homes in Belmont should know that the majority of the rebound in equity has already occurred. The rate of appreciation will slow as the market forces we discuss on our blog begin to kick in. If we’re right and they do, the housing market will become much more sustainable—we have our fingers crossed.
†Months of inventory is the time as measured in months that it would take to sell all of the homes currently listed for sale, assuming no more new homes were listed.
Drew & Christine Morgan are REALTORS with RE/MAX and a NOTARY PUBLIC in Belmont, CA. with more than 20 years of experience helping sellers and buyers in their community. They may be reached at (650) 508-1441.
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.
Drew & Christine Morgan did not necessarily participate in these sales.