August Newsletter

August Newsletter

Welcome To The Dog Days of Summer!

“Cash is King” as evidenced by all-cash home purchases skyrocketing to one-third of all sales so far in 2021. This number represents the largest share of homes purchased with all-cash since 2014…”
Bob Hale, HAR President & CEO

4 REASONS TO BUY A HOME AFTER SCHOOL STARTS

Ah, fall… The return of all things pumpkin-spiced, cooler weather and the new school year (which this mom is thrilled about). It’s also an opportune time to buy a home and possibly snag a great deal in the process. Buyer demand begins to wane this time of the year, which means motivated home sellers are more likely to play ball with you in negotiations. If you didn’t find the right home during the busy summer season, or if you’re just starting the process as a first-time homebuyer, here are four reasons why buying a home after school is back in session might be the best move you’ll make this year.

1. Less competition – Once school starts, there are fewer buyers to compete with on your offer. Most families prefer to move before their darlings head back to school. Also, cooler weather drives down demand. In fact, from now until February, buyers have more leverage than during the rest of the year because there’s still a large amount of inventory relative to the time of year, says Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist. In 2015, sales of existing single-family homes nationwide declined 3.7% from 4.86 million in July to 4.68 million in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. Granted, if you live in a market with a tight inventory and brisk sales (such as San Francisco and Seattle), you still might face stiff competition. But in markets like Indianapolis or St. Louis, you’ll see a lot less gladiator-style jostling and more chances to negotiate with sellers when you buy a home.

2. Prices match market value – If homes listed during the busy summer months didn’t sell, chances are that they were overpriced. That means homebuyers will see prices fall more in line with market value, says Mark Goldman, a real estate instructor at San Diego State University and a loan officer with C2 Financial Corp. For example, in 2015, the U.S. median sale price dropped 5.5% from $233,400 in July to $220,600 in October, according to NAR. Working with a real estate agent who can assess asking prices can help you avoid overpaying, Goldman says. If you want to buy a home that’s priced higher than what your agent estimates to be appropriate, submit an offer that’s in line with market value and with comparable sales data attached to back it up.

3. Time on market – Another issue that works against sellers (but favors buyers) is the length of time a home has been on the market. The longer a home sits unsold, the more bargaining power a buyer has, Smoke says. Also, inventory tends to increase from summer to fall because homes aren’t selling as quickly. Active listings on Realtor.com remained for a median of 65 days in May and June. But in August, that number was projected to increase to 72 days. That shouldn’t dissuade potential buyers from considering a home, Smoke says. “If the home and location seem to fit, don’t cross it off your list just because of the time of the year or the time on market,” Smoke says. “There will always be sellers who need to put their home on the market.” Also, the services related to buying — moving, buying furniture, signing up for cable — tend to be discounted toward the end of the year and during winter, Smoke notes.

4. More flexibility on terms – In a typical seller’s market where bidding wars and multiple offers abound, buyers have little room to ask for concessions. But in a slower selling season, the tables are turned and buyers have the upper hand, Goldman says. In a slower market, you’ll find more flexibility on terms such as:

  • Closing costs, Repairs/cash credits toward repairs, Buyer concession to sell home first, Closing timeline.

Likewise, if you are willing to give a seller more time to close, he or she might sweeten the deal by leaving behind a hot tub or offering a repair credit. If you want to ask for reasonable concessions when you buy a home, this is the time to do it.

Deborah Kearns is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. The article 4 Reasons to Buy a Home After School Starts originally appeared on NerdWallet.

August Residential Market Review: Courtesy of Har.com. Please click on the logo to learn more.

HOUSTON — (August 11, 2021) —  “By the numbers, Houston-area home sales were down this July compared to last. However, that is because COVID-related home closing delays during Q2 2020 finally pushed through that July as most of the pandemic lockdowns were lifted. The resulting surge of pent-up sales cemented July 2020 in the real estate history books as a record-setting month that could not be rivaled by the rapid-fire pace of the current market. According to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) July 2021 Market Update, single-family homes sales were down 6.1 percent compared to last July, with 10,159 units sold versus the historic 10,822 that sold a year earlier. However, when compared to July 2019 — an average month of home sales with volume totaling 8,921 — the Houston housing market was up 13.9 percent. On a year-to-date basis, local home sales currently exceed 2020’s record pace by 19.1 percent. Once again, homes priced from $750,000 and above led the way in sales volume with a 36.7 percent year-over-year increase. That was followed by the $500,000 to $750,000 segment, which rose 18.9 percent. The single-family home average price increased 15.3 percent to $389,197 and the median price climbed 13.9 percent to $309,910. That marks the second highest pricing of all time behind last month’s record-setting figures. Sales of all property types fell 3.7 percent year-over-year, totaling 12,383. That is the third greatest volume of all time behind June 2021 (13,115) and July 2020 (12,865). Total dollar volume for the month rose 11.4 percent to $4.5 billion.”

  August Commercial Real Estate Highlights: Courtesy of BISNOW. Please click on the logo to learn more.

August 5, 2021 – As Cities React To Delta Variant Surge, Houston’s Retail Sector Carries On As Usual – For Now –“Earlier this week, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a memo that bucked the governor’s order, requiring city employees to wear masks on city premises. In light of the surging number of cases and hospitalizations, some Houston companies are now re-evaluating the return to the office timeline. Brokers previously told Bisnow that for many firms, the Labor Day weekend marked the deadline for return. But for Houston’s retail sector, business appears to be continuing as usual. Satya Inc. owns and operates 15 suburban retail centers within the greater Houston area, and so far, Bathija hasn’t heard of any retail or restaurant tenants being forced to close or change their operations. However, feedback from restaurant tenants suggests slightly lower numbers of reservations in the past week or two, and there has been significantly more discussion about the delta variant and a growing preference for masks.”

August Mortgage News & Education: Courtesy of thebalance.comPlease click on the logo to learn more.

Mortgage Rates & Trends, August 2021 – 30 Year Mortgage Rate Inches Further Away From Recent Peak – “The average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage dropped for a second day, inching further away from its recent peak. The average for a homebuyer using a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage, the most popular type of home loan, fell to 3.21% from 3.22% the previous day. Last week it reached 3.25%, the highest since early July. The average for 15-year fixed mortgages stayed at 2.41%, the same as the previous day. Fixed mortgage rates tend to track 10-year Treasury yields, which are sensitive to inflation fears. Yields had been on the rise following a better-than-expected jobs report earlier this month that raised investor concerns the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates sooner than expected to control inflation. But they tumbled at the end of last week after a poll showed consumer sentiment plunging on concerns that the coronavirus’s delta variant is impacting the economy.

While the average 30-year mortgage rate is higher than the record low reached this past winter, it hasn’t gone more than about half a percentage point higher since then, according to a Freddie Mac measure. Those relatively low rates have bolstered buying power during the pandemic, allowing house hunters to buy more expensive homes with the same monthly budget and helping to fuel a fiercely competitive residential real estate boom.” 

Additional Resources:Here are a few references that we have found helpful in understanding our markets and economy… 

  Giving Back: Courtesy of thebalance.comPlease click on the logo to learn more.

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