Real Estate Market Update

May 20, 2021

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“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” Babe Ruth

 

If you want to buy a home in today’s market, you should listen to Babe Ruth. Most buyers are having to be persistent and make offers on several homes before they get a home under contract.

 

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for April continue to show high demand for homes and limited supply which is causing price increases.

 

There were 3,615 pending sales in April which is up 52% over last April; however last April COVID was a factor in less contracts being written. The year-to-date numbers for pending sales are up 27% so you can see there is increased demand in the four-month period.

 

There were 3,177 closed sales in April which is a 27% increase month-over-month and 20% year-to-date.

 

The median sales price is $284,941 which is up 14% over last month and 12.5% year-to-date. The average sales price is $357,438 which is up 20.5% over last month and 18% year-to-date.

 

The most staggering statistic to me was the percent of properties sold over list price. For the properties that closed in April, 36.9% sold over list price. That is a 142.8% increase over April 2020. The average for the previous 12 months was 13.3% selling over list price.

 

On the supply side, there were 3,991 available homes for sale at the end of April which is down 58% from last April and there are 1.2 months supply of homes for sale. A balanced market is 5 to 6 months.

 

There may be better news coming to help with supply. A survey by Realtor.com indicated more sellers plan to put their homes on the market. Another survey by NerdWallet of 2,127 homeowners shows 1 in 6 (17%) plans on selling their home in the next 18 months. In fact, 45% of those planning to sell say higher asking prices and lower inventory have caused them to sell earlier than initially planned.

 

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts an increase in the 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate to an average of 3.2% in 2021. “As mortgage rates increase, the frenzied multiple-offer situation will become less prevalent by year’s end, as affordability challenges squeeze out some buyers and more inventory reaches the market,” Yun predicts.

 

“With more inventory and some easing in demand, home prices are expected to shift to mid-single-digit appreciation by the fourth quarter and in 2022,” Yun says. He predicts that:

· Median existing-home sales price will increase 7% in 2021

· Existing-home sales will grow by 10% as more homes reach the market

· New home sales will increase by 20%

 

These predictions are great news. In the meantime, if you are interested in buying or selling, please contact a Realtor with knowledge of the market. We would love to help you navigate these interesting times.

4 Ways to Sweeten the Deal When Buying a Home

May 5, 2021

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The real estate market is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Inventory is low, demand is high, and homes are flying off the market! “With the current market conditions, listings are receiving multiple offers and buyers need to be ready to act fast with their best offer when they see a listing they love,” shares Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson. In such an intensely competitive market, trust the real estate experts at Davidson Realty to help you put your best foot forward with these strategies. 

 

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The first thing you should do when you decide to purchase a home is obtain a pre-approval letter. A pre-approval letter not only states what a lender is willing to lend to you but shows the seller you are serious and prepared to purchase a home. A pre-approval letter shows legitimacy and a sign of good faith that they can afford to buy the home. Sellers are more likely to select an offer that is pre-approved than one that is not. 

 

Eliminate Contingencies

A clean offer is extremely attractive to sellers. “Any contingencies you have in your offer could be a negative to the seller. Sellers want a low risk and speedy closing,” shares Sherry. Appraisals are often a major cause of home sales falling through. Eliminating this step allows for a smooth sale process with minimal chance of things going wrong. As the buyer, you are effectively taking the risk off the home seller and putting it on to yourself. 

 

Make an All-Cash Offer

All-Cash offers provide the unique opportunity of keeping the sale primarily between the buyer and the seller. Cash offers tend to be stronger than offers utilizing traditional financing because they are less risky for the seller. With a cash sale, no appraisal is necessary since there is no mortgage lender involved. The absence of a mortgage lender also allows for a quicker closing. A fast timeline is advantageous for sellers because the sooner they close, the sooner they get paid.  

 

Be Flexible

Including a flexible timeline in your offer can go a long way with sellers. Depending on the sellers’ situation they may need more or less time in the home than the traditional 30-day closing period. If you are not in a hurry to move, being as adaptable as possible will be to your advantage as the sellers will then be able to decide what works best for them. This can go a long way, especially if competing offers come with strict deadlines. 

 

If you are ready to begin the search for your next home, call Davidson Realty today to help you get started. 

How COVID-19 Impacted Real Estate in 2020

January 15, 2021

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The resilience of the real estate market was perhaps the biggest surprise in 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of millions of jobs, and a crippled economy, millions of American’s made waves in the real estate industry by browsing and, oftentimes, purchasing a new home. With thousands of businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market saw positive trends and record-setting numbers.

 

The 2020 real estate market was expected to see steady growth. Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist predicted there to be more than 750,000, for an 11% increase, in new home sales while existing homes sales would be repressed by low supply of homes to more than 5.56 million for a modest 4% increase. The median home price was anticipated to land at  $270,400 for an increase of 4.3%. Overall, the NAR was forecasting a healthy year for real estate. 

 

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, in the infancy of the pandemic, the real estate market was merely reacting to the sudden, bizarre changes that were happening in the world. With the new phrase called “social distancing” added to American vocabulary, all players in the real estate industry were in uncharted waters. With schools closing and businesses shut down, the needs of home seekers shifted.  

 

The COVID-19 pandemic made an interesting impact on the real estate market. While inventory was low and homes were selling quickly, the NAR reported a surge of people moving to more rural areas from larger, more crowded cities while desiring more moderate climates. “We are seeing many buyers coming from the Midwest, Northeast, and South Florida,” shares Sherry Davidson, President of Davidson Realty. This shift was caused by multiple COVID-19 related effects. Offices started allowing employees to work exclusively from home to successfully socially distance and people were enjoying the new routine COVID-19 brought and desired a slower pace of life. 

 

Throughout the changing times, Davidson Realty was able to adjust to new safety procedures and listen to the new needs of their clients. “Buyers were looking for homes that were more in tune to the daily needs of their families. Many were working from home and homeschooling their children, requiring more functional space for work and play,” shares Sherry Davidson. “Families were eager to purchase a home, but with inventory at record lows, we were seeing multiple offer situations and buyers were paying more than appraised values. Sellers were in a position to not consider offers with contingencies for financing and appraisals.” With interest rates at record-setting lows, buyers were eager to get their hands on their dream home. 

 

Although NAR has not yet released their year-end sales report, NAR reported in December they were expecting to reach 5.52 million in purchases in 2020, which is the highest annual mark since 2006. They also anticipate the median home price will hit a record-setting high at $293,000. Lawrence Yun has stated that the momentum from the second half of 2020 will carry into 2021.  Yun foresees interest rates remaining favorable and an increase in supply which will give home buyers more choices and repress home price growth. 

 

It’s safe to say the real estate market is still on fire. If you are interested in buying or selling your home, contact Davidson Realty today at (904) 940-5000. 

Real Estate Market Update

November 30, 2020

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“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” David Steindl-Rast

 

I am very grateful to everyone that supported the 2020 Davidson Cares Clay Day! Thanks to your generosity we raised over $40,000 to be split evenly between Builders Care, St. Augustine Youth Services and Investing in Kids.

 

The Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service shows continued buyer demand and low supply. There were 3,192 closed sales in October which is 24.5% more than the 2,564 last October. The spring buying season got delayed, but we are up 5.6% for year-to-date closings over last year.

 

Pending sales of 3,153 are 18.4% more than the 2,663 pending sales last October. We are up 10.2% year-to-date.

 

There are 6,109 active listings which is down 34.5% from the 9,332 last October.

 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2020 Buyer/Seller Survey has some interesting findings. “The coronavirus, without a doubt, led homebuyers to reassess their housing situations and even reconsider home sizes and destinations,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for NAR. “Buyers sought housing with more rooms, more square footage and more yard space, and they may have desired a home office or home gym. They also shopped for larger homes because extra space would allow households to better accommodate older adult relatives or young adults that are now living within the residence.”

 

The 7 Buyer pandemic-related trends:

  1. Multigenerational homes grow in popularity
  2. Homes are pricier
  3. Shorter house tenures expected
  4. More renters become owners
  5. Buyers love suburbia
  6. Searches speed up
  7. Certain buying segments grow

The 7 Seller pandemic-related trends:

  1. Looking to upsize
  2. Feeling urgency
  3. Technology’s importance grows
  4. Incentives haven’t disappeared
  5. Equity gains
  6. Long-timers appear more motivated to move
  7. Desire to live close to family remains strong

It will be interesting to see future housing trends. For now, we are seeing multiple offers on listings and many potential sellers are on the sidelines.

Q&A with Sherry: Buying strategies for a seller’s market

April 27, 2018

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Like much of the country, Northeast Florida’s home inventory has remained low and prices continue to inch upward. So, what does that mean for our real estate market? It means we are in the midst of a seller’s market, one that tends to be more competitive for buyers on the hunt for a new home.

However, there are a number of ways buyers can position themselves for a successful home search. I recently caught up with Davidson Realty President Sherry Davidson who provided some insights on our current market and how buyers can best prepare for buying in a seller’s market.

Northeast Florida inventory is down almost 12% and months’ supply is down 15+%. What do you see driving this trend?  We are seeing strong buyer demand. There are nearly 1,000 people a day moving to Florida. The economy is good and people are more confident. Also, millennials are the largest percentage of purchasers now as they begin to buy homes and start their families.

How do you think this trend will play out as we enter summer months? New construction is increasing but buyer demand is strongest in the spring and summer. I think we will continue seeing multiple offers and increasing prices.

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