Third Quarter 2019

With the kids back in school and the weather cooling, the housing market begins its annual cooldown as well. Nationally, buyer and seller activity remained strong, buoyed by low mortgage rates and a strong economy. The market fundamentals suggest no significant changes from recent trends, other than the seasonally tempered pace we see this time of year. As we move into the final quarter of 2019, buyers will find fewer homes coming on the market, but also less competition for those homes.

New Listings decreased 13.1 percent for Single Family but increased 1.1 percent for Townhouse/Condo. Pending Sales increased 14.7 percent for Single Family and 26.2 percent for Townhouse/Condo. Inventory decreased 21.1 percent for Single Family and 16.3 percent for Townhouse/Condo.

Median Sales Price increased 10.3 percent to $462,000 for Single Family and 25.2 percent to $324,950 for Townhouse/Condo. Days on Market increased 15.1 percent for Single Family and 15.4 percent for Townhouse/Condo. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 17.0 percent for Single Family and 20.0 percent for Townhouse/Condo.

In Washington there are discussions around a broad overhaul of the housing finance system, including the re-privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reforms to federal agencies involved with financing substantial portions of the mortgages made every year. Many of these policy conversations and eventual changes will take months or years to be implemented and their impact is not yet clear. While Halloween decorations are beginning to adorn homes around the country, the real estate market this fall is looking far from scary.

 

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Second Quarter 2019

As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve did not change the target range for the federal funds rate – currently set at 2.25 to 2.5 percent – during their June meeting. Although the economy is still performing well due to factors such as low unemployment and solid retail sales, uncertainty remains regarding trade tensions, slowed manufacturing and meek business investments.

New Listings in the Santa Fe region decreased 1.2 percent to 1,270. Pending Sales were down 4.3 percent to 864. Inventory levels fell 8.5 percent to 1,131 units.

The Median Sales Price increased 5.7 percent to $370,000. Days on Market was down 15.8 percent to 64 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 5.1 percent to 4.2 months.

In terms of relative balance between buyer and seller interests, residential real estate markets across the country are performing well within an economic expansion that will become the longest in U.S. history in July. However, there are signs of a slowing economy. The Federal Reserve considers 2.0 percent a healthy inflation rate, but the U.S. is expected to remain below that this year. The Fed has received pressure from the White House to cut rates in order to spur further economic activity, and the possibility of a rate reduction in 2019 is definitely in play following a string of increases over the last several years.

 

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First Quarter 2019

In addition to the quandary of ongoing housing price increases and affordability concerns in many U.S. markets, the first quarter of 2019 saw a fair share of adverse weather as well. Sales totals were mixed across the nation and sometimes dependent on what was a persistent wintry mix, especially in the Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast. Meanwhile, new listings and total homes for sale have been trending lower in year-over-year comparisons in many areas, and last year’s marks were already quite low.

New Listings in the Santa Fe region decreased 13.6 percent to 745. Pending Sales were down 8.8 percent to 686. Inventory levels fell 16.9 percent to 898 units.

The Median Sales Price increased 11.8 percent to $373,000. Days on Market was down 7.1 percent to 82 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 10.0 percent to 4.0 months.

The Federal Reserve recently announced that no further interest rate hikes are planned for 2019. Given the fact that the federal funds rate has increased nine times over the past three years, this was welcome news for U.S. consumers, which carry an approximate average of $6,000 in revolving credit card debt per household. Fed actions also tend to affect mortgage rates, so the pause in rate hikes was also welcome news to the residential real estate industry.

 

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Fourth Quarter 2018

Home prices were consistently up again in most markets in 2018 but at reduced levels compared to recent years. High demand for few homes for sale fueled price increases, but evidence is mounting that inventory will finally improve in 2019. This may apply some downward pressure on prices for beleaguered home buyers. A fourth interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in 2018 spooked the stock market to close out the year. The Fed has indicated that the number of rate increases in 2019 will be halved, which may be of little comfort to an already compressed consumer.

New Listings in the Santa Fe region increased 2.6 percent to 700. Pending Sales were down 8.4 percent to 644. Inventory levels fell 14.0 percent to 1,015 units.

The Median Sales Price increased 18.2 percent to $384,200. Days on Market was down 15.5 percent to 68 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 16.2 percent to 4.9 months.

Unemployment rates remained remarkably low again in 2018, and wages continued to improve for many U.S. households. It is generally good for all parties involved in real estate transactions when wages grow, but the percentage of increase, on average, has not kept pace with home price increases. This created an affordability crux in the second half of 2018. Housing affordability will remain an important storyline in 2019.

 

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Third Quarter 2018

New listings in the Santa Fe region increased 8.2 percent to 1,147. Pending Sales were up 5.9 percent to 843. Inventory levels fell 19.4 percent to 1,241 units. 

The Median Sales Price increased 5.6 percent to $355,134. Days on Market was down 23.3 percent to 55 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 25.5 percent to 5 months.

Some economy observers are pointing to 2018 as the final period in a long string of sentences touting several happy years of buyer demand and sales excitement for the housing industry. Although residential real estate should continue along a mostly positive line for the rest of the year, rising prices and interest rates coupled with salary stagnation and a generational trend toward home purchase delay or even disinterest could create an environment of declining sales.

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Second Quarter 2018

New listings in the Santa Fe region decreased 1.9 percent to 1,253. Pending Sales were up 7.6 percent to 880. Inventory levels fell 27.3 percent to 1,129 units. 

The Median Sales Price increased 8.4 percent to $358,500. Days on Market was down 38.8 percent to 76 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 33.1 percent to 4.2 months. 

Inventory may be persistently lower in year-over-year comparisons, and home prices are still more likely to rise than not, but sales and new listings may finish the summer on the upswing. The housing supply outlook in several markets in beginning to show an increase in new construction and a move by builders away from overstocked rental units to new developments for sale. These are encouraging signs in an already healthy marketplace. 

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First Quarter 2018

The Median Sales Price increased 7.3 percent to $335,784. Days on Market was down 35.7 percent to 90 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 31.7 percent to 4.3 months. 


The Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate by 0.25 percent in March, citing concerns about inflation. It is the sixth rate increase by the Fed since December 2015, and at least two more rate increases are expected this year. Borrowing money will be more expensive, particularly for home equity loans, credit cards and adjustable rate mortgages, but rising wages and a low national unemployment rate that has been at 4.1 for five months in a row would seem to indicate that we are prepared for this. And although mortgage rates have risen to their highest point in four years, they have been quite low for several years. 

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Fourth Quarter 2017

The number of homes for sale, days on market and months of supply were all down in year-over-year comparisons in a majority of the country for the entirety of 2017, as was housing affordability. And although total sales volumes were mixed, prices were consistently up in most markets. Buyers may not benefit from higher prices, but sellers do, and there should be more listing activity by more confident sellers in 2018. At least that would be the most viable prediction for an economic landscape pointing toward improved conditions for sellers.

New Listings in the Santa Fe region increased 2.5 percent to 656. Pending Sales were down 10.8 percent to 504. Inventory levels fell 12.0 percent to 1,254 units.

The Median Sales Price increased 4.6 percent to $325,000. Days on Market was down 40.9 percent to 81 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 22.9 percent to 5.9 months.

 

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Third Quarter 2017

 

Every market is unique, yet the national sentiment has given rise to the notion that housing markets are stalling. Although desirous buyers are out on an increasing number of showings, there remains a limited number of desirable listings. And although mortgage rates have remained enticingly low, home prices have reached unaffordable levels for many new entrants into the housing pool at exactly the same time that established owners are proving to be less interested in moving.

New Listings in the Santa Fe region decreased 7.7 percent to 1,036. Pending Sales were down 27.1 percent to 522. Inventory levels fell 3.4 percent to 1,695 units.

The Median Sales Price increased 7.3 percent to $338,030. Days on Market was down 45.0 percent to 70 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 15.6 percent to 6.9 months.

 

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Second Quarter 2017

 

There has been a general slowdown in sales across the country, and this cannot be blamed on negative economic news. Unemployment remains low and wage growth, though nothing to overly celebrate, has held steady or increased for several years in a row. There is strong demand for home buying, emphasized by higher prices and multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets. As has been the case for month after month – and now year after year – low inventory is the primary culprit for any sales malaise rather than lack of offers. New Listings in the Santa Fe region decreased 7.8 percent to 1,248. Pending Sales were down 25.6 percent to 560. Inventory levels fell 0.6 percent to 1,711 units. The Median Sales Price increased 4.7 percent to $335,000. Days on Market was down 6.2 percent to 128 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 12.5 percent to 6.4 months. 

 

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First Quarter 2017

 

 

We can comfortably consider the first quarter to have been a good start for residential real estate in 2017. There was certainly plenty to worry over when the year began. Aside from new national leadership in Washington, DC, and the policy shifts that can occur during such transitions, there was also the matter of continuous low housing supply, steadily rising mortgage rates and ever-increasing home prices. Nevertheless, sales have held their own in year-over-year comparisons and should improve during the busiest months of the real estate sales cycle. 

New Listings in the Santa Fe region increased 2.8 percent to 859. Pending Sales were down 29.9 percent to 420. Inventory levels rose 1.5 percent to 1,461 units.

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Fourth Quarter 2016


Most of 2016 offered the same quarterly housing market highlights. The number of homes for sale was drastically down in year-over-year comparisons, along with days on market and months of supply. Meanwhile, sales and prices were up in most markets.

The overwhelming feeling about prospects in residential real estate for the immediate future is optimism. Real estate professionals across the nation are expressing that they are as busy as ever. There are certainly challenges in this market, like continued low inventory and higher competition for those fewer properties, but opportunities abound for creative and diligent people prepared to put in the necessary amount of work.

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Third Quarter 2016


As anticipated at the outset of the year, demand has remained high through the first three quarters of 2016, propping up sales and prices despite heavy reductions in inventory and months of supply across the country. With rental prices and employment opportunities in a consistent climb, year-over-year increases in home buying are probable for the rest of the year but not guaranteed.

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Second Quarter 2016


Halfway through 2016, residential real estate markets are performing as predicted at the beginning of the year. Sales and prices have been going up in most areas, while the number of homes for sale and total months’ supply of inventory have been going down. Meanwhile, many sellers have been getting a higher percentage of their asking price, and supply continues to struggle to meet demand.


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