The Existing Home Sales Report for November 2018 was released on the 19th with some interesting and not so interesting news to report. In case you missed the live report on the Realty Partners Facebook Page, here is what you need to know about it going into 2019.
(Side Note: No, you won’t find the recording anywhere on Facebook or YouTube because I accidentally pushed a button that forced it not to record. The abridged version of the story is that it’s a mixed bag: I tried out some new software, and it looked amazing, but I was stammering much more than I would have liked.) Now, back to the program.
Overall, existing home sales increased from October 2018. Although at a marginal 1.9% from the previous month, this shows that more people are starting to take their picks of the litter before the mortgage rates rise. The Federal Reserve has already risen the rates 4 times this year and due to increase again in 2019. How much is still unclear. At this time in 2017, NAR marked a national 7% decrease, showing that while the market is still growing, it’s getting slower with each passing month. Lawrence Yun of NAR stated that this shows that home prices are starting to stabilize, showing especially with the rising inventory. In October 2018, inventory would be set to last for 3.9 months: that is now at around 4.3 months with the average stay on market for homes 42 days, an increase from 36 days in October. Yet interesting how inventory dropped still from the 1.85M to 1.74M in October 2018.
The weakest region for growth was by far the West due to increasing unaffordability. The South grew the most in the past month with 2.3% increase, but still not as good as November 2017 with a 5.6% decrease year-over-year.
The most interesting factoid is that first-time homebuyers are dominating the market right now with 33% of homebuyers falling in this category. More than any other age group, those that are around the age of 32 are looking to buy into real estate. Their student debts are declining (however over 41% still carry around $29k), and rent is only going to rise as time goes on. With affordable housing declining in availability, many are taking advantage of the current mortgage rates before they rise again in 2019. What’s more is the rise of tiny houses and shipping container houses to curb the cost of modern homes. It is anecdotally known around here in the Sarasota, Florida, area that building a house is cheaper than buying one.