According to Fannie Mae, 61 Percent of Americans Now Believe It’s a Good Time to Buy a Home, and with interest rates again hitting all time lows, why wouldn’t it be???
As of the beginning of this month, the pending sales for Single Family Homes and townhomes were at the highest point this year! That’s great news and showing recovery in the market.
While closed sales are still down slightly year over year, they are bouncing back, and with pending sales at their peak of the year, I expect sales to keep climbing also.
Now while condo sales have been more sluggish to recover, they are making their comeback also with pending sales near their peaks for the year and the number of closed sales has begun to climb.
So, what else has been dropping other than interest rates? Home inventory!
While condo inventory really hasn’t dropped, inventory of single family homes have! So for buyers, while it hasn’t been a better time to buy with such low interest rates, you’ll probably find you have more competition.
Sellers? This could be a great time to sell as buyers can now afford more, and with low inventory, there will be competition for your home. Are you concerned about strangers walking through your home? Well, of course masks are worn, but there are other tricks to get tons of people seeing your home without them actually walking through it. Wonder what those tricks are? Give me a call!
So in the midst of all these coronavirus changes, what's going on with real estate?
Looking at mortgage rates, they are holding near all-time lows since Freddie Mac started tracking this in 1971. The U.S. weekly averages as of May 14th were 3.28% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with .7 fees or points. One interesting note by Freddie Mac was that although purchase applications reached a new low in mid-April, today, purchase demand is only down 10% from a year ago. Great news, so demand is improving and mortgage rates are positively impacting real estate sales.
Now, so many people are wondering how coronavirus will affect home prices. Well, pricing is very market specific, but listening to the experts, it seems that prices will remain stable throughout 2020. Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American, says "housing supply remains at historically low levels so house price growth is likely to slow but is not likely to go negative." Also, Fannie Mae says there remains anecdotal evidence that sellers were reluctant to cut prices and are instead opting to take their homes off the market until fears of contagion subside and social distancing measures are eased.
Here in Miami-Dade County, we are in what is normally our peak buying and selling time for homes. The months with the most number of closings are traditionally May or June, and coronavirus has affected the overall sales numbers significantly. April 2020 numbers of closings of single-family homes dropped 40% from last year and the sales for condos are about half of what they were last year. Only time will tell how this will impact the overall yearly numbers. Will all this volume be made up later in the year after restrictions loosen? We don't know, but one positive report is from ShowingTime, which tracks the number of showings of homes for sale. In Florida, the amount of showings was down about 40% from the expected levels in April. However, things are starting to rebound with about 15% week over week increases and showings have returned to normal levels in some states. As a matter of fact, 12 out of the 41 states they tracked have now reached even new highs for the year, illustrating pent-up demand.
In Miami-Dade County, there was a significant dip in new homes to the market, homes going under contract, and homes being sold. We are now on an upward trend and have been for weeks, each week growing in activity. So overall single-family homes priced $500,000 and below are still leaning towards a seller's market and it's still quite competitive in the lower price ranges.
Did you know that not all Miami condos look like apartment buildings? Some look like townhomes, or even single family homes!
So, what exactly is a condo? A condo or condominium is a private residence owned by an individual or family in a building or community with multiple units or townhomes. Generally, like in most Miami condos, you own air space. Weird concept, right? Anyway, generally yes. You own the air space or what you may have heard is called walls in - so, like the paint, cabinets, light fixtures, appliances. You're generally also responsible for the plumbing and electric behind the walls if it's the part that services only your condo.
Now, along with the air space of your unit, you'll also own a proportional interest in the common areas of the building - like any gardens, pools, other amenities, hallways, entrances. Well, these common areas are taken care of by the condo association.
One of the great benefits of condo ownership? Less maintenance for you!
So who do you think is responsible for the windows? Well, normally, it's the owner, not the association, but always be sure to check the condo documents to see who is responsible for what as not every condo is the same.
I'm Heather Waldron with Global Luxury Realty, and I'm a certified condo specialist. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any condo questions. Make it a great day.
Hey, It’s Heather Waldron with Global Luxury Realty. Just checking in again and giving you a quick RE update. First, I hope you’re all well, and are taking the appropriate precautions. Wash your hands frequently especially when out, and don’t touch your face!
Could you even have imagined this even a month ago? We're in a pandemic and the Governor has issued a “Safer at Home” order for all of South Florida to avoid contact with each other.
So, with respects to real estate, it's putting at least short term pressure on the market as it can be difficult to show properties, and as people’s job situations are changing, so are their pre-approvals. So while showings have become much more difficult as some owners don’t want other people in their homes, and some condo associations are not allowing showings during this time, on the other hand, some cash investors are starting to search the market looking for some good deals and there’s been a BIG increase in on-line activity – with more people at home, more people are searching on-line. So now more than ever a good on-line presence is key. If you do have your home listed, it’s okay to leave it active so all these people looking now can see it, if only virtually.
How do the numbers look? Last week, from March 22 thru March 29th, in Miami Dade County, 353 homes closed (now mind you, most of these would have been under contract before these restrictions started), but there were 264 new pending sales, and 576 new homes to the market. These numbers are just slightly down from the previous week and I would expect that the numbers will continue to trend down slightly, but that will be leaving quite a bit of pent up demand for when we can all venture out again.
I’m not hearing any talk about a big crash in the housing market or anything like that as the fundamentals of housing and the economy were strong going into this pandemic, and they should be able to rebound quickly after.
Lastly, if you are a homeowner and haven't paid your property taxes yet, the deadline has been extended from March 31 to April 15. Stay positive and stay healthy. Make it a great day.