August 2020 Housing Market Update

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The hot summer market continued to sizzle last month, in our hyper-local market, the state of Wisconsin, and Nationally.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®,

“Existing-home sales continued to climb in August, marking three consecutive months of positive sales gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major regions experienced both month-over-month and year-over-year growth […]”

Existing Home Sales Report by National Association of REALTORS®

The MetroMLS echoed this positive message for the Metro-Milwaukee area, within which I reside and work, for last month.

“The housing and stock markets continue to be the leaders in the economy. In August, showings remained at strong levels while housing inventory remained limited, continuing the competitive bidding market we have seen in recent months. With the stock indexes at or near record highs as mortgage rates remain near record lows, signs point to a busy fall housing market.

[…]

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased by 12.4% to $281,080. Days on Market remained flat at 28 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 20.8% to 2.9 months. As we look towards the fall, we usually see housing activity slow down as the back-to-school season begins. But, this year is far from normal. While uncertainty remains on what effects the upcoming elections and any seasonal resurgence of COVID-19 may have on the financial and housing markets, the healthy housing demand we see today will create significant tailwinds in the near term”

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Finally, as far as market reports go, the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association had similar things to say in regards to August home sales, in our tri-county area of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Counties.

“According to the monthly WRA home sales report that was released on September 21 , a new three-month record for the most Wisconsin home sales ever was set in the months of June, July and August.

In Walworth County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 4.1% lower than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 7.9%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Walworth County is down by 3.9% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 11.1%.

In Racine County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 4.4% higher than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 18.4%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Racine County is down by 0.9% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 8.9%.

In Kenosha County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 2.9% lower than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 13.0%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Kenosha County is down by 2.5% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 7.4%. […]

Wisconsin Housing Market Records Record Sales for Summer by Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

Why are we seeing positive things come out of a market in the midst of a pandemic? One of the major contributors is mortgage interest rates for home loans.

“The all-time low for mortgage rates was set in mid-September, averaging just 2.86%. With record-low mortgage rates, prospective home buyers can significantly decrease their borrowing costs.”

Mortgage Rates Edge Up, Still Near Record Lows by National Association of REALTORS®

Another noteworthy contributor to this uptick in the real estate market is our decreasing unemployment rate.

“In Walworth County, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.6% in July, to 5.4% in August. These figures compare favorably to the national unemployment rate, which was 8.4% in August […]”

The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development report

Overall, it has been one heck of a summer. Personally, I have experienced incredibly high buyer demand and frustratingly low inventory. This has resulted in many more offers written compared to offers accepted. More than once, I have had buyers be outbid by cash offers with a quick closing date more often than I am used to. It also meant I took the same buyer out on more showings than it usually takes to get them under contract. I’ve experienced many pre-listing appointments where the potential seller is “just curious,” and/or folks that want to “wait to see what happens,” with the market, the economy, and the country overall. Lastly, I’ve seen new listings go under contract within DAYS of hitting the market, and upwards of 10 showings the first day or two of listing.

All things considered, my message is very similar to last month. Buyers, if you are at all serious about purchasing a home, you must be ready to jump. Get your pre-approval ready to go, and check your MLS search frequently; when the right home comes onto the market, you will have to get in there ASAP or you’ll miss out. Sellers, the lack of inventory means when your home is listed, you better be ready to move; it is very likely that your home will sell quickly.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

Existing Home Sales Report by National Association of REALTORS®

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Wisconsin Housing Market Records Record Sales for Summer by Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

Mortgage Rates Edge Up, Still Near Record Lows by National Association of REALTORS®

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

Mortgage Rates Edge Up, Still Near Record Lows by National Association of REALTORS®

The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development report

May 2020 Real Estate

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Southeastern Wisconsin on the Rebound

There are always two sides to a story. We have a global pandemic on our hands, but at least summer officially began today. There is no denying COVID-19 is still impacting our real estate market, but the latest stats indicate things are looking up. “Realtor.com®’s May housing data release reveals that the U.S. housing market likely reached its low point during mid-April, with constrained new listings and minimal price growth,” according to Sabrina Speianu, Sr. Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com.

On Tuesday, our metro-Milwaukee Multiple Listing Service released their Monthly Indicators recapping last month’s market. Here’s what they had to say:

Market Reports: May 2020

While the effects of COVID-19 in the broader economy continue, real estate activity is beginning to recover across much of the country. According to
Freddie Mac, mortgage rates have been below 3.3 percent for more than four
weeks and are hovering near all-time lows, spurring strong interest by buyers
and lifting showing activity up 4% nationally versus a year ago in the final week
of May.
[…]

Buyers have been quicker to return to the housing market in force than sellers,
who have been showing a bit more reluctance to list their homes than is typical
for this time of year. But trends are improving and as states and localities
continue to moderate their COVID-19 policies, real estate activity is expected to
continue to improve in the coming weeks.

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

As far as real estate in Southeastern Wisconsin goes, we’re still doing worse this year compared to last, but we’re better than last month. April 2020 market reports showed Walworth County was down 50.2% in new listings and 30.6% in closed sales, but up 9.4% in median sales price (compared to April 2019). Follow this link to see the April 2020 Real Estate post.

For the month of May, Walworth County went down 30% in new listings, 43.2% in closed sales, and 2.9% in median sales price. The fact that we had fewer closings, is a reflection of April’s drastic decrease in new listings – there were less homes available to be sold. The decrease in median sales price for the county surprises me, as I’ve seen more cases where properties go under contract for list price or higher, as the right-hand chart above shows (i.e., a 12.5% increase in median sales price for May 2020, compared to May 2019, in the Lake Geneva – Delavan – Williams Bay area).

The story here is a gradual trend upward. We have reason to believe a recovery is underway. Adding to this positive news, showings are up in my county, despite the global pandemic and less available inventory to view. According to ShowingTime, Walworth County had a total of 2,158 showings in May (2020), compared to 2,005 total showings in May of 2019.

You might be thinking, “MORE showings? How is that possible? And, what does this mean?

Personally, I have experienced a spike in demand from buyers in the past month and a half. I’m writing more offers, but facing more competition and not going to the closing table proportionally more often. I suppose there’s nothing like a quarantine to make people antsy and ready to move.

Able buyers: get your ducks in a row sooner rather than later. When the right home comes onto the market, you will need to act fast. In other words, call a lender, heck call two, and get your pre-approval done and out of the way. Also, be prepared for a potential bidding war. I have heard some say the COVID-19 crisis would cause home values/prices to plummet. I’m here to tell you this assumption is incorrect.

Potential sellers: do not miss this opportunity. We do not know how long the odds will stay in your favor. More showings combined with decreased inventory, means you’re statistically more likely to get an offer – and maybe more than one. Based on the principle of supply and demand, when demand is high, but supply is low, prices go up. Therefore, the current market is ideal for sellers right now more than ever.

Stay positive, stay healthy & reach out! ❤ , Annie Z.


ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

May 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Key Housing Indicators Begin to Turn Around in May by Sabrina Speianu, Sr. Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com

ShowingTime Showing Reports

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

April 2020 Real Estate Housing Market Review: In the Thick of COVID-19