October 2020 Housing Market

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The first full month of Autumn continued the record breaking trends of this unprecedented year. From the Country-wide outlook, down to our narrow Southeastern Wisconsin vantage point, October 2020 was a profitable month for real estate.

Existing-home sales continued to trend upward in October, marking five consecutive months of month-over-month gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions reported both month-over-month and year-over-year growth, with the Midwest experiencing the greatest monthly increases.”

Quintin Simmons, NAR

The Metro-Milwaukee Multiple Listing Service, aka MetroMLS, elaborated on this atypically active market.

October continued to be busier than the calendar normally suggests. Buyer activity remains higher than normal for this time of year, while in many segments of the market housing supply remains much lower than one year ago. Multiple offers remain a common occurrence in many areas, keeping housing hot while the temperatures continue to fall.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region increased 9.1 percent to 2,068. Pending Sales were down 42.1 percent to 872. Inventory levels fell 5.4 percent to 3,535 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.2 percent to $255,000. Days on Market was down 28.6 percent to 25 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months’ Supply of Inventory was down 4.3 percent to 2.2 months.
Mortgage rates dropped to new record lows again in October, helping to offset the monthly mortgage payment increases caused by the rise in home prices seen in many segments of the market across the country. While prices often dip a bit in the winter months, continued buyer demand may temper any price retreats this year.

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

The Local Market Reports below, created by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, back up these claims with real numbers. Clearly, October 2020 was one for the books. While the number of new listings in Kenosha County were down, in comparison to 2019, there were more new listings for both Walworth and Racine Counties. Regardless, the tri-county area (Walworth Kenosha & Racine Counties) saw double digit percentage increases in closed sales and median sales prices.

Personally, I had several closings that initially went under contract at the end of summer (August/September), and one quick close. Typically, once school starts, the number of buyers requesting showings substantially decreases, but not so much this year. Yes, I am technically less active than I was in say July, but this market has remained competitive, long past the normal time frame.

Sellers: I implore you to investigate for yourself. Look at the statistics, you can find them everywhere: it is an exceptional sellers market. Assess your long term goals and act accordingly, because no one knows how much longer the housing market will remain so heavily in your favor. Specifically, as we head into Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, be aware that #1: nothing is more welcoming than a home decorated for the holidays, and #2: the buyers that are still looking right now are very serious.

Buyers: there are more of you actively looking to purchase real estate right now; be prepared to offer your ‘highest and best,’ but stay firm in your financial morals. If you feel more comfortable having a financing contingency and a home inspection, then include them in your offer–whether or not your offer is accepted, you still have to sleep at night.

One truth that remains forever true: holiday season means the year is almost over. This year has been full of lessons, but my biggest take away was: preparedness. Having goals and strategies are essential to financial health, but real security is only achievable by flexibility. Feel free to reach out and ask if you need anything. Stay well,

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 Jump 4.3% to 6.85 Million in October by Quintin Simmons of NAR

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

September 2020 Housing Market

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What a year it has been. September 2020 showed continued strength in the real estate market, despite the pandemic. The MetroMLS released their ‘Monthly Indicators,’ this past week with positive news.

Strong buyer activity has continued into the fall, which is normally the start of the seasonal slowing of the housing market. With stronger buyer activity in the market this year and the continued constrained supply of homes for sale, speedy sales and multiple offers are likely to remain a common occurrence and will keep the housing market hot even when the weather is cooling.
[…]
While mortgage rates remain near record lows, The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that lending standards are tightening, which makes it a bit more difficult for some buyers to qualify. At the same time, unemployment remains substantially higher than a year ago due to COVID-19. Despite all this, buyers are out in full force this fall, showing amazing resilience in the middle of
a pandemic.

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

In our hyper-local market, of Kenosha, Racine & Walworth Counties, all our numbers were up in September 2020, compared to September 2019. Increased median sales price, more new listings, and more sales. Below are the ‘Local Market Reports‘ by MetroMLS & ShowingTime.

Nationally, in regards to last month’s market, Realtor.com stated,

“Homes are sold at an increasingly fast pace when compared to last year, and prices remain at all-time-highs into September. Inventory continues to be constrained by stronger than normal buyer demand and little new inventory.”

September 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Heightened Summer Housing Market Activity Spilling Over into Fall by Realtor.com

Overall, like last month, I’ve been on more showings and written more offers per buyer accepted offer, in September. I see new listing after new listing go under contract within days of hitting the market, later in the year than I am used to seeing, as well.

My message to all is to stay in tune with this evolving market. More jobs are going remote than ever before, which means more city-folk are moving country-side. This means competition and higher housing prices. Sellers: be aware that increased demand and bidding wars may lead to local buyers stepping out of the market soon. If demand decreases, prices will follow suit; if you want to list your home, do so before the holidays. Buyers: interest rates are still low, but you will need to be ready to act, and prepared to compete, when the right home hits the market. Get your pre-approval now, and check on the inventory in your local market often. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for an MLS search update.

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:

September 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Heightened Summer Housing Market Activity Spilling Over into Fall by Realtor.com

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

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