Nationally: Inventory Drought Pushes New-Home Sales to 9-Month Low

Inventory Drought Pushes New-Home Sales to 9-Month Low
National Association of Home Builders | August 24, 2018

House 1059The shortage of homes for-sale continues to depress sales. Sales of newly built, single-family homes dropped last month and are now at the lowest level since last October, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. This follows on the heels of the National Association of REALTORS®’ report earlier this week that showed existing-home sales also dipped in July, reaching their sluggish pace in more than two years.

“A lack of overall housing inventory is pushing up home prices, which is hurting affordability and causing prospective buyers to delay making a home purchase,” says Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

New-homes sales were at a 627,000 rate in July, about 1.7 percent lower than June sales. However, sales are now 7.2 percent higher than a year ago.

“Although this month marks the lowest sales pace since last October, we continue to see solid housing demand due to economic strengthening and positive demographic tailwinds,” says Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, NAHB’s senior economist. “Builders need to manage rising construction costs to keep their homes competitively priced for the newcomers to the housing market.”

The median price of new homes was $328,700 in July, which is 1.8 percent higher than a year ago.

Regionally, new-homes sales were up in the West (10.9 percent month-over-month) and the Midwest (up 9.9 percent month-over-month). However, those gains could not offset a 52.3 percent decline in the Northeast and a 3.3 percent drop in the South last month. “Year-to-date, sales in the Northeast are down 14.5 percent as the region deals with the impact from tax reform and persistent affordability issues,” NAHB notes in its release.

The slowdown in housing is getting the Federal Reserve’s attention, as reflected in the minutes of the central bank’s last meeting, which was released this week. Ward McCarthy, Jefferies LLC economist, noted:

“Housing activity in general has retreated from levels that were temporarily boosted by 2017 natural disasters—hurricanes and wildfires—that forced displaced households to seek alternative housing. The housing sector is also undergoing an adjustment to affordability that is less attractive than it was for most of the cycle, as well as changes in the treatment of SALT deductions in the federal tax code. That is the bad news. The good news is that there is no evidence of the type of imbalances that could cause a sharp downturn, such as heavy inventories and/or rising mortgage default and delinquency rates. We also note this is not the first temporary slowdown in housing activity this cycle.”

Source: “New-Home Sales Sink to a 9-Month Low as Housing Market Wobbles,” MarketWatch (Aug. 23, 2018) and National Association of Home Builders; REALTOR® Magazine 082418

Fast-Paced Luxury Sales Raise Entry-Level Price Point

Fast-Paced Luxury Sales Raise Entry-Level Price Point
realtor.com | August 10, 2018

House 1058It’s a good time to be selling high-end real estate: The luxury market is posting a record number of sales, and 19 major areas also saw double-digit gains in July, according to realtor.com®’s 2018 Luxury Home Index. The index measures the entry-level luxury price tier, which is the top 5 percent of residential sales among 91 U.S. counties.

In 49 of the 91 markets analyzed by realtor.com®, the luxury tier had an entry point of at least $1 million. The number of sales at or above $1 million climbed 12 percent over the last year, realtor.com® reports.

“The strong economy is bolstering demand for luxury homes,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “They are selling fast and demand for these homes has pushed the entry-level price point to more than $1 million in half of the markets studied. Although there are some pockets of weaker performance, we’ve seen double-digit price growth in 19 markets for the first time in four years.”

Luxury homes are selling faster, too. The median age of inventory in the 91 luxury markets tracked was 108 days in July, down 11 days or by 9.3 percent year over year, realtor.com® reports.

The fastest-growing luxury market in July: Sarasota, Fla., which continued to hold onto its top spot on realtor.com®’s list. Luxury sales prices in Sarasota have risen 21.2 percent since last May. Half of all luxury homes there have also sold within 157 days, which is 21 days faster than a year ago. Rounding out realtor.com®’s list of the top five fastest-growing luxury markets in July were Queens, N.Y.; Maui, Hawaii; Santa Clara, Calif.; and Boulder, Colo. Each of the cities posted a yearly growth of between 13 to 16 percent.

1808_realtor.com-luxury-markets

Source: “Luxury Housing Sets New Records,” realtor.com® (Aug. 9, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine Online 081018

Middle Tennessee Housing Inventory Continues to Rise

Middle Tennessee Housing Inventory Continues to Rise
Greater Nashville REALTORS®, Press Release | August 7, 2018

TheGulchNashvilleNASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 7, 2018) – There were 3,812 closings reported for the month of July, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This represents a 1.5 percent decrease from the 3,872 closings reported for July 2017.

Year-to-date closings total 23,242 a 0.5 percent decrease compared to the 23,365 closings reported through July 2017.

“The numbers in July show a slight decrease in closings compared to 2017, but the market remains stable as we continue to see a steady inventory increase,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Sher Powers. “We are pleased to see inventory continue to grow across Middle Tennessee, which is not the case in other markets across the country.”

There were 3,347 properties under contract at the end of the month, compared to the 3,575 properties under contract at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 25 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during July was $307,000 and for a condominium it was $222,750. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $288,243 and $203,000.

Active inventory at the end of July was 11,671 which increased from 9,151 in 2017.

“The continued increase in inventory can lead to a more balanced and healthy market across Middle Tennessee, calming the steady pricing increases we’ve seen in the past few years, which in turn may inspire buyers on the fence to start their home buying search,” said Powers.

### About Us: Greater Nashville REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. ###

The data collected for this release represents nine Middle Tennessee counties: Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson.

View the July 2018 Market Data Infographic

Source: Greater Nashville REALTORS®, Press Release 080718

Nationally: Has the Inventory Crunch Begun to Subside?

Nationally: Has the Inventory Crunch Begun to Subside?
National Association of REALTORS® | July 30, 2018

Nashville June2018InventoryContract signings rose in all four major regions across the U.S. last month, a sign that dwindling home sales—which have plagued the market at an unusual time of year this summer—will reverse course in the coming months, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 0.9 percent month over month in June to a reading of 106.9. “After two straight months of declines in pending home sales, home shoppers in a majority of markets had a little more success finding a home to buy last month,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The positive forces of faster economic growth and steady hiring are being met by the negative forces of higher home prices and mortgage rates. Even with slightly more homeowners putting their home on the market, inventory is still subpar and not meeting demand. As a result, affordability constraints are pricing out some would-be buyers and keeping overall sales activity below last year’s pace.”

Despite last month’s rise, contract signings are still down 2.5 percent compared to a year ago, NAR reports. Nevertheless, Yun says the worst of the supply crunch may now have passed. In June, existing inventory was up slightly on an annual basis, marking the first increase in three years. Several large metros saw year-over-year surges in inventory levels last month:

  • Portland, Oregon.: +24 percent
  • Providence, Rhode Island: +20 percent
  • Seattle, Washington: +19 percent
  • Nashville, Tennessee: +17 percent
  • San Jose, California: +15 percent

“Home price growth remains swift, and listings are still going under contract at a robust pace in most of the country, which indicates that even with rising inventory in many markets, demand still significantly outpaces what’s available for sale,” Yun says. “However, if this trend of increasing supply continues in the months ahead, prospective buyers will hopefully begin to see more choices and softer price growth.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine 073018

Nationally: New-Home Sales May Be in Trouble

Nationally: New-Home Sales May Be in Trouble
National Association of Home Builders | July 26, 2018

House 1057Sales of newly built single-family homes plunged to an eight-month low last month at a time when sales should be at their highest points of the year. New single-family home sales dropped 5.3 percent month-over-month in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. This marks the lowest monthly annualized sales pace since October 2017.

Builders say ongoing supply constraints are being exacerbated by recent tariff disputes, which are raising the costs of building materials. In April 2017, the Trump administration imposed anti-subsidy duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. Builders have said that move has significantly raised the cost of building a new home.

“Uncertainty caused by tariffs and the talk of trade wars are making home buyers more cautious, and builders are taking note of this situation,” says Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “Not only are consumers and builders concerned about the current lumber tariffs but also the next round of proposed tariffs on a number of goods and services.”

The median sales price of new homes dropped to $302,100 in June, 4.2 percent lower than a year prior. “That prices were lower likely shows the dominance of homes sold in the South—where prices are lower—than a lack of demand,” Robert Frick, corporate economist for Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Va., told Reuters.

While new-home sales underperformed in June, the builders’ trade group still sees “solid demand for new-home construction.” New-home sales were up in the first half of 2018 and remain 6.8 percent higher on a year-to-date basis compared to last year, says Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist.

But a shortage of new construction persists. In June, the stock of new homes rose to a nine-year high of 301,000 units, but supply is still just over half of what it was at the peak of the housing boom in 2006.

Source: The National Association of Home Builders and “U.S. New Home Sales at Eight-Month Low, Housing Slowing,” Reuters (July 25, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine 072618

Nationally: Sky-High Home Prices Shatter Ceiling Again

Nationally: Sky-High Home Prices Shatter Ceiling Again
National Association of REALTORS® | July 23, 2018

Ongoing inventory shortages helped to push the median sale price for existing homes to another all-time high in June, the National Association of REALTORS® reports. The median price for all housing types was $276,900, surpassing a previous record set in May. Home prices have surged 5.2 percent since a year ago.

June2018NARsnapshotThe mix of low inventory and high home prices may have had influence on existing-home sales in June, which fell for the third consecutive month. Total existing-home sales, which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, declined 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million. Sales are now 2.2 percent lower than a year ago, with drops in the South and West offsetting gains in the Northeast and Midwest.

“There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market. What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and, in many cases, has multiple offers. This dynamic is keeping home price growth elevated, pricing out would-be buyers and ultimately slowing sales.”

Here’s a closer look at key indicators from NAR’s June housing report:

  • Inventory: Total housing inventory rose 4.3 percent to 1.95 million existing homes available for sale, which is 0.5 percent higher than a year ago. That marks the first year-over-year increase since June 2015. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace.
  • Days on the market: Fifty-eight percent of homes sold in June were on the market less than a month. Properties, on average, stayed on the market for 26 days, down from 28 days a year ago. “It’s important to note that despite the modest year-over-year rise in inventory, the current level is far from what’s needed to satisfy demand levels,” Yun says. “Furthermore, it remains to be seen if this modest increase will stick given the fact that the robust economy is bringing more interested buyers into the market and new-home construction is failing to keep up.”
  • First-time buyers: First-time buyers comprised 31 percent of sales, down from 32 percent a year ago.
  • All-cash sales: All-cash transactions made up 22 percent of transactions, up from 18 percent a year ago. Individual investors account for the biggest bulk of cash sales. Investors comprised 13 percent of home sales in June, unchanged from a year ago.
  • Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 3 percent of sales, the lowest since NAR began tracking such data in October 2008. Distressed sales are down 4 percent from a year ago. Broken out, 2 percent of sales were foreclosures, and 1 percent were short sales.

1807JuneEHS2

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine 072318

Greater Nashville: June Temperatures Bring Healthy Home Sales

Greater Nashville: June Temperatures Bring Healthy Home Sales
Greater Nashville REALTORS® | Press Release; July 9, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 9, 2018) – There were 4,036 home closings reported for the month of June, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This figure represents a 3.8 percent increase compared to the 3,887 closings in June 2017.

“The market is heating up. With the rising temperatures, we are seeing homes sell in an average of 26 days and for a slightly higher selling price than in previous months,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Sher Powers. “We continue to see inventory increase, which is very exciting for buyers in the months ahead.”

Data for the second quarter of 2018 showed 11,222 closings, up .6 percent from the 11,155 closings during the second quarter of 2017.

There were 3,379 sales pending at the end of June, compared with 3,914 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 26 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during June was $314,900 and for a condominium it was $221,850. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $293,753 and $199,350 respectively.

Inventory at the end of June was 11,087, a more than 25 percent increase from 8,842 in June 2017.

“Currently REALTORS® across the country are focused on the renewal of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP),” stated Powers. “If Congress doesn’t reauthorize the program, it will expire on July 31 denying necessary insurance coverage to homeowners and buyers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. Middle Tennessee is all too familiar with what flooding can do to an area, and more flooding disasters without insurance will be another blow to a national market already struggling to provide housing for all those who want it.

We urge Congress to extend the NFIP and pass meaningful reforms to ensure the long-term viability of the program.”

View June 2018 Market Graphic Infographic

### About Us: Greater Nashville REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. ###

Source: Greater Nashville REALTORS®, Press Release 070918