U.S. Home Buyers Drove Contract Signings to December Record

4632 SW 18th Pl, Portland, OR 97239
Presented by Dori Olmsted | Offered at $1,069,000 | MLS# 20230131

From Mansion Global

Activity remained unseasonably high, though listing shortages threaten to take steam out of the housing market

The U.S. market continued an unseasonal rally in December, with pending sales hitting an all-time high for the month, according to an index released Friday.

Home buyers signed 21% more contracts in December than a year prior, as surging demand for homes kept dealmaking at unusually high levels given the time of year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index.

Frenzied housing activity continued to show slight signs of deceleration, though it’s likely due to a severe lack of homes on the market, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR.

Signed contracts decreased by an ever-so-slight 0.3% in December compared to November, the fourth time in a row that dealmaking fell on a month-to-month basis. Pending sales peaked in August, though housing activity has remained at historically high levels since.

“Pending home sales contracts have dipped during recent months, but I would attribute that to having too few homes for sale,” Mr. Yun said in a news release on Friday. “There is a high demand for housing and a great number of would-be buyers, and therefore sales should rise with more new listings.”

Regionally, the South had the strongest December, with contracts up 27% over December 2019. The Northeast was next, with dealmaking up 22% year-over-year, followed by the West, up 19% annually, and the Midwest, up 14%, according to NAR’s figures.

On a local level, Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas; Denver; Los Angeles and Boston have recorded the most significant recovery in their markets since the lockdowns of last spring, according to a separate index from realtor.com.

Home prices in these and many other cities have soared as a result of competition over too few homes in the wake of the pandemic, which has spurred many to seek out new living arrangements while working and schooling from home. Inventory shortages could improve this spring, however, as sellers list their homes during the peak buying season, economists have speculated.

Full article on Mansion Global


2020’s Existing-home Sales Attain 14-Year Peak

65823 Bearing Drive, Bend, OR 97701
Presented by Pam Mayo-Phillips and Brook Havens | Offered at $2,995,000 | MLS# 220105134

From Realtor Magazine

According to the National Association of Realtors® report last Friday, existing-home sales in 2020 surged to the highest level in 14 years, landing 22% higher than a year ago. Existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—posted big gains year over year and rose by 0.7% in December 2020 compared to November 2020’s already unseasonably high rates.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, said “This momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market. Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%. Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”

Existing-home sales in December 2020 reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million. Still, home buyers are finding a limited number of homes for sale. Inventory levels are at record lows. That has placed continued pressure on home prices, which continue to post double-digit yearly gains.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in December 2020 was $309,800, up nearly 13% compared to December 2019, NAR reports. Every major region of the U.S. saw home prices rise last month.

Full article on Realtor Magazine


Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House

45900 Tibbetts Rd, Neskowin, OR 97149
Presented by Camilla Arlit | Offered at $2,500,000 | MLS# 20-1410

From Keeping Current Matters

The housing market is now positioned for an even stronger year as it has incredibly recovered in 2020. Record-low mortgage interest rates are a driving factor in this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at historic all-time lows.

Based on the recent Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. However, this is not the same case on the supply side. Seller traffic is simply not keeping up. Here’s a breakdown by state:

As the maps show, buyer traffic is high, but seller traffic is low. With so few homes for sale right now, record-low inventory is creating a mismatch between supply and demand.

NAR also just reported that the actual number of homes currently for sale stands at 1.28 million, down 22% from one year ago (1.64 million). Additionally, inventory is at an all-time low with 2.3 months supply available at the current sales pace. In a normal market, that number would be 6.0 months of inventory – significantly higher than it is today.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Buyers need to remain patient in the search process. At the same time, they must be ready to act immediately once they find the right home since bidding wars are more common when so few houses are available for sale.

Sellers may not want to wait until spring to put their houses on the market, though. With such high buyer demand and such a low supply, now is the perfect time to sell a house on optimal terms.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters