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A Return to ‘Normal’? The State of Real Estate in 2022

 

A Return to ‘Normal’? The State of Real Estate in 2022

Last year was one for the real estate history books. The pandemic helped usher in a buying frenzy that caused home prices to soar nationwide by a record 19.9% between August 2020 and August 2021.1

However, there were signs in the fourth quarter that the red-hot housing market was beginning to simmer down. In the month of October, only 60.3% of sales involved a bidding war—down from a high of 74.5% in April.2 While this trend could be attributed to seasonality, it could also be a signal that the real estate run-up may have passed its peak.

So what’s ahead for the U.S. housing market in 2022? Here’s where industry experts predict the market is headed in the coming year.

MORTGAGE RATES WILL CREEP UP - the current 30 Year Mortgage Rate is 3.7% as of 1/19/2022

Most economists expect to see mortgage rates gradually rise this year after hitting record lows in late 2020 and early 2021.3

Freddie Mac forecasts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will average 3.5% in 2022, up from around 3% in 2021.4

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that rates will tick up to 4% by the end of the year. "Mortgage lenders and borrowers should expect rising mortgage rates over the next year, as stronger economic growth pushes Treasury yields higher," said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association at their 2001 Annual Convention & Expo in October.5

However, it’s important to keep in mind that even a 4% mortgage rate is low when compared to historical standards. According to industry trade blog The Mortgage Reports, “Between 1971 and December 2020, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 7.89%.”6

What does it mean for you? Low mortgage rates can reduce your monthly payment and make homeownership more affordable. Fortunately, there’s still time to lock in a historically-low rate. Whether you’re hoping to purchase a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, act soon before rates go up any further. We’d be happy to connect you with a trusted lending professional in our network.

THE MARKET WILL BECOME MORE BALANCED

In 2021, we experienced one of the most competitive real estate markets ever. Fears about the virus and a shift to remote work triggered a huge uptick in demand. At the same time, many existing homeowners delayed their plans to sell, and supply and labor shortages hindered new construction. 

This led to an extreme market imbalance that benefitted sellers and frustrated buyers. According to George Ratiu, director of economic research at Realtor.com, “Prices and sellers reached for the moon [last] year. It looks like we are now about to move back to earth.”7

Data from Realtor.com released in November showed that listing price reductions had more than doubled since February 2021. And the average days on market (an indicator of how long it takes a home to sell) has been slowly creeping up since June.7

What’s causing this change in market dynamics? The real estate market typically slows down in the fall and winter. But economists also suspect a fundamental shift in supply and demand.

At the National Association of Realtors’ annual conference last November, the group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, told attendees that he expects increased supply to come from an uptick in new construction—which is already underway—and an end to the mortgage forbearance program. “With more housing inventory to hit the market, the intense multiple offers will start to ease,” he said.8

Demand is also predicted to wane slightly in the coming year. Rising mortgage rates and record-high prices have made homeownership unaffordable for a growing number of Americans. And in a recent Reuters poll, nearly 80% of property analysts said they expect housing affordability to worsen over the next several years.9

What does it mean for you? If you struggled to buy a home last year, there may be some relief on the horizon. Increased supply and softening demand could make it easier to finally secure the home of your dreams. If you’re a seller, it’s still a great time to cash out your big equity gains! And with more inventory on the market, you’ll have an easier time finding your next home. Reach out for a free consultation so we can discuss your specific needs and goals.

HOME PRICES LIKELY TO KEEP CLIMBING, BUT AT A SLOWER PACE

Nationally, home prices rose an estimated 16.8% in 2021.8 But the average rate of appreciation is expected to slow down in 2022.

Essex County 2021 prices rose 13.5% for Single Family Homes, 10.3% for Condos and 15.7% for 2-4 Families. 

Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, told Yahoo! News, “Home asking prices have decelerated in the second half of 2021, with median listing price growth slipping from a peak of 17.2% in April to just 8.6% in October.”10

But experts disagree about how much more property values can continue to climb this year. Goldman Sachs predicts that home prices will rise by 13.5%, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are forecasting a 7.9% and 7% rate of appreciation, respectively.2

However, not all analysts are as bullish. The National Association of Realtors predicts a 2.8% rate of appreciation for existing homes and 4.4% for new homes, while the Mortgage Bankers Association expects the average home price to decrease by 2.5% by the end of the year.10,2

According to Hale, “With prices near all-time highs and mortgage rates expected to rise, we expect this slowdown in prices to continue.”10

What does it mean for you? If you’re a buyer who has been waiting on the sidelines for home prices to drop, you may be out of luck. Even if home prices dip slightly (and most economists expect them to rise) any savings are likely to be offset by higher mortgage rates. The good news is that decreased competition means more choice and less likelihood of a bidding war. We can help you get the most for your money in today’s market.

RENTS WILL CONTINUE TO RISE

Along with home, gasoline, and used vehicle prices, rent prices rose dramatically last year. According to CoreLogic, in September, rents for single-family homes were up 10.2% nationally year over year.11 And economists at Realtor.com expect them to climb another 7.1% in 2022.12

“Homes are expensive now...but for most people, the comparison that is most important is how that cost of homeownership is going to compare to the cost of renting,” Zillow Senior Economist Jeff Tucker told CNBC in November.13

Tucker also pointed out that rent is less predictable than a mortgage—and more likely to go up along with inflation.13

Real assets, like real estate, are often used as a hedge against inflation. That’s because property values typically rise with inflation.14 And when a homeowner takes out a mortgage, they lock in a set housing payment for the next 30 years. 

In contrast, renters are at the mercy of the market—and they don’t gain any of the benefits of homeownership, like tax deductions, equity, or appreciation.

George Ratiu of Realtor.com told CNBC that he advises buyers to consider their budget and time frame. If they plan to stay in the home for at least three to five years, he believes it often makes sense to buy.13

Fortunately, it’s shaping up to be a better year for buyers. “I think 2022 has the promise of providing less competition, a lot more homes to choose from, and, as a result, a lot more approachable prices,” Ratiu said.13

What does it mean for you? Both property and rent prices are expected to continue rising. But when you purchase a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you can rest assured knowing that your monthly mortgage payment will never go up. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a real estate investor, we can help you make the most of today’s real estate market. 

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2022, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.

Sources:

  1. Fortune -
    https://fortune.com/2021/11/04/us-home-prices-real-estate-forecast-2022-outlook/
  2. Fortune -
    https://fortune.com/2021/11/29/housing-market-real-estate-predictions-2022-forecast/
  3. Freddie Mac -
    http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/pmms30.html
  4. Freddie Mac - https://freddiemac.gcs-web.com/news-releases/news-release-details/freddie-mac-strong-housing-market-will-continue-even-rates-and
  5. Mortgage Bankers Association -
    https://www.mba.org/2021-press-releases/october/mba-annual-forecast-purchase-originations-to-increase-9-percent-to-record-173-trillion-in-2022
  6. The Mortgage Reports -
    https://themortgagereports.com/61853/30-year-mortgage-rates-chart
  7. Realtor.com -
    https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/has-housing-market-peaked/
  8. National Association of Realtors -
    https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/nars-yun-says-housing-market-doing-well-may-normalize-in-2022
  9. Reuters -
    https://www.reuters.com/world/us/rise-us-house-prices-halve-next-year-affordability-worsen-2021-12-07/
  10. Yahoo! News -
    https://www.yahoo.com/now/where-home-prices-headed-2022-130012748.html
  11. CNBC -
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/16/inflation-rent-for-single-family-homes-surged-10percent-in-september.html
  12. Realtor.com -
    https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/what-to-expect-in-2022-housing-market/
  13. CNBC -
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/23/rising-inflation-hot-housing-market-what-you-need-to-know-about-buying-a-home.html
  14. Money -
    https://money.com/inflation-2021-stocks-bitcoin-gold-reits-commodities/

Essex County Housing Report Jan 2022

Essex County December Housing Report 1/9/2022

Year over Year, Dec 21 vs Dec 20, Prices Rose +11.1% for Single Family, +12.9% for Condos and +15.8% for Multis. All Active Listings Plunged -38%.

Month over Month, December 21 vs Nov 21, prices fell -1.6% for Singles, -6.0% for Condos and rose +0.7% for Multis. All Active Listings plunged -35%.

30 Year Mortgage Rates rose to 3.5%.

Month Over Month, Dec 21 vs Nov 21,
  1. Median Sold Prices Softened for Singles and Condos, Multis barely rose:
    Single Families -1.6%; Condos -6.0%; Multi-Families +0.7%

  2. Unit Sales Down for Singles and Condos but rose for Multis : 
    Single Families -2.1%, Condos -13.3%, Multi-Families +15.6%

  3. Active Listings (Inventory) Plunged:
    Single Families -35.2%, Condos -32.2%, Multi-Families -41.4%

 
Year Over Year, Dec 2021 vs Dec 2020, Prices Up, Inventory Plunged
  1. Median Sales Price Up: 
    Single Families +11.0%; Condos +12.9%; Multi-Families +15.8%

  2. Unit Sales Fell for Singles and Condos:
    Single Families -13.0% , Condos -13.9%, Multi-Families +1.8%.

  3. Active Listings (Inventory) Continued to Plunge:

    Single Families -34.0%; Condos -40.8%; Multi-Families -47.4%

 

 




 

Essex County Annual Housing Report: 2021 VS 2020

 Annual Housing Report Essex County - 2021 vs 2020

Prices Up +13.5% Single Family, +10.3% Condos, +15.7% Multi-Family

Active Listings Down -36% Single Family, -26.9% Condos, -5.1% Multi-Family

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:  http://www.sullivanteam.com/Properties/Reports/Public/Charts.php

To Download the full housing report go to:  http://sullivanteam.com/pages/EssexCountyHousingReports

 

There Won’t Be a Wave of Foreclosures in the Housing Market

There Won’t Be a Wave of Foreclosures in the Housing Market

When mortgage forbearance plans were first announced and the pandemic surged through the country in early 2020, many homeowners were allowed to pause their mortgage payments. Some analysts were concerned that once the forbearance program ended, the housing market would experience a wave of foreclosures like what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago.

Here’s a look at why that isn’t the case.

1. There Are Fewer Homeowners in Trouble This Time

After the last housing crash, over nine million households lost their homes to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they gave it back to the bank. Many believed millions of homeowners would face the same fate again this time.

However, today’s data shows that most homeowners exited their forbearance plan either fully caught up on payments or with a plan from the bank that restructured their loan in a way that allowed them to start making payments again. The latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) studies how people exited the forbearance program from June 2020 to November 2021.

Here are those findings:

38.6% left the program paid in full
  • 19.9% made their monthly payments during the forbearance period
  • 11.8% made up all past-due payments
  • 6.9% paid off the loan in full
44% negotiated work-out repayment plans
  • 29.1% received a loan deferral
  • 14.1% received a loan modification
  • 0.8% arranged a different repayment plan
0.6% sold as a short sale or did a deed-in-lieu

 

16.8% left the program still in trouble and without a loss mitigation plan in place

 

2. Those Left in the Program Can Still Negotiate a Repayment Plan 

As of last Friday, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at 890,000. Those who remain in forbearance still have the chance to work out a suitable plan with the servicing company that represents their lender. And the servicing companies are under pressure to do just that by both federal and state agencies.

Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President at RealtyTrac, says in a recent tweet:

“The [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] and state [Attorneys General] look like they’re adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to mortgage servicing enforcement. Likely that this will limit #foreclosure activity for a good part of 2022, while servicers explore all possible loss [mitigation] options.”

For more information, read the warning issued by the Attorney General of New York State.

3. Most Homeowners Have More Than Enough Equity To Sell Their Homes

For those who can’t negotiate a solution and the 16.8% who left the forbearance program without a work-out, many will have enough equity to sell their homes and leave the closing with cash instead of facing foreclosures.

Due to rapidly rising home prices over the last two years, the average homeowner has gained record amounts of equity in their home. As Frank Martell, President & CEO of CoreLogic, explains:

“Not only have equity gains helped homeowners more seamlessly transition out of forbearance and avoid a distressed sale, but they’ve also enabled many to continue building their wealth.”

4. There Have Been Far Fewer Foreclosures Over the Last Two Years

One of the seldom-reported benefits of the forbearance program was that it allowed households experiencing financial difficulties prior to the pandemic to enter the program. It gave those homeowners an extra two years to get their finances in order and work out a plan with their lender. That prevented over 400,000 foreclosures that normally would have come to the market had the new forbearance program not been available. Otherwise, the real estate market would have had to absorb those foreclosures. Here’s a graph depicting this data:

There Won’t Be a Wave of Foreclosures in the Housing Market | MyKCM

5. The Current Market Can Easily Absorb Over a Million New Listings 

When foreclosures hit the market in 2008, they added to the oversupply of houses that were already for sale. That resulted in over a nine-month supply of listings, and anything over a six-month supply can cause prices to depreciate.

It’s exactly the opposite today. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reveals:

“Total housing inventory at the end of November amounted to 1.11 million units, down 9.8% from October and down 13.3% from one year ago (1.28 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.1-month supply at the current sales pace, a decline from both the prior month and from one year ago.”

A balanced market would have approximately a six-month supply of inventory. At 2.1 months, the market is severely understocked. Even if one million homes enter the market, there still won’t be enough inventory to meet the current demand.

Bottom Line

The end of the forbearance plan will not cause any upheaval in the housing market. Sharga puts it best:

“The fact that foreclosure starts declined despite hundreds of thousands of borrowers exiting the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program over the last few months is very encouraging. It suggests that the ‘forbearance equals foreclosure’ narrative was incorrect. . . .”

Essex County Housing Report December 2021

Year over Year, Nov 21 vs Nov 20,  Prices Rose 13%+ and Housing Inventory Plunged Over 36%. 

Month over Month, Nov 21 vs Oct 21, Condos were hot, Housing Inventory fell over 26%

30 Year Mortgage Rates are 3.2%. 

Month Over Month, Nov 21 vs Oct 21, 

  • Median Sold Prices Softened for Singles and Multis, Condos Hot.
    Single Families +1.7%;  Condos +10.7%;  Multi-Families -0.6%
  • Unit Sales Down for Singles and Multis and surged for Condos :
    Single Families -7.5%, Condos +32%, Multi-Families -5.9%.
  • Active Listings (Inventory) Still Falling, Housing Down Over 26%
    Single Families -26.9%, Condos -26%, Multi-Families  -24.5% 

Year Over Year, Nov 2021 vs Nov 2020, Prices Up, Inventory Down

  • Median Sales Price Up 13%: 
    Single Families +13.4%; Condos +13.7%;  Multi-Families +13.1% 
  • Unit Sales Surge for Multi-Families
    Single Families -16.2% , Condos +5.9%, Multi-Families +31.9%.
  • Active Listings (Inventory) Continue to Plunge:
    Single Families -36.4%; Condos -38.6%; Multi-Families -29.8% 

 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:  http://www.sullivanteam.com/Properties/Reports/Public/Charts.php

To Download the full housing report go to:  http://sullivanteam.com/pages/EssexCountyHousingReports

 

20 Unique Home Gifts for Every Person on Your List

To download report click https://sullivanteam.com/pages/Tips 

 

20 Unique Home Gifts for Every Person on Your List

Every year, it seems the holidays sneak up on us—and every year, that brings with it the dreaded last-minute gift panic. Finding a present that hits all the right notes can be surprisingly stressful, even when it comes to people you’ve known for years. 

But have no fear! We’ve lined up a list of unique gifts for every “type” on your list. And since we work in real estate, they’re all centered around home life. From the coffee snob to the sports enthusiast, these presents are the perfect way to bring beauty, function or a touch of whimsy to your loved one’s home this holiday season.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALWAYS IN THE KITCHEN

We all know someone whose kitchen is their happy place—but once all the basics are covered, it can be hard to find the perfect present. These gifts will be a treat for the chef, baker, or food lover on your list, no matter how well equipped they are. 

1. The Coffee Snob

Glass Pour-Over Coffeemaker - $36

Have a java lover on your list who just can’t get their brew right at home? This high-end pour-over system makes a smooth brew that can even be refrigerated and reheated so your recipient can enjoy a perfect cup at any time. 

2. The Foodie

Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit - $30

Help your favorite gourmand create restaurant-quality meals with this kit that allows them to grow delicious mushrooms right in their cupboard. All they’ll need to do is soak the wood and put it in a cool place, then wait a few weeks, and voila—mushrooms! Best of all, they can keep growing mushrooms on the same log for years.

3. The Baker

Vintage Etched Cake Stand - $60

If you’re lucky enough to have a fabulous home baker on your list, give a gift that reflects the joy their treats bring to others. This lovely glass cake stand is the platform that a beautifully decorated dessert deserves. 

4. The Tea Aficionado 

Flowering Tea Set - $25

Your favorite tea lover may have tried all of the herbal blends out there, but we bet they haven’t seen tea like this. This set contains two “blossoms” of tea leaves hand-sewn around flowers that bloom when you place them in the included glass teapot and add hot water.

FOR THOSE WHO WOULD RATHER BE IN THE BACKYARD

For many of us, time outdoors is the ultimate source of rejuvenation. The nature-lover on your list is sure to appreciate these presents that help them maximize that joy in their daily lives. 

5. The Gardener

Striped Garden Tote Bag - $37

Dedicated gardeners all need a great bag to carry their gear. This tote is attractive and sturdy and will help them keep their home’s exterior beautiful and welcoming. 

6. The Flower Lover

Monthly Flower Subscription - starting at $40/month

If your loved one prefers to enjoy their flora without all the work, a delivery of farm-fresh flowers is sure to surprise and delight. And you can keep the joy blossoming year-round with a monthly or bi-monthly subscription.

7. The Environmentalist

Collapsible Metal Straw - $20

Know someone who is trying to bring less plastic into their home? This reusable metal straw means they’ll never have to buy a box of plastic straws again. And since it collapses into a tiny carrying case, they can use it at home or on the go. 

8. The Outdoor Adventurer

Solar Phone Charger - $29

Have a camper or adventurer on your list? This solar-powered phone charger, which comes with a built-in flashlight and compass, is a must-have. It will also make a great addition to their home emergency kit.

FOR THOSE WITH THEIR NOSE TO GRINDSTONE

Like it or not, most of us spend a good chunk of our lives working—whether at a job or on projects and chores around the house. These gifts are designed to make that work a bit easier and more enjoyable. 

9. The Remote Worker

Home Office Lap Desk - $35

Working at home can be great—in part because you can work from anywhere in the house. The remote worker on your list will appreciate this lap desk with a built-in mouse pad and phone slot, which will allow them to work comfortably from the couch or the bed without overheating their computer.

10. The Back-to-The-Office Worker

Bento Lunch Box - $27

If your loved one is heading back to the office, it doesn’t mean they have to give up the healthy habit of a home-cooked meal. Send them to work with this stylish lunch box packed full of nutritious food.

11. The Do-It-Yourselfer

65ft Laser Distance Measure - $50

The handy person on your list can say goodbye to unwieldy tape measures with this nifty device. It’s perfect for DIY projects up to 65 feet.

12. The Clean Freak

Portable Sanitizing Travel Wand - $60

In the COVID-19 era, we’ve all become a little germaphobic. This UV wand kills viruses and bacteria in seconds without any wiping or washing required. It’s perfect for disinfecting shoes, computer keyboards, and more!

FOR THOSE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR HOBBIES

Of course, there’s a lot more to life than work. If you’re gifting a friend or family member who really lights up when they talk about their hobbies, we’ve got you covered. 

13. The Sports Enthusiast

Hockey Stick BBQ Set - $45

Looking for a gift for the sports enthusiast in your life that isn’t another jersey? These BBQ tools made from repurposed hockey sticks are a great pick. Perfect for cooking up food to watch with the game!

14. The Bookworm

The Book Lover’s Journal - $13

Know someone who loves to curl up on the couch with a good book? This journal will help the book-lover on your list keep track of what they’ve read, as well as their ever-growing “to-read” list. 

15. The Runner

Marathon Map Hydration Bottles - $36

Help the runner you love to stay hydrated (and motivated) with a water bottle inscribed with their favorite race route. It’s perfect for runs around the neighborhood or just toting around the house.

16. The Tourist

Travel Backpack - $100 

Make it easy for the travel lover on your list to bring back souvenirs. This lightweight backpack folds flat so it’s easy to pack but sturdy enough to carry their new treasures all the way home. 

FOR THOSE WHO PUT FAMILY FIRST

For many of us, the greatest joy in life comes from our relationship with our family. Help your recipient strengthen and celebrate those all-important connections with these thoughtful gifts. 

17. The New Parent

4-in-1 Baby Food Maker - $155

It’s hard to know what to buy for new parents once their registry is cleared out, but if they’re interested in making baby food at home, this tool is a must-have. It makes the process, from steaming to mixing, fast and easy.

18. The Genealogy Fan

DNA Kit - $99

Know someone interested in reconnecting with their ancestral home? This DNA kit can help them trace their geographical heritage and uncover their family history.

19. The Pet Person

Custom Printed Socks - $25

Is your friend’s pet their favorite family member? These adorable socks are sure to put a smile on their face as they cozy up on the couch with their fur baby. And since you can feature up to four pets on each pair of socks, no one needs to feel left out.

20. The Documentarian

Mini Link Printer - $100

We all have that relative who snaps a million photos at every family event. Help them capture each precious moment with this unique gadget that essentially transforms a smartphone into a Polaroid camera. It makes it easy to customize and print out snapshots to display around the house or insert into a scrapbook for posterity.

READY TO GIVE YOURSELF THE ULTIMATE GIFT?

We want to be your real estate consultants through every season of life. So please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to ask for recommendations or referrals any time of year. And when you’re ready to give yourself the gift of a new home, contact us to talk about your options. From finding the right neighborhood to identifying the amenities that will make the biggest difference to your quality of life, we’re always eager to help.

 

Essex County Housing Report November 2021

Essex County November Housing Report 11/12/2021

Year over Year Prices Rose as Inventory Continued to Plunge:
Single Family, Condo and Multi-Family median sold price rose 11% SF, +8.7% CC and +21.1%.

Mortgage Rates rose to 3.23%.

Month Over Month Median Sold Prices Soft: Oct 2021 vs Sep 2021

  • Single Families -0%; Condos -5.1%; Multi-Families +8.2%

  • Unit Sales Down: 

    Single Families -2.2%, Condos -16.2%, Multi-Families -4.7%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Still Falling:

    Single Families -11.4%, Condos -8.4%, Multi-Families -18.9%

    Year Over Year, Oct 2021 vs Oct 2020, Prices Up, Inventory Down

  • Median Sales Price Up: 
    Single Families +11.0%; Condos +8.7%; Multi-Families +21.1%

  • Unit Sales Down for Singles and Condos but Surge for Multi-Families
 Single Families -11.4% , Condos -28.1%, Multi-Families +24.7%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Continue to Plunge:
    Single Families -32.1%; Condos -31.9%; Multi-Families -14.6%

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:  http://www.sullivanteam.com/Properties/Reports/Public/Charts.php

To Download the full housing report go to:  http://sullivanteam.com/pages/EssexCountyHousingReports

 

 

 

Essex County Housing Report October 2021

Essex County October Housing Report 10/11/2021 Covid 19 Recovery

Year over Year Price Increases Soften:
Single Family, Condo and Multi-Family median sold price increases were only +6.2% SF, +1.0% CC and -1.1% MF in spite of falling inventory.

Mortgage Rates rose from 2.94% in August to 3.2% now.

Month Over Month Median Sales Prices Fall: Sep 2021 vs Aug 2021

  • Median Sales Prices Down:
    Single Families -2.9%; Condos -1.5%; Multi-Families -4.7%

  • Unit Sales Down for Singles and Condos: 
    Single Families -11.8%, Condos -5.2%, Multi-Families +16.7%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Down:
    Single Families -9.5%, Condos -2.9%, Multi-Families -18.9%

Year Over Year, Sep 2021 vs Sep 2020, price increases slow
  • Median Sales Price Changes: 
    Single Families +6.2%; Condos +1.0%; Multi-Families -1.1%

  • Unit Sales Surge for Multi-Families
    Single Families -11.8% , Condos -19.4%, Multi-Families +31.3%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Continues to Plunge For Singles, Condos:
 Single Families -29.1%; Condos -29.9%; Multi-Families -3.1%

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:  http://www.sullivanteam.com/Properties/Reports/Public/Charts.php

To Download the full housing report go to:  http://sullivanteam.com/pages/EssexCountyHousingReports

 

9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

 

 

9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

Selling your home when you still need to shop for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the demand for new homes keeps rising, but the supply feels like it's dwindling.¹ You're not alone either if you're already feeling drained by the complex logistics of trying to sell and buy a new home all at once.  

Searching for a new home can be exciting, but many homebuyers admit that it can also be stressful, especially if you live in an unpredictable market with plenty of competitors. Unfortunately, waiting out a competitive housing market isn’t always the best idea either since listings are expected to remain limited in the most coveted neighborhoods for some time.²

That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether. In fact, as a current homeowner, you could be in a better position than most to capitalize on a seller’s market and make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one. 

We can help you prepare for the road ahead and answer any questions you have about the real estate market. For example, here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.

“WHAT WILL I DO IF I SELL MY HOUSE BEFORE I CAN BUY A NEW ONE?”

This is an understandable concern for many sellers since the competitive real estate market makes it tough to plan ahead and predict when you'll be able to move into your next home. But chances are, you will still have plenty of options if you do sell your home quickly. It may just take some creativity and compromise.

Here are some ideas to make sure you're in the best possible position when you decide to list your home:

Tip #1: Flex your muscles as a seller. 

In a competitive market, buyers may be willing to make significant concessions in order to get the home they want. In some cases, a buyer may agree to a rent-back clause that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and negotiated fee. 

This can be a great option for sellers who need to tap into their home equity for a downpayment or who aren’t logistically ready to move into their next home. However, many lenders limit the duration of a rent-back to 60 days, and there are liability issues to consider before entering into an agreement. A contract and security deposit should be in place in case of any property damage or unexpected repairs that may be needed during the rent-back period.³ 

Tip #2: Open your mind to short-term housing options. 

While it can be a hassle to move out of your old home before you’re ready to move into your new one, it’s a common scenario. If you’re lucky enough to have family or generous friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, you’ll need to find temporary housing. Check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage. 

You may even find that a short-term rental arrangement can offer you an opportunity to get to know your new neighborhood better—and lead to a more informed decision about your upcoming purchase.

Tip #3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

Instead of stressing about timing your home sale and purchase perfectly, consider making a plan to focus on one at a time. Selling before you’re ready to buy your next home can offer a lot of advantages. 

For one, you’ll have cash on hand from the sale of your current home. This will put you in a much better position when it comes to buying your next home. From budgeting to mortgage approval to submitting a competitive offer, cash is king. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty.

“WHAT IF I GET STUCK WITH TWO MORTGAGES AT THE SAME TIME?”

This is one of the most common concerns that we hear from buyers who are selling a home while shopping for a new one, and it’s realistic to expect at least some overlap in mortgages. To make sure you don't get into a situation where you are carrying dual mortgages for longer than you can afford, examine your budget and calculate the maximum number of months you can afford to pay both.⁴

If you simply can’t afford to carry both mortgages at once, then selling before you buy may be your best option. (See Tip #3 above.) But if you have some flexibility in your budget, it is possible to manage both a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps you can take to help streamline the process:

Tip #4: As you get ready to sell, simplify. 

You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the home renovations and tasks that matter most for selling your home quickly. For example, clean and declutter all of your common areas, refresh your outdoor paint and curb appeal, and fix any outstanding maintenance issues as quickly as possible. 

But don't drain unnecessary time and money into pricey renovations and major home projects that could quickly bog you down for an unpredictable amount of time. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.

Tip #5: Prep your paperwork. 

You'll also save valuable time by filing as much paperwork as possible early in the process. For example, if you know you'll need a mortgage to buy your next home, get pre-approved right away so that you can shorten the amount of time it takes to process your loan. 

Similarly, set your home sale up for a fast and smooth transition by pulling together any relevant documentation about your current home, including appliance warranties, renovation permits, and repair records. That way, you're ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.

Tip #6: Ask us about other contingencies that can be included in your contracts. 

Part of our job as agents is to negotiate on your behalf and help you win favorable terms. For example, it’s possible to add a contingency to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. 

This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of these types of tactics and what’s realistic given the current market dynamics.

“WHAT IF I MESS UP MY TIMING OR BURN OUT FROM ALL THE STRESS?” 

When you're in the pressure cooker of a home sale or have been shopping for a home for a while in a competitive market, it's easy to get carried away by stress and emotions. To make sure you're in the right headspace for your homebuying and selling journey, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:

Tip #7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable

Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A or even your Plan B or Plan C. Perfecting every detail with your home decor or timing your home sale perfectly isn't necessary for a successful home sale and compromise will almost always be necessary. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.

Tip #8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention

Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbor’s, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail. 

It's possible, for example, that seasonality trends may affect sales in your neighborhood. So a delayed sale in the summer or fall could affect your journey––but not necessarily. According to the National Association of Realtors, the housing market tends to be more competitive during the summer and less competitive during the winter.⁵ But it's not a hard and fast rule, and every real estate transaction is different. That's why it's important to talk to a local agent about your specific situation.

Tip #9: Enlist help early.

Which leads us to our final tip: If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do ahead of time to prepare your current home for sale, we'll also help you narrow down your list of must-haves and wants for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when it’s time to list your house or make an offer on a new one.

It's our job to guide you and advocate on your behalf. So don't be afraid to lean on us throughout the process. We’re here to ease your burden and make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible.

BOTTOMLINE: COLLABORATE WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL TO GET TAILORED ADVICE THAT WORKS FOR YOU

Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. The key is to educate yourself about the market and prepare yourself for multiple scenarios. One of the best and easiest ways to do so is to partner with a knowledgeable and trustworthy agent. 

A good agent will not only help you evaluate your situation, we will also provide you with honest and individually tailored advice that addresses your unique needs and challenges. Depending on your circumstances, now may be a great time to sell your home and buy a new one. But a thorough assessment may instead show you that you're better off pausing your search for a while longer. 

Contact us for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward.

Sources: 

  1. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, FEDS Notes - https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/housing-market-tightness-during-covid-19-increased-demand-or-reduced-supply-20210708.htm
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED Economic Data - https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MSPUS
  3. Realtor.com - https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/what-is-a-rent-back-agreement/
  4. Bankrate.com - https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/sell-your-house-while-buying-another/
  5. National Association of REALTORS - https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/seasonality-in-the-housing-market

 

Essex County Housing Report September 2021

Essex County September Housing Report 9/11/2021

Single Family, Condo and Multi-Family median sold prices up strongly from last year, +7.7%, +15.4% and +16.4% respectively, reflecting the continuing inventory shortage and record low mortgage rates. 

Month Over Month, Aug 2021 vs July 2021

  • Median Sales Prices:
    Single Families 0.7%;  Condos 6.7%;  Multi-Families -4.1%

  • Unit Sales:
    Single Families 4.2%, Condos -1.1%, Multi-Families -4.3%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Down:
    Single Families -2.7%, Condos -7.4%, Multi-Families  -7.3% 

Year Over Year, Aug 2021 vs Aug 2020, prices up sharply as inventory plummets

  • Median Sales Prices Up Sharply: 
    Single Families +7.7%; Condos +15.4%;  Multi-Families +16.4% 

  • Unit Sales Surge for Multi-Families
    Single Families -4.4% , Condos -14.0%, Multi-Families +40.6%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Continues to Plunge For Singles, Condos:
    Single Families -32.6%; Condos -32.1%; Multi-Families 14.5% 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:  http://www.sullivanteam.com/Properties/Reports/Public/Charts.php

To Download the full housing report go to:  http://sullivanteam.com/pages/EssexCountyHousingReports