State of the Current Market
Evaluating the Current State of the Market
Our team has received much outreach from our clients asking what the current market is doing. This year has offered some unexpected turns, and many of our clients who had planned to move are approaching those decisions with added caution, as they should be. Consider that a home is usually a person's largest asset. The Withrow Group is monitoring and publishing the market trends on a weekly basis for accurate market interpretation. This focused research helps us spot local trends that could affect our clients’ investments as soon as possible. Knowing what is happening in shorter time increments can help us evaluate your home and decide if now really is the right time for you to list. For our sellers already on the market, it helps us know when to suggest price adjustments to optimize offers. The last thing we want to do is allow listings to be stagnant with inactivity which happens when homes aren’t priced correctly to market. Evaluating the market honestly and taking decisive action will help you capitalize on your homes value in this continued high-demand market.
So what do the current numbers tell us? For those living in Louisville and the surrounding areas, here is the summary of what we are seeing when comparing the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2019.
In January of 2020, the average sales price of homes in our area was up 1.59% from January of 2019, driven by inventory being down by nearly 10%. Home closings during this month also increased by 7% from January 2019 even though homes were only closing at 96.8% of their list price, the lowest rate we’ve seen in the past 12 months. The Withrow Group sold our listings at 99% of their list price throughout 2019. New listings coming onto the market in January of 2020 were down from 2019 by 3.7%.
February of 2020 saw the average sales price go up even more from February of 2019 by 2.48% with no real change as compared to the January 2020 market. Contrary to January, the home closings this month increased by 2.8% compared to February of last year and sold on average slightly closer to list price. Our market kicked off a little earlier than normal this year with 7.5% more new listings coming available in February of 2020 compared to February of 2019. In addition to our sellers listing sooner this year, our buyers were also ready to buy sooner. In February of 2020 nearly 14% more homes sold compared to 2019, wow!
Coronavirus restrictions caused many to pause in March. March new listing inventory was down by over 10% compared to 2019. Contracting inventory pushed the average sales price in March of 2020 up by 7.89%. This is proof that our local real estate market remains strong. Home closings in this time took a small dip of 0.6%, but this is not concerning to us. Again, the sold to list price ratio continued to climb in March to 97.8%.
Prior to Coronavirus, the inventory in our market was already a little low but we had been shifting out of that high-pressure sellers market we saw in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Due to the uncertainty associated with this virus, many sellers are choosing to hold off. This new hesitancy is causing the needle to move back toward a seller’s market again because inventory is not replenishing as quickly as it’s going off the market. To say it more plainly, more homes are selling each week than are listing.
If you have hesitated in your plans to sell, you may be asking yourself if buyers are equally as cautious to make a home purchase right now. As referenced in our February recap, home sales were up by nearly 14% compared to where they were last year. That is a huge jump. If the inventory was available to meet the needs of our buyers, we would see our market normalizing. Sellers, take note. The buyer demand is here. If you are wanting to list your home this year, spend some time considering if now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. The answer might depend on your price point or area of town.
Take Added Precautions
Real estate is considered an essential business and there are various added precautions we can put in place to still help you achieve your goals safely while maximizing your home value in this market. Virtual tours are not a new concept to real estate. They have been in use throughout our market for about 4 years now. We expect to see them now being used at a much higher level. We vet potential buyers beforehand and have an option to allow only buyers who have been pre-approved at that price point to view the home. Contactless showings are also a possibility. By opening the door for buyer clients prior to their showings, clients can request that potential buyers and their agents use a look but don’t touch approach when showing the home. Virtual showings over Zoom or facetime can be a first step to cut down on the number of people who come through your home. The clients can use this opportunity to rule out the need for an in-person showing if the home is not the right fit for them. We can utilize a deep clean prior to listing, sanitize the home before and after showings, and implement other safety measures like the use of gloves, masks, and booties to cut down on contact in the home.
Why Choose The Withrow Group?
Our tailored and aggressive marketing strategies continue to bring our sellers success over and over. As stated above, our team sold our listings at 99% of their list price throughout 2019. The average Realtor in our area sold their listings at 97.7% in 2019. This difference can mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
How do I know if now is a good time to buy or sell?
External forces which impact the housing market are nothing new to our industry. It is difficult to time the market. Our commitment to our clients is that we present accurate data to render an informed decision. While we don’t make the market, we are experts in interpreting it. The decision to buy or sell amidst this virus will vary greatly depending upon individual circumstances. We are here when the time is right for you.