Market Update March 2023

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝘃𝘀. 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆

The media continues to push the narrative that interest rates are killing the spring home buying season. Yet the facts do not support this theory in the greater Phoenix area.  While interest rates may be keeping some buyers out of the market – the impact seems to be the greatest on sellers.  When sellers cannot comparably replace their current interest rates if they buy – they stay put.  So although listings are far more abundant than last year, they are still roughly 40% below the normal range of 20,000-24,000.  Here are some interesting facts reported by Tina Tamboer of the Cromford Report:

New listings added to the Arizona Regional MLS are the lowest ever recorded going back at least 23 years. This may be shocking to some as there has been a 200% increase in supply year-over-year, but last year at this time supply was merely 4,820 active listings.

At 9,001, contracts are at their 4th lowest count since 2005, the lowest counts were in 2006-2008 and normal range is 11,000-13,000.

Low-level demand combined with even lower-level supply equals a seller’s market for Greater Phoenix. Not a crazy one like the last 2 years, but since coming out of a buyer’s market last December sale price measures have stopped dropping and have risen a modest 3.5% so far.

To summarize – we are in a gentle sellers’ market.  Demand is below normal (as indicated by the contract rate) but supply is even more constrained.  At the moment, only 5 cities are in a buyer’s market: Queen Creek, Maricopa, Buckeye, Casa Grande, and Sun City West. This is to be expected as the outer areas of the valley tend to be the first to tip to a buyer’s market and the last to recover. Supply is a slow moving number and does not appear to be on the rise.  Recent changes in FHA loans (increased loan limits of  $530,150 combined with reduced expenses) and sellers’ current willingness to help buy down buyer’s interest rates may encourage first time homebuyers to buy.  If demand takes off as it is threatening to do, we may once again find ourselves in the midst of a strengthening seller’s market in defiance of the headlines.

Russell & Wendy

(Mostly Wendy)

Market Update February 2023

Seller’s Market – but for how long?

The current market has shifted to the seller’s favor once again.  But this is not your mama’s market (i.e. the 2022 unbeatable spring market). Last spring we were in an overheated seller’s market – fueled by demand, low supply and low interest rates – it looked unstoppable.  Yet with interest rates more than doubling, by fourth quarter both supply and demand were in a deep freeze. We ended 2022 in a buyer’s market.  

Fast forward to February 2023 – and the market is now a gentle seller’s market.  What?!  In what was literally the shortest buyer market ever, we have shifted once again.  Supply has remained stubbornly low.  Interest rates have drifted down a bit – and buyers have had time to acclimate to interest rate sticker shock.  Hence, demand has risen.  

To summarize the recent rise of listings under contract compared to last year, no one is better than Michael Orr of the Cromford Report: “We remain 27% below the count on February 13, 2022, so we are really back to normal rather than the wild and crazy market we had 12 months ago.”

It’s not a time for buyers or sellers to take market conditions for granted. If the last year proved anything it is that markets can change quickly.  For an analysis in your particular area, contact us.  This is a market to watch closely.

Russell & Wendy Shaw

(Mostly Wendy)

The Market Changes Yet Again

“The report of my death was an exaggeration” 

 — Mark Twain

2022 ended in a whimper. After a promising spring buying season, the market sagged under the weight of affordability issues – largely courtesy of rapidly rising interest rates.  The seemingly unstoppable sellers’ market that began the year, in fact stopped.  By November and December of 2022, the valley’s market landed squarely in the buyer’s camp.  That buyer’s market lasted approximately 4 weeks (qualifying for the shortest buyer’s market on record in the valley).  But that is so 2022.  Where are we in 2023?

Most buyers and sellers would be surprised to hear that the greater Phoenix real estate market is primarily a balanced market – and is now tipping in favor of sellers.  But it’s true.  Why doesn’t it feel that way? We think it feels unbalanced primarily for 4 reasons:

1. Appreciation has been strong since 2015 making the relatively minor 2022 price correction feel awful to sellers by comparison.

2. The number of transactions (market shrink) are much lower than normal as buyers and sellers headed to the sidelines.  Sellers feared equity loss, buyer’s feared rising housing expense due to increasing interest rates.

3. Human emotion – it’s not what’s true but what feels true. Skepticism is the current market emotion.  Therefore, improvement is viewed with suspicion.

4. Not all valley cities are having the same experience.  Of the largest 17 cities, the Cromford Report shows 4 currently in a buyer’s market (Goodyear, Queen Creek, Maricopa, Buckeye), 3 balanced (Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise) and 10 in a seller’s market (Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Cave Creek, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Avondale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert)

𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘀:  Now is a good time to sell if you have owned your home for 2 years or more.  The Cromford report gives these appreciation numbers for sellers : “ The long-term appreciation rates for homes in Greater Phoenix are as follows using January sales to date:  25% for 2yrs., 50% for 3yrs., 63% for 4yrs., 70% for 5yrs., and 86%+ for 6yrs or more.”  Balanced markets mean little to no downward pressure on pricing.  However, demand is much quicker to shift than supply is.  If interest rates rise, we could see a demand drop once again putting downward pressure on pricing.

𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝘂𝘆𝗲𝗿𝘀:  The buyer’s market lasted for a short 4 weeks – November/December of 2022.  Interest rates have now settled back to below historic averages.  In a balanced market, competition amongst buyers is minimal (i.e. no spiraling bidding wars).  Prices declined around 13% in 2022 – providing buyers a better value.  Don’t be caught waiting for further price drops when the market numbers don’t support that happening. As we mentioned above, balanced markets mean little to no downward pressure on pricing.   Also, interest rates are still subject to change.  They go up fast, and down slowly. Take advantage of the relative (and perhaps temporary) interest rate stability.  Be skeptical of interest rate forecasts.  To quote Michael Orr “No-one has ever been very good at forecasting mortgage interest rates more than a couple of weeks in advance. This includes the Mortgage Bankers Association and it especially includes Goldman Sachs whose track-record on interest rate forecasts is extremely poor. This is not saying much because there is no-one who gets them right more than by random chance.

Any time spent listening to people making interest rate forecasts is time you could have spent more productively.”

None of us can predict the future.  But at the moment – this market is a green light for both sides.

Russell & Wendy Shaw

(Mostly Wendy)

Market Snapshot January 2023

Why a Balanced Market feels so Unbalanced

Most buyers and sellers would be surprised to hear that the greater Phoenix real estate market is “a balanced market” at the moment.  But it’s true.  Why doesn’t it feel that way?  We think it feels unbalanced primarily for 3 reasons:

1.   Appreciation has been strong since 2015 making the 2022 price correction feel awful to sellers by comparison.

2.   The number of transactions (market shrink) are much lower than normal as  buyers and sellers headed to the sidelines.  Sellers feared equity loss, buyer’s feared increasing rates.

3.   Human emotion – it’s not what’s true but what feels true. Skepticism is the   current market emotion.

Message to sellers:  Now is a good time to sell if you have owned your home for 2 years or more.  The Cromford report gives these appreciation numbers for those sellers : “ The long-term appreciation rates for homes in Greater Phoenix are as follows using January sales to date:  25% for 2yrs., 50% for 3yrs., 63% for 4yrs., 70% for 5yrs., and 86%+ for 6yrs or more.”  Balanced markets mean little to no downward pressure on pricing.  If interest rates rise, we could see a shift back to the buyer’s market that puts pressure on pricing again.

Message to buyers:  The buyer’s market lasted for 4 weeks – November/December of 2022.  Interest rates have now settled back to below historic numbers.  In a balanced market, competition amongst buyers is minimal (i.e. no bidding wars).  Prices declined around 15% in 2022 – providing buyers a better value.  Don’t be caught waiting for further price drops when the market numbers don’t support that happening. As we mentioned above, balanced markets mean little to no downward pressure on pricing.   Also, interest rates are still subject to change.  They go up fast, and down slowly. Take advantage of the relative (and perhaps temporary) interest rate stability.

None of us can predict the future.  But at the moment – this market is a green light for both sides.

Russell & Wendy Shaw

(Mostly Wendy)

Market Snapshot December 2022

Silent Night

The real estate market is eerily quiet as 2022 comes to a close.  After years of record setting numbers, which culminated in the 1st quarter of 2022, the shift came swiftly and sharply in the 2nd quarter.  Demand dropped precipitously after interest rates spiked – reaching its lowest level since April of 2008.  Smart sellers responded quickly to the plummeting demand by lowering prices and increasing seller concessions to pay for the buyer’s interest rate buy-downs.  While the news publicized the large decrease in demand, the equally weakening supply garnered far less attention.  Now supply and demand are locked in a seeming battle of the weakest.  All of this has resulted in sales dropping a “massive 45% from a year ago” to quote Michael Orr.  He continues, “After so many years with strong demand this feels very unusual and a little unnerving. This lack of demand is far worse for re-sale homes than it is for brand new homes, which are experiencing relatively brisk closings and little downward pressure in gross contract prices.”

What will the 2023 market look like?  As both buyers and sellers avoid uncertain markets where possible – neither can stay sidelined forever.  Demand is more elastic than supply and heavily relies on affordability (i.e. interest rates, pricing, income).  A meaningful drop in interest rates could stimulate demand.  Sufficient demand will likely bring sellers out of hiding.   In short, the spring buying season will tell the tale.  When it does, we will be the first to report it to you.

In the meantime, we wish to thank all of our loyal and cherished friends and clients for your support.  We wish you all a very happy holiday season and New Year.

Russell & Wendy Shaw

(Mostly Wendy)

Real Estate Reality

By now most are aware that the greater Phoenix market began the year as a seller’s market, then balanced market, and now has slipped to a buyer’s market.  As we often repeat,  real estate markets are local (meaning national statistics are not reflective of what is happening locally) and truth be told, real estate markets are actually hyper-local.  That means different areas and price points may not act in unison even in the same locality.  The Cromford Report shares:

“Buckeye, Maricopa and Queen Creek entered a buyers’ market in July. Surprise, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe followed in August. Goodyear, Peoria and Avondale joined in September with Mesa and Goodyear falling in line by October. Phoenix is expected to succumb this month within a matter of days. The only holdouts remain in the Northeast Valley cities of Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Cave Creek and Scottsdale”.  Why is the Northeast holding on at the moment?  Because they are the luxury areas of the valley – and luxury is not greatly impacted by rising interest rates.

The Report further explains:  “The 2022 peak of price was achieved in May, which was the result of contracts accepted in late March and April. Starting in June, sales prices revealed their decline in response to mortgage rate increases. At the end of October, the decline in average sales price per square foot since May was recorded at -9.1%…The largest declines happened between June and July at -4.5% and between August and September at –3.6%.”

Where does that leave us?  We have a shrunken marketplace with less sellers and less buyers choosing to enter the marketplace.  Sellers cannot replace the low interest rates on their homes if they change houses, and buyers are sidelined either because they cannot afford the interest rate hikes or hope to buy at bottom of the market.  This shrinkage has resulted in a softer landing for the housing market.

Wise words for sellers:  if you are selling and you have owned your home for at least 2 years you have made money.  Cromford reports “Appreciation rates based on sales price per square foot through the MLS are:  2 years: +33.6%, 3 years: +59.9%, 4 years: +68.1%, 5 years: +84.8%.” Wise words for buyers: timing a market is hard.  We typically cannot tell when bottom has been reached until 3- 4 months after the fact. When rates drop, we expect the market to respond quickly. Sidelined markets never remain so forever.

Russell and Wendy Shaw

(Mostly Wendy)

Market Facts vs Fiction

Much has been written about the greater Phoenix housing market and even more about the national housing market. The first thing to remember is housing is local.  Following  the national trends while interesting (misery loves company), is anecdotal. Shocking headlines and clickbait may increase readership, but is of little help to those trying to make financial decisions.  While the future is unknown, the present is knowable.   Let’s examine some commonly held ideas and see which hold up as fact, or fall apart as fiction.


Interest rates have weakened demand

Fact. The year began with mortgage rates in the 3% range, but by the end of October they surpassed 7% for the first time since 2002.  That is a huge difference in buying power.  Michael Orr of the Cromford Report further explains:

“In most years, mortgage interest rates do not have a large impact on the housing market. Other factors have a greater influence that usually overwhelms the effect of any fluctuations in rates. This is not one of those normal years. This is because the changes in interest rates have been both fast and enormous… Rates increased by 14% from 6.47 to 7.37 over the last month alone. This is a colossal hit to affordability in a very short time and the consequent reduction in demand is rippling through the industry in ways that have not been experienced since the 1980s.”

Rapid change is unsettling both to people and financial markets.  While we can point out that 30-year mortgage rates are still below their historical average of 8 percent, affordability and consumer sentiment have taken a terrible blow.

Buyers are scarce but so are sellers.

Fact.  This is both good and bad news.  The bad news is that the market has shrunk – meaning far less transactions are occurring – which is bad for the livelihood of lenders, title companies, and real estate agents who are now sharing a piece of a much smaller pie.  The good news is that less sellers at the same time as reduced buyers has allowed the market to gently move in favor of buyers.  A sort of shaky stability is forming with demand and supply seeking balance.  Michael Orr further comments: “Everyone is focused on how weak demand has become thanks to rising interest rates. However, the same phenomenon is affecting new supply too. Existing homeowner occupiers are very reluctant to lose the mortgages they already have and so motivation to list and sell homes is very low. Total supply is still rising slowly because although new listings are scarce, new contract signings are even scarcer”

Market corrections are normal

Fact. At the risk of dating ourselves horribly, Blood, Sweat and Tears had it right – “what goes up, must come down”.  Financial markets are a complex blend of economic conditions converging.  To name a few factors that affect real estate: demographic changes, interest rates, lending policies, the economy (both local and national), and government policies.  Hence, the seesaw of supply and demand which affects pricing.    There is no greater predictor of change than extended periods in either a buyer’s market or seller’s market.  The last buyer’s market in the valley was in 2014.  A shift was expected and predictable.


Now some fallacies about this market.

Nothing is selling

False.  This is easy to disprove since every home has a deed that is recorded upon sale.  As previously stated, it is true fewer transactions are occurring and sellers have had to come to grips with the frenzied buying party being over.  Currently, 65.7% of the homes listed on MLS are selling (the “listing success rate”).  To put this in perspective – at the peak of the buying frenzy in May of 2021 – 93.3% of the homes listed on MLS sold.  In January of 2008 (the nadir of the market), only 20.4% of the homes listed sold!  The historical average for the valley’s real estate market is 68.8%.  Factually, the Greater Phoenix market has experienced long periods where the listing success rate was below 50%.  If your home is not selling, you need a better agent – not a better market.

The market is crashing like 2008

False. History is not repeating itself. The frenzy of the housing market in 2005 was followed by the crash of 2008.  This is not a crash.  This is a correction.  Again, Michael Orr explains:

“The market is moving in favor of buyers, but nothing like as fast as it did during the bursting of the 2005-6 bubble. Without a source of extra supply, prices are very likely to retreat but relatively slowly and modestly. Any talk of massive price drops is pure speculation. I am not saying it cannot happen. Anything is possible in the right (or wrong) circumstances. But if supply stays tight, then price movements are likely to be slow and gentle, not sudden and violent.”

Higher Interest rates automatically causes lower pricing

False.  No one explains it better than Michael:  “High interest rates make demand fall, but on their own they do not make prices fall. That depends on supply and market sentiment. It is a mixed story on these. Market sentiment is unusually poor (which funnily enough, is often a good sign that things will shortly improve). Supply is also weak, with sellers discouraged. This keeps prices much higher than if supply were rapidly increasing.”

Cash offers are the way to go in a tough market

False.  If you want top dollar, full marketing with an experienced agent are currently crushing cash offers.  Investors offer pricing that reflects their profit and predictions of future value – which they believe will be much lower than present value.  Full marketing with an agent obtains current values and therefore are much higher.  Not convinced?  The good news is we have collaborated with the highest paying investors in town so that our clients can compare all options – from full marketing for top dollar to cash offers.

Cromford Report Final Prediction for 2022

“Normally when prices start to go down, we get a flood of anxious sellers who want to dispose of their properties before prices get lower still. This is what we saw between April and July, but almost all those sellers have now gone. What is now ailing the market is a lack of motivation, both to buy and sell. In this situation prices are likely to drift lower, but not at a fast pace. In fact with the likelihood of even less supply in November and December, we could possibly see some price stabilization. This would leave us at the end of 2022 at roughly the same pricing level as the end of 2021.”

As we approach the end of 2022 – we wish to thank all our clients and friends for allowing us to serve you.  We are truly grateful for your trust.  We wish you a joyous holiday season.

Russell & Wendy

(Mostly Wendy)

October Market Update

Market Blues

After such a wonderful start to the valley’s real estate market in the first quarter of 2022, by contrast the 4th quarter has started in the doldrums.  It is easy to place the blame – interest rates hitting 7% – therefore reducing both buying power and demand.  For those of us who have been in the business for longer than we should confess, we well remember rates hitting 19% and further know that the historical average mortgage rate is 8%.  To us, 7% is not alarming. However, that is not true for most.

Beyond the psychological impact, what have these higher rates actually wrought?  For buyers – affordability concerns, more property selection, lower asking prices, increased contract-negotiating powers, and seller assistance to buy down the rates.  For sellers – longer marketing times, lower asking/contract prices, and higher costs of selling.

While many buyers have moved to the sidelines because of affordability issues, so have sellers.  Many sellers cannot replace the low interest rates on their current home when moving to another. Therefore, sellers have gone to the sidelines just as buyers have.  In fact, the Cromford Report is showing new listings coming to market at the rate of just over 2000 per week (normal for this time of year would be 2400-2700) one of the lowest counts since 2001. For the moment, we have a fragile market balance. 

What has happened is what we affectionately refer to as “market shrink”.  The volume of transactions (sales) has shrunk.  With fewer homes selling, the number of homes for sale will likely slowly climb.  Additionally, more homes will fail to sell during their listing period.  In April, 92% of the homes on the market sold.  Currently, that number is now at 67% – meaning a third of the homes listed are not selling.

So is there any good news?  Yes.  The truth is this is what a delicately balanced market looks like.  It is just market sentiment making it feel so bad. The shift in the market happened rapidly and the previous hyper-extended market frenzy made recognizing normal difficult. That makes it feel worse than it actually is.  To quote Michael Orr of the Cromford Report “The Greater Phoenix market has experienced long periods where the listing success rate was below 50%, so although market sentiment is poor, the listing success rate is not a reason to feel bad.” For buyers, this is a chance to buy a home with little competition giving you better choices and pricing.  For sellers, anyone who has owned their home since January of this year is likely still at a break-even on value. Even better, if you bought 2 years ago, the average price per square foot is 40.3% higher and the median sales price is $112,000 greater than 2 years ago.  This is why we agents say, a good piece of real estate is always a smart long-term strategy.

Russell & Wendy Shaw

(Mostly Wendy)

Moving to Phoenix: 5 Steps to Starting a New Chapter

Are you feeling bored in your current city? Do you feel ready to take a risk and resettle somewhere new after pulling yourself out of a rut? If you’re exploring your options, it’s time to consider Phoenix, Arizona! This booming city is welcoming countless transplants, and if you want to move to the southwest, there’s no better place to call home. Plus, you can count on the Russell Shaw Group to help you buy a house here. Here’s how to revitalize your life and career by moving to Phoenix!

Why Start Fresh in Phoenix?

What makes Phoenix such an attractive destination? The perks of living here are practically endless! Sullivan Moving & Storage states that Phoenix has a fantastic restaurant scene, warm, sunny weather through every season, convenient public transport, amazing natural beauty just beyond the city limits, and lots of cultural amenities.

Finding a Place to Live

You’ve got your sights set on Phoenix – but how are you going to find a place to live? If you’re planning to buy a home, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent who has extensive knowledge of the area. Should you decide to rent first, Apartment List recommends looking for a rental in a vibrant, walkable neighborhood like Downtown Phoenix or the Roosevelt Row Arts District. If you’re seeking a more family-oriented neighborhood, consider central Phoenix!

Make a Career Change

Moving to Phoenix and turning over a new leaf gives you the chance to start over in your career. Whether you want to break into a different industry or launch your own business, you can change your career direction in Phoenix! For instance, you might be interested in going back to school so that you can earn your degree in HR. This will qualify you for roles that involve managing or recruiting employees, fostering a positive company culture, implementing company policies, and administering benefits.

Relocate Your Business

What if you already have a business? Thankfully, Phoenix is quite welcoming to entrepreneurs, and you can relocate your company and register it in the state of Arizona. To officially relocate your business, CorpNet states that you will need to cancel your current licenses and permits and re-apply in your new location. You’ll also need to contact the IRS about your relocation plans.

Furthermore, you will have to officially register your business as an LLC in Arizona. Filing on your own can be complicated, but by going through an online formation service, you can save on lawyer fees. A service like this will help you meet all of the requirements for Arizona as you go through the process.

Get to Know the Community

It can be tough to move somewhere if you don’t know anybody else! If you’re worried about feeling lonely in Phoenix, it’s important to start putting yourself out there after you’ve arrived and gotten settled in at your new place.

If you’re working for a new company, try inviting your coworkers out for lunch or coffee. And if you’re running your own business, you may want to get involved with entrepreneurial organizations that can help you connect with other professionals in your field and polish your networking skills! You might also want to join up with a volunteer organization, find a hobby group in your area, or have fun with a recreational sports league for adults.

Every day, newcomers move to Phoenix for year-round sunshine, endless job opportunities, and the great sense of community. You can, too! With these tips, you’ll be prepared to land a new job, relocate your business, and make new friends in Phoenix.

Looking to buy a home in Phoenix, AZ? The Russell Shaw Group can help you get the keys! Call us today at 602-957-7777 to start your search.

Photo via Unsplash

Balancing Act

A Balancing Act

By now most homeowners have heard the news “the market has shifted”.  While that is true, as usual the story is more complex.

In the first quarter of 2022, Sellers held every card.   Now they are handing them back one by one.   As financial markets tend to run on two emotions (either fear or greed) understandably in the first quarter greed drove the market.  Now?  Hello, fear.  Likely too many people remember the debacle of 2008 and fearing a repeat, the market reacted swiftly.  Therefore, we have rapidly and officially arrived at a balanced market.

So why all the hand wringing?  Isn’t a balanced market a dream come true? An egalitarian market – favoring neither seller nor buyer?  The first thing to realize, is that the last time we were in a balanced market was in 2015.  Many real estate agents have never even seen a balanced market.  Further, after 7 years the abnormal starts to feel normal. Additionally, not all areas and price points are moving in sync – despite the fact they have all shifted.  The lack of consistency across all areas and prices creates further uncertainty- and moving targets are hard to precisely pin down while in flux. So what is known?  Recently the Cromford Report examined the 17 largest cities and found that 6 cities have now moved in to a buyer’s market (i.e. a market where supply exceeds demand – therefore buyers have the negotiating power).  Those currently in the buyer’s market: Surprise, Tempe, Gilbert, Buckeye, Queen Creek and Maricopa. Six cities are in the balanced zone: Chandler, Peoria, Glendale, Phoenix, Mesa and Avondale. A balanced market is one which neither favors buyers nor sellers on negotiation.  This leaves 5 cities still hanging on to a gentle seller’s advantage: Fountain Hills, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and Goodyear.

But just as the location is affecting the relative strength or weakness of the market, so is the price point.  As a case in point, The Cromford Report analyzed the changes in the average sale price per square foot in Phoenix (the largest market) from mid-May to the beginning of August. They found the peak for closed prices was May (but note, those are contracts that actually went together in April when demand began to erode).  They found the median sales price from just Mid-May to the start of August eroded 6.25% – an average of 2% per month. Looking more closely at individual price points – the largest drop was for properties between $1M-$1.5M – with an average decline of 3.2% per month. The runner up was the $500K-$800K with an average decline of 1.2% per month. Not shockingly the low end and high end are fared the best.  The high end of the market is not interest rate sensitive.  The low end of the market simply has restricted supply with negligible new supply being created.  Proving once again that housing is very neighborhood/price specific. 

What you should know

So what should would be sellers take away from all this?  A few points:

1.If you sell now, today’s value is still above this time last year’s value.

2. This a market that is rebalancing.  Yes, it is still eroding, but the rate of decline is slowing.  What will future values look like?  No one can predict.  See point 1 for today’s answer.

3. Supply and demand are determining who holds the strength in negotiations.  The answer is area specific and price point specific.  Get hyper-specific when evaluating your home.  This is a moving target.

4. You need a good real estate agent again.  At the peak of the market, 93.3% of all homes on the market sold.  That number is now 70.4% (the lowest number for this time of year since 2010 which came in at 58.1%).  The difference between selling now or not, is back to the agent’s marketing and knowledge.

We are back in the land of normal – although it will likely take a bit for everyone to absorb that fact.  The slowing of the rate of decline is our earliest hope that this market will settle in to the much overdue correction.  As always, we will keep our friends and clients aware to the changes.  We are here to inform.

Russell & Wendy

(mostly Wendy)