Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
As we enter the spring selling season, it’s only natural to look for clues about what to expect for Dewey Beach home sales. Normally, one of the principal barometers comes from the National Association of Realtors®. Their Pending Home Sales Index is a national compendium of hard data that can be useful for predicting home sales in Dewey Beach. It is both “forward-looking” (an indicator of future activity) and part of a long-standing and continuous sample-gathering procedure.
When you take a wide sample of the same data for the better part of a decade (the PHSI has been recorded monthly for nine years now), you can chart the results, note when similar patterns repeat or diverge, and infer meaningful results. Further, when an acknowledged authority like NAR’s Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun provides commentary in plain English that any Dewey Beach homeowner can easily understand, the monthly published reports comprise perhaps the best basis there is to project how our own local market is likely to fare.
Last week’s release of the Pending Home Sales Index and commentary was every bit as authoritative as we have come to expect—backed up by the same rigorously collected data from across the country. As a tool for projecting how upcoming Dewey Beach home sales are likely to fare, however, it’s fair to say its usefulness is…uh…less than usual.
It’s fair to say that because it is possible to read the entire 700-word document and emerge without a clue as to what you just read. It is, in a word, confusing. But in case it’s just me who is confused—and you are a typical Dewey Beach homeowner who would appreciate information about how active our market is likely to be in the next few months—I think I should share a boiled-down version of the report’s key takeaways.
The Report’s headline is “Pending Home Sales Cool Down in January” (January’s data is the most recent). From this, we can gather that home sales activity is trending downward. Then, from the first paragraph: “…pending home sales…remained slightly higher than a year ago.” From this, we can gather that home sales activity is trending upward.
There follows an explanation about the first idea (home sales trending lower): it was partly to blame because of bad weather in January. A little later, there is a buoyant observation about the second idea (home sales trending higher): “Sales are now 11.0% higher than a year ago—the largest year-over-year gain since July 2013!” (exclamation point added by me, which seems appropriate, given that this is such good news).
More good news for Dewey Beach homeowners readying to sell their homes dealt with prices: “Last month’s price increase was the largest since April and marks the 47th consecutive month of year-over-year gains!!” (I added the two exclamation points). This, however, was also miserable news: “Home prices ascending…aren’t healthy” because household incomes didn’t rise as fast. But good news would make that much less of a factor, because fixed-rate mortgage rates were really wonderful: “declining to 3.87%, the lowest since October 2015!!!” (exclamation points—oh, you know).
Because sales cooled down in January for the highest year-over-year gain in years, I think the report tells Dewey Beach homeowners that they might well expect a hot-cold/falling-rising market! Or perhaps prudent homeowners should just forget about this report, get their homes ready to list, and call me…I promise not to share what’s in next month’s report! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
Real estate offices have been gearing up for the imminent spring selling season, the time when Delaware listings swell to meet the expected surge in buying activity. I sometimes put quotes around ‘selling season’ because so many factors go into home sales that it can be slightly misleading—we do sell homes all year long, after all!
But there is a lot of truth (and historical verification) to the idea that springtime brings a burst of new Delaware listings and accompanying selling activity. There can be lots of reasons why that happens, area homeowners who were reading The Wall Street Journal might have seen some extra reasons to hurry up and add their homes to the Delaware listings.
Some of those reasons have to do with weather; some with the economy.
The front page of WSJ’s Weekend Edition headlined the first piece of long-awaited good news: “Job Rebound Eases Fears of Spring Stall.” It explained payroll numbers showed upticks despite the widespread harsh weather that should have knocked them down.
Most economists had been on the fence about whether the years-long weak economic recovery would continue. Even though the previous two months of slowing growth had been attributed to the ‘endless winter’ blanketing much of the nation, it wasn’t clear that underlying weakness wasn’t also present. But the sudden improvement in the job picture, even as the weather failed to lighten up, was an unexpected event—one that could “ease worries” about the likelihood of a fundamental slowdown. In fact, forecasters were beginning to project that the negative economic effects due to the unusual weather (estimated at a loss of 1%) may be more than restored when the sun returns. Spring conditions are now expected to add an additional 1.2% to second quarter growth.
Even a slight rise in the unemployment rate was greeted as hopeful news. What sounded like a negative turns out to be the opposite: more people were returning to the workforce, a sure sign that workers see jobs beginning to reappear. Jobs have always been tied to real estate listing and sales activity, so this year, the NAR’s website truism may be on the mark:
“Spring brings rain and flowers – and possibly extra green in the final sales price of your home.”
Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.