Summer Transition

market time jun21

The Summer Market is officially here and with it typically comes an increase in the inventory, a slight drop indemand, and a rise in market time. The temperature is heating up and the days are growing longer. The 4th of July is less than three weeks away, and family vacations are booked. From the pool to the beach to hiking Southern California’s many trails, summer is here along with all its distractions. Toss in the fact that everybody can walk the earth freely again now that COVID-19 is disappearing. Everyone is ready to enjoy a bit of fun in the sun.

During the Summer Market demand decreases slightly. There are fewer new escrows opened due to buyers placing their home search tours on pause to take a short break and enjoy all the trappings of summer. With demand dropping, the supply of available homes rises as more homeowners place their homes on the market. Many often mistake the Summer Market as the best time of the year to sell a home. In terms of new escrow activity, it is second to the Spring Market. With an increasing supply and falling demand, the Expected Market Time (the amount of time between hammering in the FOR-SALE sign to opening escrow) increases.

The word on the street within the real estate trenches is that there are already signs of the “summer shift.” A home might not sell in 4 days after being exposed to the market for only a weekend. Instead, it may take two weekends. Homes that are grossly overpriced will have to reduce their asking price. Surprisingly, 7% of the active listing inventory had to reduce their asking price over the past week. Many will scratch their collective heads and wonder what is going on in the market. The answer is simple: SUMMER. It happens every year, and it appears as if this year will be no exception.

How Long Can This Market Last?

Housing is definitely not an exception to increasing prices. In the first quarter of 2013, there were 4,675 closed sales below $750,000, 89% of all sales. It was 83% of all sales in 2016, and 71% last year. In 2021, only 61% of all sales were below $750,000 in the first quarter. As home prices have appreciated over the years, the lower price ranges have dwindled and became a smaller percentage of the housing stock. It is not merely the fact that fewer homeowners within these more affordable price ranges have not placed their homes on the market; instead, it has more to do with home values appreciating and surpassing the lower range thresholds.

Vanishing Houses ...

finding a home

A mind-blowing 32% fewer homes have come on the market below $750,000 so far this year. Over time, just about everything becomes more expensive. After a while, society digests the higher values. Gasoline was $1.12 per gallon back in 2002, compared to $4.20 today. A visit to the Magic Kingdom would set a Mickey Mouse fan back $41 back in 2000, a lot cheaper than the $114 Disneyland ticket this month. In 2010, mouth-watering, sliced bacon was selling for $3.86 per pound versus $5.85 today. Change is inevitable, and so are higher prices.

As home prices have appreciated over the years, the lower price ranges have dwindled and became a smaller percentage of the housing stock. It is not merely the fact that fewer homeowners within these more affordable price ranges have not placed their homes on the market; instead, it has more to do with home values appreciating and surpassing the lower range thresholds. These ranges are vanishing.

The erosion of more affordable housing has been going on for years. This trend will continue as long as the market remains hot. With a depressed, unfathomably low inventory and unrelenting demand fueled by record low rates, this sizzling market is poised to continue for quite some time. The torrid pace will remain through the end of 2021 and is poised to endure through 2022 as well.

For buyers anticipating more homes in the affordable price ranges coming on the market soon, it is just not going to happen. The number of opportunities is diminishing over time. Buyers who wait will be confronted with fewer available options to purchase. More and more homes are surpassing the $500,000 and $750,000 thresholds.

The bottom line: while it may be challenging to find a home in the lower ranges today, as homes appreciate, it will only become more challenging in the future.

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