Monday, November 6, 2017

New Listing Watch - it's downhill from here

This time of year we begin seeing fewer and fewer new listings until we hit the bottom just after New Years.  Total new listings for the past two weeks is just about the same as the same period last year:  282 vs 287.  That's down significantly compared to the prior two weeks:  282 vs 320.


And you can see from the above graphic where we're headed.

What's a little different this year vs last year at this time is the number of price reductions which is down.  For single family homes there were 18 price reductions during the last two weeks compared to 26 a year ago.  For condos there were  35 price reductions compared to 56 in the prior period.  Compared to a year ago the difference is 18 single family homes price reductions vs 26 a year ago.  For condos there were 35 compared to 62 a year ago.


A higher percentage of new single family homes listings went into contract in the same two week period compared to the prior period (17% vs 13%) but for condos fewer new listings went into contract than in the previous period (11% vs 28%).


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Listing Photo Tip

Photos, arguably, are one of the most important aspects of real estate listings.  They are what potential buyers and buyers agents use initially to decide whether a property is worth spending further time to consider or whether they will just move on to the next property on the search results list.

Many listing agents understand this and demonstrate how important photos are by hiring a professional photographer.  But then they spoil the benefit of quality photos by making one small mistake.  They take a vertically oriented photo (taller than wide) and use it as the main/first photo in the listing.  Here's what happens when that photo is displayed on the MLS and other property search engines.  In going through new listings today I ran across several examples.  Here's one:

First, here is what the photo is supposed to look like:



Here's how it appears on the MLS:

The proportions of the photo are altered so that it is stretched to fit the predetermined size and layout the MLS imposes so the proportions of the property are incorrect -- looks like a wide, squat house.

Here's how it appears on Realtor.com:

The proportions are OK but, in order to fit the photo into their predetermined layout they have cropped the top and bottom.

Here's how it appears on Trulia:

Trulia also crops the photo but to an even greater extent.

Tip:  if you don't want the main photo of your listing to be mangled by search engines (over which you have no control), always use a horizontally oriented photo (wider than tall).  You may not avoid all the distortions introduced by the search engines but you'll make a better first impression.

(I've blurred out identifying information in these photos because the point here is to provide helpful information, not to embarrass the listing agent.  This property happens to be a multi-million dollar listing by an experienced and well-respected local agent but this problem can happen to anyone.)

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Listings Heading Down

As we speculated two weeks ago, we seem to have passed the peak of new listings for the year.  Total new listings for the past two weeks is down compared to the previous two weeks (340 vs 403).  Most of the decrease was in condos (189 vs 241) with single family homes remaining steady (151 vs 162).

Compared to the same period a year ago total for the past two weeks is down (340 vs 370).

There is every reason to believe we'll follow the same track for the rest of this year as we did in the previous two years.


With new listings down, the percentage of new listings going into contract in the same two week period has ticked up both for single family homes and condos compared to the previous two weeks and the same period a year ago.


Price reductions have increased for condos compared to the previous period (49 vs 34) but about the same during the same period a year ago (49 vs 46).  Price reductions for single family homes remained essentially the same compared to the previous period (18 vs 17) but are down compared to a year ago (18 vs 25).


If this year is similar to 2016 condo buyers may see a significant number of price reductions during the next two weeks.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Peak new listings for the fall year?

For the most part the "new listing" part of the market continues to follow the track set last year.  The number of new listings in the last two weeks is the largest this year and comparable to the same period last year (403 vs 391).


Compared to the previous two week period new listings are up slightly (162 vs 155 single family homes and 241 vs 228 condos).

The percentage of new listings going into contract within the same two week period is up slightly compared to the previous two weeks (8.6% vs 6.5% of single family home new listings and 7.5% vs 6.1% of condo new listings) suggesting that even with a peak of new listings there is still competitive demand.


The number of price reductions is up slightly compared to the previous two week period (17 vs 11 for single family homes and 34 vs 31 for condos).  However, compared to the same period last year the number of price reductions is down (17 vs 21 for single family homes and 34 vs 54 for condos).


If this last year's experience is predictive of the remainder of 2017 the last two weeks will be the peak of new listings for the year with each following two week period showing fewer and fewer new listings until after the first of the new year.


Christmas is only three months away!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Jump in new listings - as predicted

Right on time, as predicted, new listings have increased dramatically in the last two weeks.  Total new listings were 383 compared to 201 in the prior two week period.  For the same period a year ago new listings were 368.  The increase was evenly split between single family homes (155 vs 79 in the prior period) and condos (228 vs 122).


As can be seen from this graphic, this jump in new listings happens every year post Labor Day.


The percentage of new listings going into contract remained unchanged for single family homes compared to the prior period (6.5% vs 6.3%) but is up significantly compared to a year ago (6.5% vs 1.3%).  For condos 6.1% of new listings went into contract compared to 4.1% for the prior period and 3.9% a year ago.


The number of price reductions increased for single family homes to 11 compared to 5 in the prior period and 10 a year ago.  For condos, there were 31 price reductions compared to 21 for the prior period and 35 a year ago.