Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Little Perspective

It's been a nerve wracking few days on the stock market.  But here's a little perspective:

For most prospective home buyers, it's probably best to focus on the 5-year time span which would be the typical minimum hold time.

As they say, past performance does not guarantee future results.  And the stock market it not necessarily the best predictor of future property values and the stock market is not the economy and the economy is not the stock market.  Nevertheless, if you think  of your real estate purchase, at least in part, as an investment this will give you some context.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Listings, Search Engines, and Accuracy

Not all real estate search engines are the same (doh!).  In a fast moving market like ours today clients, especially sellers, want their listings to show up right away on all the various search engines  This is especially true if there's been a significant change to the listings -- a price reduction, for example.

Here's a good example:

This agent had entered a price reduction into the MLS on 8/21/15.

As of today (8/25/15) that price reduction is only showing up on

The search results summary shown at the top show that Zillow and Redfin were still displaying the old price of $588,850.  Clicking through to see the detail, Redfin actually shows the correct, reduced price but Zillow does not.

The likely reason for this discrepancy is the way these search engines get their data. gets feeds directly from the hundreds of MLS (multiple listing services) across the country.  Zillow, Trulia and other aggregators also depend on direct feeds from real estate brokers as well as direct input from individual agents.

The bottom line for clients is:  stay as close to the MLS for information as you can.  Most MLSs in our area have a public version that anyone can search.  For currently active listings (properties not already in contract), it's the most accurate source.  You can usually set up (or have your agent set up) a search that will e-mail regarding new listings or change in status of a listing.  The aggregators can do this too but, as shown above, it may take a while.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Listing Watch - two weeks ending 8/17/2015

Two weeks ago I mentioned that the drop in new listings was consistent for this time of year -- we see it every July/August until post Labor Day.  And the number of new listings continues to be lower than a year ago.  Although new listings for single family homes remains flat at 102 but condos was a different story with 114 this year compared to 149 last year.  In total new listings during this two week period are down 15% compared to last year.

What's even more interesting, the number of these new listings that have gone into contract already is at its lowest level since we've been keeping track.  This year just 11 of these listings (2 single family homes and 9 condos) are already in contract compared with 27 (11 single family homes and 16 condos) last year.

So, if you're looking to buy but reluctant to take on all the potential competition, now appears to be as good a time as any in the recent market.  Of course this doesn't mean there won't be competition, especially on the most desirable properties -- it's just no likely to be as intense.

See the entire report here:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Listing Watch -- 2 week period ending 8/3/2015

Earlier this week we posted our biweekly report on new listings for the previous two weeks.

Not surprisingly for this time of year, inventory (new listings) continues to drop.  We see this cycle every year with fewer listings starting at the 4th of July holiday and continuing until just after Labor Day.

Also, continuing a trend for most of this year, there have been fewer new listings for most of the two week periods this year compared to the same period last year thus exacerbating the low inventory problem which then contributes to overbidding and higher and higher prices.  Compared to the same two week period last year new listings were down 22% from 290 to just 229.

See the entire report here: