The 2017 real estate market posted a significant increase in total sold dollar volume and modest increases in both median sold price and units sold. The year closed out with a total sold dollar volume of $1,856,321,321 which represents an 11.5% increase over the year-end totals for 2016. The market saw a more than 6% year-over-year increase in units sold, increasing from 5,686 in 2016 to 6,036 in 2017. Median price appreciated by 4.6% increasing from $274,900 in 2016 to $287,556 in 2017.
Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell nearly 17% with houses averaging a mere 59 days on the market in 2017 compared to 71 days in 2016. The vast majority of sales were of 3- and 4-bedroom single family homes with that segment making up nearly 82% of the total units sold.
2018 FAAR President Kevin McGrath notes that buyers are getting pickier. “When a home goes on the market, it needs to immediately present in the best light possible. Gone are the days of iPhone pictures taken from the car,” states McGrath. “As the Internet continues to be the top source from which buyers start their home search and new technologies make that experience more immersive, the need for buyers to physically visit many homes will diminish, so a great Internet presence becomes even more vital.”
December, a traditionally slow month in real estate, ended the year with a chill that coincided with the weather. The month saw $119,094,384 in total sold dollar volume, down nearly 6% from December of 2016. Median price posted the only notable year-over-year increase in the market, settling at $279,000 in December, representing a 3.35% increase. Units sold were down 4.5% from December of 2016, with 422 selling last year compared to 403 in December of 2017. The decrease in units sold impacted both attached and detached homes. Attached homes sold decreased by over 3% while detached homes sold decreased 4.7%.
McGrath found that his agents were busier than normal in December, but that the extreme lack of inventory hurt the market as some buyers weren’t finding what they were looking for in their price range. “We are also seeing that after a number of years of strong steady growth in average sales prices, sellers are less willing to come off of the list price, and less willing to make major home inspection repairs,” noted McGrath.
Inventory constraints continued to plague the market, especially in the lower priced brackets. The market experienced a significant 17% decrease in days on market for December of 2017 with houses taking an average of 63 days to sell, compared to 76 days in 2016. Active listings were down in December nearly 4% from last year, but new listings coming onto the market increased over 14%. There were also modest year-over-year increases in new homes sale pending that did not settle in December, indicating that January 2018 might get off to a good start.
McGrath states, “We are also seeing new trends in buyer “must haves” such as demanding high-speed Internet access as many more people start working from home.” Realtors® expect inventory to remain low and prices to heat up heading into the spring selling season. Competition will continue to be stiff in the lower priced market segments and new construction homes will continue to appeal to buyers with the means to build new who are not finding what they want in the existing housing stock.