The first half of the 2018 Louisville real estate market was marked by home prices continuing to rise faster than a porch thermometer on a sweltering July afternoon. From January 1 through June 30, the average sale price across the Louisville market was up 5.8% to $217,101 (from $205,194 for the same period in 2017). The median price was $177,500 vs. $169,900 a year ago. For the month of June, that average sale price was a staggering $237,458 (five years ago in June 2013 the average sale price was $195,411).
Rising home prices continue to be driven by a shortage of inventory. For the entire Louisville MLS (multiple listing service), the inventory of available properties was 7% lower than for the first half of 2017. The total number of homes sold from January 1 through June 30, 2018 was 8,516 vs. 8,706 or 2.2% less than the same period in 2017. The inventory situation may be improving slightly according to the industry association the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors (GLAR).
Interest rates have risen modestly and mortgage rates have followed suit with a recent 30-year fixed rate at approximately 4.5% according to Bankrate.com (this compares to about 4% for this time in 2017). Most analysts expect rates to continue to rise gradually through at least the end of 2019.
In its mid-year market analysis, GLAR reported more than 4,000 properties for sale at present compared to 3,000 just a few months ago. As has been the case for the last few years, move-in ready homes under $250,000 continue to set the pace and are selling quickly, often in multiple offer situations.
The high-end market also continues to be robust with 347 sales of properties between $500,000 and $999,999 in 2018 vs. 320 for the same period in 2017. Sales of properties priced at $1 million plus also showed limited growth with 41 sales in 2018 vs. 37 in 2017.
The question on most consumers’ minds seems to be: How long can this bull real estate market...
From The Courier-Journal.com: More than 100,000 Jefferson County homeowners – mostly in St. Matthews and the East End – will face property reappraisals next year and probably suffer “sticker shock” too when future tax bills arrive, the top assessment official said. "Home sales and values are skyrocketing, and sales drive the bus" in how property is evaluated for tax purposes, Jefferson Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer said in late October. Read more.
From Zillow Research: A marked shift in fortunes between coastal America and Middle America since the housing recovery began – rapid growth in the former, stagnation in the latter – is likely to eventually reverse as cost-conscious companies look for cheaper places to grow, according to a panel of more than 100 experts. Read more.
Courtesy of the National Association of Realtors: Homeowners and renters remodel, redesign, and restructure their home for a variety of reasons. This report takes a deep dive into the reasons for remodeling, the success of taking on projects, and the increased happiness found in the home once a project is completed. Download the Report.
Preparing Your House To Sell
Depending on how you approach it, selling your home can either be a quick, painless process or a total nightmare. The more prepared you are, the less time your home will spend on the market and the sooner you will get paid.
Along with finding a good listing agent to oversee the sale of your home, you should also put time and effort into sprucing it up before it goes on the market. Today's buyers expect to see homes that are attractive, clean and move-in ready. If your home does not meet these criteria, it could languish on the market with little or no interest for months or years. The following will help you prepare your home for sale, improving the chances of getting an offer right away.
Make Every Surface Sparkle
No one wants to buy a home that is dirty, smelly or messy. Put yourself in the position of a buyer and imagine walking into a home that had stains in the bathtub, unusual smells in the kitchen or clutter everywhere throughout the home. Chances are you would walk right back out the door without making an offer.
The same holds true for potential buyers viewing your home. Any signs of dirt, clutter or unpleasant odors could send them packing. Cleaning your house from top to bottom is the best way to avoid this. Be sure to view your home with a critical eye as you clean. Sometimes, it is easy to become so used to odors or stains that you overlook them. Buyers, however, have keen eyes that will catch every speck of dirt or grime.
Stage Your Home
Home staging is the process of decorating your home in such a way that it appeals to as many buyers as possible. In most cases, this means painting the walls in neutral colors, hiding personal...
Economist John Kenneth Galbraith once quipped, “There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.” Keeping this in mind, it is with a sufficient dose of humility that we offer a few thoughts on factors that may impact the Louisville residential housing market next year.
- Because of an ongoing lack of inventory it will likely continue to be a seller’s market in 2016. Absorption rate measures the rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period (calculated by dividing the total # of homes by the number of sales per month). A balanced market – one that favors neither buyers nor sellers – has an absorption rate of 6 months. According to a December 22 post from Louisville Homes Blog, November Louisville’s absorption rate was an eye-opening 3.68 months. Additionally, there has been nearly a 20% decline in the number of active listings since November 2014.
"There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know." - John Kenneth Galbraith
- Basic economics tells us that with lower supply one can expect higher prices. But even with a lack of inventory there may be a ceiling on home appreciation for the next few years. The S&P/Case-Shiller Housing Index estimates that nationally home prices will rise 3% in 2016 and 2017. This contrasts with an annualized growth rate of 9.5% since the end of 2011, when the Index declared the housing market had hit bottom after the recession.
- The recent decision by the Federal Reserve to raise the federal funds rate likely signals the beginning of the end for historically rock bottom mortgage rates. This is not to...
When I got my real estate license nearly 22 years ago the MLS came out once a week in a telephone-sized book, there were a handful of personal computers in our office and the only thing smart about my immobile phone was that it had buttons instead of a rotary dial.
When I tell our new twenty-something real estate agents things like this they look at me with the same incredulous expression one might expect if you tried to explain other historical oddities from the B.Z. Era (Before Zillow), such as printed street maps or having to amortize a loan using a calculator.
The same is true for property-obsessed consumers who now expect to see houses on multiple websites and their smart phones in a matter of minutes from when they get loaded on the MLS.
Thanks to ubiquitous real estate websites and publicly available tax assessments, clients now sidle up to agents at the grocery store to debate price-per-square-foot trends in their neighborhoods.
The Web has most certainly democratized data in the real estate business. 20 years ago brokers maintained almost complete control over listing information. I think the shift in the balance of power has been a good thing. Well informed consumers can be a handful during the sales process (How can they be asking $450,000 for this, the tax record says they only paid $425,000 two years ago!). But I’d argue there has never been more interest in residential real estate than there is today and better educated...
Like most people, when the new year rolls around, I like to take a little time out and reflect on the year that was, and the year that is ahead of us. With real estate, I’m a little hesitant trying to predict what will happen in our local market over the next 12 months. But I can certainly take a look at what has happened, not only last year, but maybe even stretching a little further back than 2014.
For the entire Louisville MLS, which includes several neighboring counties adjoining Jefferson, such as Shelby and Oldham counties, 2014 was the third year in a row that saw a rise in the number of units sold when compared to the preceding 12 months.
From a recent low of 11,720 units sold in 2011, each of the next three years saw a few more sales to reach this past year’s total of 16,082 sold properties.
I have seen different numbers being reported, with some outlets even saying that the MLS saw a decline in the number of homes sold between 2014 and 2013. So to clear up any confusion and to be fully transparent, all of the numbers that I used for these graphs were pulled directly from the MLS, and included all single family homes along with multi-family properties, rentals and vacant land or lots.
I chose to use all the categories of residential sales, and not focus on single family homes only because I wanted this short article to be general in nature, and to be all inclusive since I don’t know which types of properties each reader might find most interesting. When I turned the tables and focused on how well Kentucky Select Properties has fared as a Brokerage over the past few years, I used the exact same criteria.
As Kentucky Select Properties celebrated its 10th Anniversary (thank you!) this year, the numbers...