Forsyth County Real Estate Market Oct 2 2015
September numbers are in! The summer high listing, high selling season is now cooling along with the fall leaves. This is reflected in the expected seasonal behavior from July through September of a drop in new listings and an increase in expired listings, with active listings holding steady. Demand remains strong, but more on that later. Let’s look at some other market indicators first.
[Note: All statistics along with description of the statistic and how they are used in analyzing the market are provided in one handy page here. I decided this was better than putting every statistic graph directly in each market update. Made for a busy, slow loading page.]
The months of inventory has increased to 6 months in September after remaining low for the entire year through August. What that means is that the strong seller’s market experienced year to date has moved back to a “normal” level where the market is balanced between buyers and sellers.
This change in inventory balance is reflected in falling average sales prices in Forsyth County falling below 2014 results for the first time in September 2015. Certainly down is not great news, but normal seasonal behavior heading into the winter months. The good news is that prices remain well above the dark years of 2010 – 2012 and even above 2009 and 2013 as the market slid into and then dragged itself out of those dark years.
If you are considering listing, don’t let this drop in average sales price scare you off! In 5 of the last 7 years the average sales price has gone back up in December. I guess folks like new homes in time for the new year!
Need another reason why I remain positive on the Forsyth County Area real estate market? How about how fast properties are moving? In August and September properties moved at an amazing 51 days! These are the quickest average days to sell numbers in August and September from 2007 – 2015! That’s right, demand remains strong!
Good news for sellers is that the market remains solid from both a pricing and demand perspective. Given the announcements of weak national economic news at the end of September, the economic pundits seem united in their opinion that the Fed will not raise rates as soon as they had previously projected (see more on this, below). This is good news for buyers that have not yet taken advantage of historically low rates. That is also good news for sellers as demand should remain relatively strong even in the traditionally weaker winter sales months.
Interesting perspectives on why rates are not likely going up in 2015:
Chris Rupkey, Chief Financial Economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ quoted in Business Insider article, “The Fed is never going to raise rates“:
“The jobs market struck out in September as far as the Fed’s concerned,” Rupkey wrote on Friday. “No rate hike in October now certainly, and 2015 looks increasingly impossible. If the Committee was looking for more improvement this isn’t it.”
National Association of Federal Credit Unions Chief Economist Curt Long quoted in Housing Wire article, “Housing experts explain September’s hot mess jobs report“:
“I think this ends any possibility of the Fed raising rates later this month, chances of which were slim to begin with,” Long notes. “However, I think it would be premature to say that a rate rise is off the table for the December meeting.”
realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke in that same Housing Wire article notes that mortgage rates will fall in response to the latest employment data:
“…(T)his weak report is already influencing the long-term bond market, so mortgage rates will fall in response. The average 30-year conforming rate was down to 3.86% yesterday, and rates will be lower until strengthening economic trends are more evident. This summer’s home shoppers cited favorable interest rates as a top reason for being in the market for a home.”
That last sentence is good news for everyone considering buying and / or selling!