In today’s data-driven world, finding the right balance of input and parameters to create something meaningful is as much an art as a science. Part of what I do as a real estate agent is manage that equation by looking at the right data in the right context. This allows me to have a clear picture of the real estate market in and around Chester County.
Here are a few examples of data I draw on to maintain a balanced perspective on real estate market conditions. While helpful in a broad way, these reports are only part of what I look at when advising clients. Buying or selling a house is a huge decision, and I put as much of my expertise and effort into making your experience successful as you put into making that decision.
When the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) report was released on Valentine's Day, several prominent figures in the financial market spoke on financial shows to offer their opinion.
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, spoke to Barron’s and made it clear that he is not getting lost in short-window analytics. This CEO notes that longer-term trends show inflation is still peaking in certain areas and industries, while it seems to have passed in others. To hear this in his words, check out the interview on Barron’s.
Robert Reffkin, CEO of COMPASS, addressed the notable impact of housing on the CPI report. Leveraging the insights of COMPASS agents across the country, Robert discussed an early spring market surge as buyers try to get in front of rising prices. With his prediction that the historic trend of price increases will continue through 2023, it’s little wonder that so many buyers are acting now. Watch the full interview for Robert’s reasoning on Bloomberg.
Financial Pundit Opinions
Financial pundits have been weighing in on the housing market in 2023 as well.
Yahoo! Finance posted this article outlining where home prices have dropped the most since June 2022. Along with their analysis stating areas which saw the largest price increases are seeing the largest price decreases, the infographic map shows how dramatically this price readjustment is hitting some markets while missing others.
An analysis on CNBC discusses the reported increase in buyer sentiment over the last two months. While the data does not yet support a full statistical trend, it does suggest that a trend will emerge should conditions continue. Highlighting the importance of real-time data, the report notes that open houses are flooded with buyers, which won’t show in the data for another month.
Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Analyses
To help agents stay up to date on all the most recent real estate trends in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors (PAR) provides realtors with daily analyses of statewide, real-time data.
The analysis on 2/7/23 outlined how buyer expectations are being influenced by media headlines. A few factors mentioned include how headlines are leading some to believe buyers have more bargaining position than sellers and just how many buyers were not able to find their place in the world in 2022. While the data reports this condition for our state, the data for Chester County shows good homes are selling fast and for a premium.
On 2/20/23, the PAR analysis went over seller profits through 2022. While high pricing peaked in June, the entire year saw record profit for sellers. Between mortgage rate changes, shorter expectations of home retention, all-cash investment buyers, and inflationary forces, the value of real estate continues to rise over time.
The following day’s PAR analysis went over sales by volume, noting that there were fewer overall sales in January than the prior month and the prior year. Citing fewer available houses and increased interest rates as primary contributors to the decreased transaction volume, the analysis notes how these compare to long-term trends and the impact high competition has for the do-it-yourselfers trying to enter the market.
Putting It All Together
This handful of reports paints a snapshot of the housing market around the country and in our state. While it’s nice to know what part of the country the dramatic headlines about price reductions come from, it does very little to inform housing prices in your neighborhood. While hearing the long-view perspective of CEO’s helps put short-term fluctuations into perspective, it does little to help estimate a property’s value at a certain time.
National reports combined with local expertise do help when evaluating the equity position of a property. All the above reports, plus the litany I could not cover in this article, are ingredients in the recipe of real estate. Like all recipes, the best results come from top quality ingredients prepared by an experienced hand.
If you’d like to have a conversation about the market conditions in Chester County or your equity position, send me an email or give me a call.