HouseHunt’s 2015 3rd Quarter Real Estate Market Report


Pace of Home Price Increases Slowing

by Lauren Agajanian

2015 continues to be an impressive seller’s market, but the pace of home price increases has slowed in the third quarter of 2015.  This quarter we saw a shift from home price increases in excess of 10% to a more steady pace of increases between 5-10% price appreciation in the markets surveyed.

This data comes from a survey of HouseHunt agents with exclusive territories across America. This grassroots approach to studying the housing market gives us a thorough look at where the real estate market will continue to go in 2015 and beyond.


Buyer & Seller Activity

Last quarter, we presented a seller’s market. There were considerably more buyers than sellers in the market, and conditions responded accordingly. This quarter, that stark contrast has shifted slightly but has carried over into the Fall. 56% of HouseHunt agents surveyed reported having more buyers than sellers, a decline of 8% from last quarter.  However, there was only an increase of 4% in seller activity with 20% of the markets showing buyer and sellers about even.

Buyers continue to disproportionately dominate the market, giving seller’s a clear edge, but clearly there is an ever so slight shift from less buyer activity and more sellers entering the market.

This quarter our survey shows that 70% of our markets are showing an increase in buyer activity versus 83% of HouseHunt agents surveyed report an increase in buyer activity in the previous quarter.  Buyer activity , however, is still increasing over the third quarter of last year where only 57% of our markets reported an increase in buyer activity.

Seller activity is continuing to grow with  60% of Agents reporting an increase in seller activity versus 57% in the previous quarter.  Overall real estate home sales continue to outpace 2015 with NAR reporting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales of 5.48 million homes in 2015 compared to 5.06 million sales in 2014, an increase of 8.3%

Home Inventory

A seller’s market equates to a strong economy. 90% of HouseHunt agents saw their listings sell for more this quarter than this time last year. This is about average: last quarter saw 91% report an increase, and this time last year saw 91% report an increase. What really makes the third quarter of 2015 stand out is the shift to a slower pace of home price increases. Only 20% of the Agents reported increase home prices of 10% or more compared to 32% in the 2nd Quarter.  This slowing of price point increase is in line with NAR reports showing that the median home price is up 5.5% from the 3rd quarter of 2014 with the national median home price being $229,000 at the end of the 3rd quarter 2015.

Only 4% of agents across the nation say their listings are selling for less. That’s the lowest depreciation rate since before the burst of the housing bubble!

Besides sale price, we also need to take a look at how long active listings sit on the market. As you can imagine, such competition amongst buyers has caused listings to fly off the market faster than ever. A whopping 69% of our agents say their listings sat on the market for an average of less than 60 days.

So listings are selling for more and they’re selling fast. Does this mean more contentment with people selling their homes? Not necessarily. It’s important for sellers to keep their expectations realistic. They are clearly being inundated with all this good news about the market, and they immediately think they can overprice their homes. 25% of our agent’s clients saw their listings close with less than 95% of their original asking price. Compare this to this time last year, when only 22% of sellers were walking away with less than 95% of their original price.


One thing we’re hearing a lot about in the news is a major decline in foreclosures. According to a recent report by Core Logic, foreclosure inventory has declined by 24.3% and completed foreclosures declined by 17.6% compared with September 2014. This is great news, and there’s no reason to believe it might not be accurate. However, when you bring in our exclusive territories from all over the nation – not just the major cities – we saw that foreclosure rates are actually pretty consistent with where they’ve been for the last couple years.

This quarter, 84% of our agents said foreclosures made up less than 15% of their local market. While this is nothing particularly exciting, we can hope that the changes evident in major cities start to trickle out into smaller cities and suburbs, as well.

In Conclusion…

It can’t be overstated that the continued rise of the seller’s market is not just good for the housing market, but for the economy overall. To see home prices continue to rise and the market continue to grow simply wasn’t conceivable a few years ago. It is also great news for buyers that the rate of appreciation is beginning to slow.  This will give buyers a bit more time to find the right home for the right price.  2016 should be another good year for both home sellers and home buyers assuming interest rates and the economy remain stable.

HouseHunt’s Quarterly Comparison Chart For the U.S. | 3rd Quarter 2015 Results in Red

2013 2014 2015
Quarter 2nd 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 3rd
Buyer-Seller Ratio
More Buyers 67% 57% 51% 61% 54% 39% 50% 61% 64% 56%
More Sellers 17% 26% 21% 19% 24% 37% 26% 15% 20% 24%
About Even 16% 17% 28% 20% 22% 24% 24% 24% 16% 20%
Average Days On Market
0-60 Days 65% 65% 57% 60% 63% 63% 56% 55% 70% 69%
Sold in 60 Days Plus 35% 35% 43% 40% 37% 37% 44% 45% 30% 31%
Unsold Inventory
Good Supply 24% 26% 32% 24% 28% 39% 44% 26% 26% 31%
Tight Supply 76% 74% 68% 76% 72% 61% 56% 74% 74% 69%
Annual Price Appreciation
Up 0-5% 21% 18% 29% 24% 27% 26% 26% 25% 26% 26%
Up 5-10% 24% 17% 31% 26% 29% 38% 27% 35% 33% 44%
Up 10% Plus 43% 54% 31% 42% 37% 25% 36% 27% 32% 20%
Unchanged 6% 5% 3% 3% 3% 4% 3% 6% 5% 6%
Negative Appreciation 6% 6% 6% 5% 4% 7% 8% 7% 4% 4%
Buyer Activity
Repeat / Move UP / Investors 81% 85% 78% 79% 77% 84% 76% 82% 75% 79%
First-time Buyers 19% 15% 22% 21% 23% 16% 24% 18% 25% 21%
Ask vs. Sale Price
Less Than 95% 30% 23% 30% 23% 9% 22% 28% 29% 26% 25%
More Than 95% 70% 77% 70% 77% 91% 78% 72% 71% 74% 75%
Multiple Offers?
Yes 88% 91% 87% 83% 86% 83% 76% 84% 88% 86%
No 12% 9% 13% 17% 14% 17% 24% 16% 12% 14%
Short Sales / Foreclosures
Less than 15% of the market no data 77% 80% 83% 79% 87% 85% 86% 84% 86%
More than 15% of the market no data 23% 20% 17% 21% 13% 15% 14% 16% 14%

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Two Lies and a Truth about Real Estate




  • When you buy your first home, remember that it is an investment, and you should get more out of it than what you put in.
  • Don’t make unnecessary or too costly of home updates to your home.
  • Buying a home can be one of the smartest, financial decisions you’ll ever make.

When you’re preparing your home for a sale, the last thing you need is to hear are myths about real estate. And there are two myths that come to mind—and I’ll call them exactly what they are: lies. These lies have been circulated so much that people believe they’re the absolute truth. I’m here today to show you the one truth about buying and selling a home that will help you understand why buying a home is actually the best financial decision you’ll ever make.

Truth About Real Estate

Lie 1: Buying a home is going to be a waste of money and a burden of debt.

During the mid 2000s, people were buying homes they could not afford with money from banks that they could not pay back. This led to lots of families buying homes out of their price range, which, in turn, added to the housing market crash. This left people feeling afraid and hopeless in terms of debt and the value of their homes. With the fear came the belief that buying a home is problematic and leads to debt.

Truth about Real Estate

How to Avoid: Since the housing crash, banks have become stricter on who they will give a mortgage and how much they will allow you to borrow to buy a home. This is actually a good thing. This means you should only buy a home that you can put money down for and pay the monthly payments on time. So it’s always best that you don’t bother trying to buy that $500,000 home when you’re only making enough for one in the $300,000 price range.

Lie 2: Spending Thousands on Home Updates Adds More to Resale Value

This couldn’t be further from the truth! People spend tens of thousands of dollars on updates—like exotic pools, outdoor kitchens, or new plumbing for selling purposes. Not only is this usually a gigantic waste of money, but it tends to add only slight value to the home instead of the “major benefits on home resale value” that the plumbing company down the street attempted to sell you on.

Truth About Real Estate

How to Avoid: Steer clear of the over-the-top home updates and only fix and make adjustments to the home that will actually add resale value—like new carpeting, a beautiful paint job, bathroom updates, or maintaining the front yard. So just remember to only go with home improvements that actually pay off and not “improvements” that waste your time and money.

Truth: Buying a Home is the Best Possible Investment You Can Make

If you’re afraid of saving $20,000-$40,000 for a 20% down payment on a home, you’re not alone. People are afraid to save just a few hundred dollars a month for something that seems out of reach. But I’m here to tell you that saving just a few hundred dollars a month, and cutting unnecessary expenditures, can grow to be thousands of dollars saved within just a few years. And if you’re able to come up with 20% of a home’s worth for a down payment, you can likely purchase that home and get a mortgage depending on your credit history.

Truth About Real Estate

After living in your first home for some time, and paying your mortgage on time every month, you can plan to sell it once it’s time for you to move your family to a bigger or better home.

By selling your home at the best possible time in the market for sellers, you’re able to make the most money for your home. Hopefully you’ll make more money on the sale of your home than when you purchased it, and this is why buying a home is always the best possible investment that you can make. It allows you to put only a percentage of the cost down, make monthly payments, and you can sell your home a years later, and you’ll likely end up with more money or purchasing an even better home then you’ve ever expected for yourself with the money made from the initial sale.

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Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane


By Edward Hurley

We may be located in California, but we’ve got lots of friends all over the globe. And since the recent hurricane, Kilo, in Hawaii, we want to give some tips and advice about preparing your home for a hurricane. So, if you happen to live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, this information could save you a ton of money and even your home.

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane

Hurricanes are in Season

Hurricane season is from June to November. We’re currently smacked in the middle of the season, which means that areas like Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, and even the Northeast isn’t safe from hurricanes. So if you’re in New York, Maryland, or Massachusetts, you may want to think twice before dismissing the idea of a hurricane actually affecting you.

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane

Prior to a hurricane, you should make sure you and your family have a safe place to go if you are told to evacuate your home by local authorities. You should never wait until last minute to try to find somewhere because this will leave you and your family without a plan and in harms ways.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you should go to your shelter/safe room. If you do not have one, you should prep your home by closing all doors, secure external doors, keep the curtains and blinds of all the windows closed, and either lie on the floor under a table, desk, or other sturdy object, or go into a small room, hallway, or closet in the lowest level of the home.

Create a Family First-Aid Kit

Your first-aid kit should be filled with items and tools that will help you during a hurricane. That means filling your first-aid kit with bandage wrap, flashlights, radio, whistle, dust masks, towels, bags, wrench and pliers, at least three to five day supply of non-perishable food, one gallon of water per person for three to five days, a can opener, a cell phone with charger, and a map of the local area.

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane

What You Can Do Prior a Hurricane

Talk to your homeowner’s insurance agent. They’ll let you tell you if your home is covered for any and all damages due to a hurricane. The last thing you want is to find out when it’s too late that your home wasn’t covered under your current policy.

Since wind and hail damages account for 47% of home insurance claims, and 17% from water and freezing damages, these are direct signs of hurricanes and storms’ affects on homes. So protect your home, belongings, and family by having insurance that will cover the costs of any hurricane damage that may occur to your home.

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane

During a hurricane, the best thing you can do is remain calm. Lots of accidents happen when people act out of fear or rush into dangerous situations. If you allow yourself to remain calm, listen to directions from the local TV or radio stations, and follow through with cautious actions, you and your family will be safe.


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The Benefits of New England Real Estate


By Edward Hurley

Lobster, clam chowder, and The Boston Red Sox are three things New Englanders love. But what New Englanders love most are their families, friends, and amazing homes! New England real estate is all about beautiful homes, location, and the breathtaking landscapes you’ll never forget. So we’ve come up with a few reasons for you in terms of why you’d want to live there.

New England Real Estate

New England States

If you’re planning on relocating, why not consider New England? If you take the time to learn about the states considered New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, you’ll realize why these states are all individually special. These states all vary in size, demographics, lifestyles, and natural surroundings, but one thing remains the same, they all have lots of wonderful neighborhoods with beautiful homes.

New England Real Estate


If you’re looking for a home near the shore, or surrounded by luscious trees? Do you want to dress in Connecticut casual fashion, sit by the shore, and drink lemonade while you watch your children play? If so, Fairfield may be just what you’re looking for.

New England Real Estate

Bristol, Connecticut 6 Bedroom Home for $264,900! Click the Image to See More Pictures.

Fairfield, Connecticut is located off the coast of the state. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in New England, its almost 60,000 citizens still enjoy the small town, and it is only 50 miles from New York for those who wish to commute to the “big apple” for work.


Maine is the most northeastern state in the United States. Its beaches are some of the most beautiful in the country, there are 57 active lighthouses along the coast, and Maine has plenty of art galleries and studios along the way for you and your family to visit.

New England Real Estate

Portland, Maine 3 Bedroom Home for $347,500! Click the Image to See More Pictures.

Falmouth is located near the coast of Maine, but it still has the green charm that a farming community has to offer. The homes range in price—from the million-dollar listings to as low as $200,000. These homes and land are not only big in size, but they’re big in heart. Your family will fall in love with the land,


Massachusetts is perfect for families for lots of reasons. There are over 200 colleges in the city of Boston alone, and they are some of the most prestigious schools in the world. So if you have hopes of your child going to some of the best elementary schools, high schools, and colleges in the nation, then Massachusetts is the state for you.

New England Real Estate

Harwich, Massachusetts 3 Bedroom Home for $439,000! Click the Image to See More Pictures.

New Hampshire

The state itself is a nature lovers dream. With its waterfalls, hiking, animals, luscious-green fields, and parks, there’s no wonder why people love visiting and living in New Hampshire.

New England Real Estate

Dartmouth, New Hampshire 3 Bedroom Home for $469,500! Click the Image to See More Pictures.

Portsmouth is a great example of a modern city looks like in New Hampshire. Its homes are new, its natural surroundings and metro areas exist in harmony, and its citizens are friendly and appreciate the peaceful neighborhoods they live. The price of homes in Portsmouth runs from very high to incredibly affordable, so picking the right home for the right price is entirely up to you.

Rhode Island

Maybe it’s the smallest state in terms of size, but Rhode Island makes up for its tiny size in delicious seafood and perfect beaches. This state has not only a rich, colonial history, but the homes throughout the state share in the heritage and love for the Atlantic that Rhode Island has to offer.

New England Real Estate

East Providence, Rhode Island 4 Bedroom Home for $529,000! Click the Image to See More Pictures.

Newport is a beach town that has so much to see. The mansions along the coast will inspire you, and the family homes around the neighborhood will make you feel at home in this beach neighborhood. The great part about Newport is that there is always something to do for everyone and a home for every kind of family.


For all you pancake lovers, what’s better than living in the state that produces the most maple syrup for the nation? Now Vermont isn’t just known for its delicious maple syrup. It’s known for its lush forests, mountains, majestic lakes, and of course, outdoor activities.

New England Real Estate

Burlington, Vermont 4 Bedroom Home for $1,450,000! Click the Image to See More Pictures.

Aside from all the natural elements that Vermont has to offer, its housing ranges from natural settings, to more modern suburbs. For instance, in Manchester, you can find more farmhouses. But in the town of Brattleboro, you will find more of a suburban feel to the surrounding areas. So if you consider yourself a city folk trying to find your roots, look to Vermont for a great home.

New England Climate

The climate varies what region, area, and state you’re in, but New England’s climate ranges from cold winters to warm summers. It can get humid, and snow falls during the winter, depending where you are. So you can be sure that you’ll definitely see all four seasons in New England.

New England Real Estate

Median Family Income Level

The median family income level in the Northeast is actually higher than anywhere else in the United States. In 2013, the median income level for families was slightly over $71,000. This is great news when the cost of living is lower than living in the West. So if you’re living in the west coast . . . maybe it’s time to try the east.

New England Real Estate

The great thing about New England real estate is they’re a great alternative to raising a family in a big metropolitan city, but they are close enough to major-east-coast metropolitan areas that many suburbanites commute to work. The landscape and natural settings surrounding the homes are breathtaking, and the high-incomes will surely bring in new buyers from all over the U.S.

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Selling a Home When the Owners are Moving


By Jonathan Deesing

Tips for Selling a Home During a Move

Selling a home can have a variety of challenges, but no challenge is quite as tricky as when the sellers are in the process of moving out. Stacks of moving boxes and half-empty rooms can make even the nicest home unappealing to potential buyers. Plus, a move can leave a formerly beloved home looking banged up and abandoned.

If you find yourself in the awkward position of selling a home mid-move, there are some things you can do to help potential buyers see past the chaos to the great home underneath.

Selling a Home

Capture the Home in Advance

Work with the sellers to get some great shots of the home pre-move. Help them stage each room to show off its best features and capture those photos before moving boxes get in the way. You can use the pictures for the online listing and can even blow them up and place on easels in the appropriate rooms to help potential buyers visualize the possibilities of the home.

Another way to show off the home before it is overtaken by boxes is to have the sellers create a video “love letter” about their home. They can give potential buyers a virtual tour of the home, sharing what they loved about the house and any interesting details that will grab a buyer’s attention. Have them show off the neighborhood as well and offer a few tips about the best nearby gym or coffee shop.

Be Smart About Scheduling

Try not to show the home during peak packing times, and certainly not on moving day. Ask the sellers if they can give you a schedule of times that the home will be presentable to prospective buyers. If they plan to squeeze in most of their moving activities on the weekends, suggest showing the house during the week while they’re at work.

Selling a Home

Contain the Chaos

Ask homeowners to organize their moving paraphernalia to minimize distraction during showings. Suggest limiting boxes and packing materials to one room, if possible. See if they can organize their packing to leave homey touches out as long as possible. Books, art on the walls, or candles can help potential buyers picture themselves settling in and enjoying the home.

Throw in Some Goodies

Talk to the owners about leaving behind some items to help entice potential buyers. Including stainless steel appliances or the washer and dryer in the price of the sale help new homeowners cut down out-of-pocket costs. Freezers, a grill, garage shelving, lawn equipment, and outdoor play can be a real incentive to the average homebuyer looking to cut down on future costs after such a major purchase. The inclusion will feel like a huge bonus.

Sustain the Curb Appeal

It’s easy for an empty (or soon-to-be empty) home to start looking neglected. Make sure that arrangements are in place for grass to be cut regularly in warm months and for snow and ice to be removed in the winter. Offset the emptiness inside the home by staging the exterior. Add some colorful pots of flowers, a nice wreath, a homey welcome mat, or even a rocker on the front porch.

Selling a Home

Don’t forget the backyard. Grass, flowerbeds, and garden areas need to be regularly maintained there as well. If there are large trees, be sure to clear the yard of leaves and branches, especially in the fall. Don’t let weeds overtake the garden, and encourage the owners to harvest any fresh vegetables or herbs that are ready for picking.

Keep Things Fresh

Once the owners have moved out, plan to open windows and air out the home every few days. You don’t want excited buyers to have their enthusiasm dampened by a musty, closed-in feeling. While you’re airing out the home, look around for anything that may need to be dusted or wiped down. Small, regular maintenance helps keep the home from feeling vacant and forlorn.

Air isn’t the only thing that may need some freshening. Inspect walls for bumps and scuffs. See if the owners will touchup or repaint walls after the move to make the home look pristine and ready to sell. After all, the walls are going to be one of the only things left for buyers to see, so they need to be appealing.

It may not be ideal to try to sell a home when the owners are busy packing up and moving, but with a little forethought, and some teamwork, it is possible to turn a potential headache into a successful sale.

About the Author: Jonathan Deesing is a relocation and packing specialist with imove, where he spends most of his time popping bubble wrap. For more moving help and tips take a peek at some of imove’s helpful resources!



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