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National Real Estate Summary
National Real Estate Summary
Presented by HouseHunt Inc

Publish Date: November 20th, 2017

2017 3rd Quarter Market Report: Home Sales and Prices Hit a Wall

The 3rd quarter of 2017 ended with not much of a change from the 2nd quarter. Home sales are down slightly and home prices continue to rise with median home prices up 4.2% year over year, but down from the second quarter's 6.2% increase. The primary reason for the slow-down in sales is the limited number of homes for sale, higher prices and less buyers being able to afford to buy a home.

The most notable change in the 2nd quarter was a shift in the amount of buyer activity declining 16% from last quarter. Additionally we found a significant change in the amount of price appreciation. Although 91% of the markets reported price appreciation there was an 11% shift from those markets reporting 5-10% appreciation and over 10% appreciation to those markets reporting under 5% appreciation.

According the National association of Realtors (NAR) existing home prices were up 4.2% over last year; the inventory of unsold homes is at a 4.2 month supply and 48% of all homes were sold in under one month. Still home sales dropped overall due to the low inventory of homes for sale.

The data in this report is generated primarily from our survey of HouseHunt.com and MoveUp.com exclusive member real estate agents across the United States. This grass roots approach to studying the housing market gives us a thorough look at where the real estate market is through the eyes and perspective of the local real estate agents who are living and working in the trenches of each community.

Buyer and Seller Activity
The trend in buyer activity is significantly higher than seller activity, however there was a definite downward trend in the number of markets continuing to show increasing buyer activity in the 3rd quarter. Our Realtors reported increasing buyer activity in 73% of the markets - down 16% from last quarter, but up 7% compared to last year. Seller activity was increasing in 49% of the markets in the 3rd quarter which was no change from the 2nd quarter, but up 9% over last year.

The buyer-seller ratio changed rather significantly in the 3rd quarter which may be indicating a shift in the number of buyers who are becoming priced out of the market or just not happy with the choice of homes available to them. In the 3rd quarter our Realtors reported more buyers than sellers in 44% of the markets compared to 63% in the 2nd quarter and 54% a year ago. Representing a 19% and 10% decline respectively. Conversely more sellers than buyers were reported in 26% of the markets an increase of 6% over last quarter and a decrease of 1% from last year. An equal number of buyers and sellers were reported in 30% of the markets compared to 17% in the 2nd quarter and 19% this time last year.

Additionally it should be noted that there was a slight increase in the number of first time buyers with 26% of the markets reporting that first time buyers represented the majority of their clients compared to 23% last quarter and 18% a year ago. This is great news as this allows some homeowners in the lower price ranges to move up to a higher priced home.

The market appears to becoming a bit more balanced which has led to a lower rate of home price increases, however homes are still selling very quickly as inventories still remain at historical low levels.

Home Inventory
Home inventories continue to be very tight with our survey showing that 80% of the markets are reporting tight to very tight inventory. This is a decrease of 4% from last quarter and an increase of 10% over last year. Conversely, only 20% of the markets are showing a good supply of homes. Average days on the market has also declined with 69% reported homes are selling in less than 60 days. this compares to 70% of the markets last quarter and 64% in the 3rd quarter of 2016. The National Association of Realtors reported that the nationwide average time on the market in September was 34 days and 48% of the homes sold in less than 30 days.

According to NAR, the inventory of homes for sale at the end September 2017 is only a 4.2 month supply of homes for sale nationwide. A balanced "normal market" is a six month supply of homes available for sale.

Homeowners are receiving over 95% of asking price in 82% of the markets surveyed. This is a 4% increase over last quarter and supports the continued pressure on buyers because of inventory and more buyers than sellers.

Homes that are priced correctly and in good condition are selling very quickly, while over priced homes tend to stay on the market longer. Homes in the lower price ranges are flying off the market with multiple offers. In fact, 91% of all markets surveyed reported sellers are receiving multiple offers on good properties.

Home Prices:
Our Survey is showing a continued increase of home prices, however the rate of increase is shifting downward from previous reports. In the 3rd quarter our Realtors reported 41% of the markets had an increase between 1-5% compared to last quarter when30% of the markets were appreciating between 1-5%. Only 26% of the markets reported price increases of 5-10% compared to 34% last quarter and 24% of the markets reported 10% plus appreciation compared to 27% last quarter. Overall 91% of all markets reported price appreciation, 5% reported negative appreciation and 4% remained unchanged.

The National Association of Realtors also reported home prices at the end of the 3rd quarter were up 4.2% over a year ago which is a decline from the end of last quarter when prices were up 6.2% year over year.

Home foreclosures continue to remain at below normal levels with 97% of our real estate agents reporting that foreclosures made up less than 15% of the inventory in their community. This is consistent with NAR's report that distressed sales represent only 4% of all sales. Foreclosures and distressed properties are not having a major impact in the real estate markets at this time.

In Conclusion:
Many of the factors that have been prevalent in the housing market for the last few years are still in play, including low inventory levels, more buyers than sellers, and low interest rates. Add to that renewed optimism regarding the economy, a better labor market and a strong stock market indicates 2017 should see continued price increases. However the lack of inventory and decreasing affordability may cause the actual number of home sales to continue to decline and lead to a more balanced real estate market in 2018.

2016 was a great year for the housing market with 5.45 million housing units sold the highest number since 2006 and an increase of the median home price of 4%. At the end of the 3rd quarter of 2017 NAR is reporting a pace of 5.39 million existing home sales which is indicating another great year for home sales.

HouseHunt, Inc. is a consumer-oriented Internet firm that provides free information and services to homeowners, home buyers and home sellers in 48 states through its member-agents and through its primary website, HouseHunt.com

HouseHunt's Quarterly Comparison Chart For the U.S. | 3rd Quarter 2017 Results in Red
Buyer-Seller Ratio
More Buyers64%56%48%60%63%54%58%73%63%44%
More Sellers20%24%24%24%19%27%24%9%20%26%
About Even16%20%28%16%18%19%18%18%17%30%
Average Time On Market
0-60 Days70%69%65%67%53%64%59%63%70%69%
Sold in 60 Days Plus30%31%35%33%47%36%41%37%30%31%
Unsold Inventory
Good Supply26%31%33%33%34%30%30%20%16%20%
Tight Supply74%69%67%67%66%70%70%80%84%80%
Annual Price Appreciation
Up 0-5%26%26%30%36%34%24%27%24%30%41%
Up 5-10%33%44%36%35%32%34%36%39%34%26%
Up 10% Plus32%20%24%24%27%23%23%29%27%24%
Negative Appreciation4%4%4%5%2%14%9%5%5%5%
Buyer Activity
Repeat / Move UP / Investors75%79%84%85%81%82%81%74%77%74%
First-time Buyers25%21%16%15%19%18%19%26%23%26%
Ask vs. Sale Price
Less Than 95%26%25%23%22%22%17%28%31%22%18%
More Than 95%74%75%77%78%78%83%72%69%78%82%
Multiple Offers?
Short Sales / Foreclosures
Less than 15% of the market84%86%87%89%93%95%95%94%98%97%
More than 15% of the market16%14%13%11%7%5%5%6%2%3%
Buyer Activity Trend
No change12%20%13%15%13%18%19%12%4%22%
Seller Activity Trend
No change26%24%29%36%32%38%36%30%31%13%
Average Time on Market Trend
No change16%21%21%27%22%17%18%14%20%32%
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