November 2018: Montgomery Real Estate Update

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“We had a pretty good October,” said Mike Hughes, General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. “Comparing October 2018 with October 2017, our pending sales transactions were up 18 percent, our pending sales volume was up 9 percent, and Downing-Frye’s closed transactions were up 4 percent. It was a busy summer, and now a busy fall, and it looks like the high season is already beginning. Car carriers have been arriving and unloading, and part-time residents are returning to find an already-active real estate market. Buyers need to jump in or the best offerings will be taken.”


Overall pending sales in the third quarter are up 20 percent, closed sales are up 13 percent, the median closed price is up 3 percent, inventory is up 4 percent, and the days on market decreased 1 percent – all indicators that the third quarter real estate market in Naples remains strong. Closed sales of homes between $300,000 and $500,000 increased at a higher rate (24 percent) than other price categories. Sales of homes between $1 million and $2 million increased 18 percent. Overall closed sales in the $2 million price category increased 20 percent. Most remarkable was the strong activity in the condominium market where pending sales increased 21 percent and closed sales increased 20 percent compared to 3Q2017. The single-family home market also saw a strong increase in overall pending sales activity which was up 20 percent and its closed sales activity was up 6 percent.


Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more pending sales in September compared to a year ago – when Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, 2017. Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor said, “With most areas of the state out of commission for a week or more, we saw severely depressed levels of closed sales, new pending sales and new listings last September. For this reason, the year-over-year changes in these three metrics are inflated in this September’s data and aren’t reflective of current trends. Fortunately, the year-over-year changes we reported for most of the other metrics – like median price – were not as significantly skewed by the impact of Irma. In September, end-of-month statewide single-family inventory was up for the third straight month, this time by 6.5 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, condo and townhouse inventory rose by a more modest 2.9 percent.”


Existing-home sales declined in September after a month of stagnation in August. Sales are now down 4.1 percent from a year ago. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says rising interest rates have led to a decline in sales across all regions of the country. “This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015. A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country. Rising interests rates coupled with increasing home prices are keeping first-time buyers out of the market, but consistent job gains could allow more Americans to enter the market with a steady and measurable rise in inventory,” said Yun. September’s median existing-home price was $258,100, up 4.2 percent from September 2017.

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