The big news in real estate at the end of September 2018 was that mortgage rates reached a seven year high as they continued an upward trend they started at the beginning of this year. Rates are expected to continue to rise into next year and beyond. While the base rate is at 4.71% as of today (according to FreddieMac.com), it is important to remember that most people are receiving rates in the mid- to high 5% range or even in the low 6%. Unfortunately googling interest rates and expecting to pay what you see on the large websites that pop up first isn't going to happen for most people. Your credit score, the amount of the loan, and your down payment all play into what rate you'll receive, and the only way to know what your rate will be is to talk to a mortgage lender. Remember, as rates go up but incomes stay stagnant, buyers' purchasing power goes down, so if you have been thinking about buying, please reach out to me today so we can discuss all of your options.
For home owners who are considering selling, it is also important to note that as rates go up, the market will start to even out and become more of a buyers market. While no one has a crystal ball, this could potentially mean that homes will stay on the market longer and prices will begin to settle. If you've considered selling but are not sure if now is the right time, let's discuss your questions and concerns this week!
In September 2018, over $1.2 billion of residential real estate was sold throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties (down $311 million since last month but up $130 milllion since last year). There were 6,331 new homes listed (making it the slowest month of the year, but that number is still up almost 2,000 units since the same time last year). The total number of currently active listings stayed pretty steady both month-over-month and year-over-year at 14,463 homes.
In September, the number of home sales combined in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties was 4,668 - an increase year-over-year of 6.9% and a month-over-month decrease of 22.5%. While such a large decrease in homes sold seems drastic, historically there are always substantially less homes sold in September than in August and July. Of the total home sales, Hillsborough county was responsible for 2,012, Pasco had 984, and Pinellas had 1,672.
In the tri-county area, the average home price increased very slightly by 0.6% month-over-month and rose year-over-year by 3.9%. As discussed in previous posts, small month-over-month changes are typically not an indication of a substantial change in the real estate market, and the year-over-year difference is a more important statistic. The average sales price was $272,505 in Hillsborough, $208,059 in Pasco, $295,422 in Pinellas, and $258,662 overall. Since April of this year, we have not seen a year-over-year price increase over 6%, and that is a good indicator that the market has started to level out. Those who were waiting to see what happened in the market before moving forward with a sale or purchase should take note that we have seen enough months of balance that now could be a good time to start seriously considering your move.
In September 2018, the median time homes were on the market before going under contract was 24 days, down one day from September 2017 and staying the same as the month before. Homes that are priced right will typically sell within a month, while overpriced homes will sit even though we are technically in a "seller's market."
Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, I would love to help guide you through the process. There are a lot of steps to take on either side, and it helps to have a local and knowledgeable Realtor working for you (even if you're buying new construction!).
Remember, real estate is hyper-local and what's happening in your neighborhood could dramatically differ from someone else's. If you'd like a customized analysis of your home's current value or help in deciding whether it's the right time for you personally to buy a home, contact me directly and I'd be happy to provide local, expert advice.
Keller Williams Tampa Properties
5020 W Linebaugh Ave #100
Tampa, FL 33618