I'd like to start the last quarter of 2019 market update with a little update on my own end-of-year numbers! In 2019 I sold $14.6 million of real estate and closed 48 sales. I was #6 out of 1000 agents in my office and #273 out of approximately 20,000 residential agents in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties). This is as a single agent (not a team). I am beyond amazed at how fortunate I am to have this career that I love that lets me help make a difference in people's lives (in more ways than you'd think). 2020 already has some very exciting things in store, and I am so ready to keep the momentum of 2019 going. With that being said, on to the update!
A lot of times, agents who are working full time in the industry tend to use their personal and anecdotal experience as the benchmark for how the market is performing. I am somewhat guilty of this as I had expected to see significantly different stats this month based on the homes I had listed and the buyers I had worked with in the fourth quarter. It felt to me like the market was starting to turn to more of a buyer's market and things were slowing down a bit. But that's why I do this update monthly to make sure that a personal bias isn't skewing my advice to sellers or buyers!
I usually put this stat at the end of my update, but I was surprised to see that median days to sell stayed almost exactly the same in Q4 as it was in the previous three months and during the same period last year. The median time it is taking homes to go under contract is currently 24 days. While a lot of people generally expect the holiday season to slow home sales down, homes that are priced right and in desirable locations are still selling quickly as there is a big benefit to moving in before the end of the year: homestead tax exemption. Other factors play a role as well, but knowing that homes were still going under contract quickly even during the busy holiday season is encouraging. Homes continuing to go under contract quickly is a good sign that things are not slowing down as I had thought!
While homes were going under contract quickly in Q4, there was still a significant decrease in the amount of homes sold versus Q3, but more sold than in Q4 2018. A quarterly decrease is to be expected though, as our busiest real estate months happen in the first half of the year (after the summer everything slows down pretty substantially). However, more homes selling during the same time period this year versus last year is a continuation of the trend that we have seen in the last few years - more and more sales as time goes on. In last month's update, I pointed out there was a 7.6% decrease in sales from Q2 to Q3. From Q3 to Q4, there was an 11.2% decrease in sales. This shows that if you are thinking of selling your home, the next few months is statistically the best time to do so. Overall, the number of home sales was up 2.9% from Q4 in 2018. Across the three counties, 15,210 homes were sold in Q4 2019. Hillsborough county lead the way with 6,642 sales, followed by Pinellas with 5,336, and Pasco with 3,232.
As month-over-month home prices can fluctuate pretty dramatically, a quarterly update is more representative of this data point. This year, we saw the average sales price in the three counties rise by 4.6% from last year, and go down by a marginal 0.26% since last quarter. Healthy and sustainable year-over-year growth is considered to be somewhere between 3% - 7%, so there are not currently any signs that the increase in housing prices are out of the ordinary. The average sales price for Q4 across the three counties was $274,689, with Hillsborough at $290,908, Pasco at $227,897, and Pinellas at $305,261. While Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have higher average prices, Pasco has consistently seen a larger percentage growth in prices over the months, quarters, and years than Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. This is likely because of the increasing demand for housing in those areas as more businesses and developments are created in the area. Many people from out-of-town are choosing to make Pasco their home and many long time Tampa residents are moving north were housing is newer and more affordable.
In the fourth quarter of 2019 in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties, there was $4.29 billion of residential real estate sold, up $302 million over Q4 last year. There were 16,115 new homes listed on the market in that three month time frame, though months of available inventory was still at an average of 2.5 (indicating an extreme seller's market). That being said, the close price to original price ratio (i.e., what the home sold for versus what it was original listed at when it initially went on the market) was 96.7%. This means a home listed at $250,000 was selling, on average, for just under $242,000. It is wise for sellers to keep these metrics in mind when listing their house, as making sure they are price right from the start can limit their days on market and the need to negotiate.
The first quarter is always extremely busy in our area as everyone wraps up the holidays and refocuses on buying or selling a home. Tax returns help buyers with down payments, and snowbirds increase the opportunity for sellers. If you've been thinking of buying or selling, now is the time to call me - it doesn't take as long as you think to get to the closing table! I provide personalized service to make sure my clients' specific goals are met. It helps to have a knowledgeable Realtor working for you as there are many steps to take on either side. I can even help you 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 deciding whether it's the right time for you to buy a home, please contact me directly as I'd be happy to provide local, expert advice.
Future Home Realty