November closed home sales were up 6.6% over last November. As you can see by the graph, home sales have been mostly up since May over last year. We’ve been reporting excellent pending sales, so this number is no surprise.
The interesting number for us to watch as we close out 2019 will be the total number of home sales for the year. Right now, we’re up 1.0% November through November. If sales come in as expected for December 2019 will top 2018 which was a great year. November Closed home sales were up as have several previous months.
By our calculations we only need 772 closed sales to beat 2018 numbers. To put this in perspective, we closed 1001 homes in November. New pending sales were up 15.2% in October and up 28.2% in November. It’s hard to imagine that we won’t hit those numbers.
This is good news for home sellers. Pending inventory is up 33.4% and active listings are down 14.2% from last year. While interest rates are rising, they haven’t risen enough to make a dent in demand. Last month we saw some price increases we haven’t seen in a while. Will this be the start of a trend?
Another indicator we look at is total dollar volume. It was up again in November, up 8.3% over last year. Total dollar volume is down 1.2% November 2018 through November 2019. If we have another big month this December, we could overtake 2018 in that category as well.
It’s almost a tale of two markets. The first 4 months of 2019 featured higher interest rates. If you remember, the fed hiked rates about 1% in 2018 needlessly. Rates since came back down, and the economy got hot. Together these two factors helped propel the real estate market. Rates are off their lows just a bit but still under 4% which is fantastic. Combine low rates with a hot economy, and you’ve got a recipe for a hot real estate market.
We already see evidence, and the signs are flashing green. Sales are up, pending sales are up, and inventory is lower than last year. Median home prices rose 5.0% in November vs. last years median price. We don’t like to get too hung up on prices for any given month. We prefer to focus on trends. Home prices have been steady since 2017. The median is up slightly since January 2017 and the average is down slightly in that same period.
We are seeing some trends emerge in the way real estate is bought and sold. Emerging artificial intelligence are providing tools on how best to reach a buyer for a property. We’ve been testing some of these tools with some encouraging if not amazing results. We look forward to rolling out some new marketing strategies based upon intelligence we’ve learned.
Artificial intelligence only works when you’ve got big data. We have access to the biggest data in the real estate industry, and what we’re learning is changing the industry. Look for 2020 to be a year the real estate industry changes in a big way. Agents that aren’t using artificial intelligence will be at a disadvantage moving forward, and for sale by owners will have an even tougher time.
Currently for sale by owners have a challenge marketing their home, and because they only reach such a small segment of the market explains why they net less on average that sellers who use an agent. Listing a home on the big portals isn’t enough, and the big portals aren’t using artificial intelligence because they don’t have the data necessary. They have data they’ve purchased, and access to MLS feeds, but that isn’t enough. That’s essentially nothing more than public records and public listing data. The real insights come from access to consumer data and drawing meaningful conclusions based upon those patterns. The Ellis Team will share more in the coming months about this and how it will affect home buyers and sellers.
If you’re curious to you home’s value, find out instantly and for Free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com Or call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.
See last week’s article “Real Estate Inventory Supply Rises Slightly in December”
Good luck and Happy Holidays!