Two things we study closely are interest rates and housing inventory levels.  These two indicators help us get a sense of the forward motion of the local real estate market.  Currently, interest rates are around 3.5% which is even lower than the chart.

Interest Rates and Housing Inventory

Housing affordability numbers show the US market at 16 in 2019, which is less than 17 we had in 2018.  In other words, consumers could afford more home in 2019 than 2018.  Housing affordability is a function of price of home combined with how much it costs to finance it, and incomes.

Home prices were up 4.8% nationally in 2019.  Wages were up, and rates were down.  After calculating these 3 factors, it turns out we could afford more home in 2019 than previous year.  This also means we have opportunity in 2020.

Buyers are having a difficult time right now.  Not because rates are low, or credit is hard to get.  On the contrary, credit standards are OK right now and rates are indeed low.  The issue is inventory levels are low.  Nationally we’re down to a 3.9 months’ supply of inventory, which is historically low.

If we revert to the top of the article, the two things we’re monitoring now are interest rates and housing inventory levels.  Both are down, which is putting pressure on buyers.  Our team is working with several buyers right now, and it feels like a race to find the best listings first.  Many times, there are several buyers interested and sellers are receiving multiple offers.

Every home isn’t receiving multiple offers, it just feels that way when you’re working with buyers.  A good agent working with a buyer searches for the best homes that meet their client’s needs.  The best homes are typically the next home to go, because they offer value for the size, location, and amenities that home offers.  It’s no coincidence that several agents zero in on the same few homes, because that home is clearly the best value, and one of the next homes to sell.

Buyers do the same thing online.  They search for the best home and best value for them.  Sellers often look at the competition, but they often do so through rose colored glasses.  Sellers tend to value their home more favorably than buyers because they live in it and it’s their home.  It’s like watching your child perform at the school talent contest.  You see more talent in your child than anyone else, and you’re proud of them.  It’s difficult for a seller to step back and take an impartial look at their home like a buyer would.

Ellis Team Nationwide MLS Search App
Ellis Team nationwide MLS search app

Thankfully we’ve got an app for both buyers and sellers that should help you.  It’s the first nationwide MLS search for both buyers and sellers, and it includes some features no other site offers.  You can download the app at  Next week we’ll present more things you can do with this app.  We’d appreciate your feedback as well.  It’s something we’ve been working on for a few years and we think it’s a major improvement over anything else out there.  If it asks for a Realtor choose Brett Ellis. We’ll let you be the judge, and we welcome your feedback.  Email me at and let me know how you like it, and if there’s anything we can improve.

For the first time you’ll be able to search at the neighborhood level, not just the zip code level.  There’s a handy guide that guides you through the process, and a dynamic map where you can choose exactly what streets you want to look at.

You can always call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re thinking of selling your home, ask for Brett or Sande Ellis.  We also have buyer specialists ready to serve you.

Good luck and enjoy the new App!

See Last Week’s Article “Real Estate Total Dollar Volume Up in Lee County in 2019

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