North Bethany, DE Homes for Sale Predictions Read Like a Tennis Match
For prospective buyers who will be out looking for North Bethany, DE homes for sale in the coming year, last Wednesday’s “Housing Forecast for 2021” that was picked up by commercial newswires held both good and bad news. The mix of favorable and less-favorable elements alternated back and forth throughout the news release. Future North Bethany, DE house-hunters might have felt the reader’s equivalent of watching a tennis match rally.
The source of the forecast—realtor.com—did offer up one overriding reassurance:
GOOD: “The 2021 housing market will be much more ‘normal’ than the wild swings [experienced this year].”
But that was tempered with:
NOT SO GOOD: “Prices stay high.”
The back-and-forth continued:
ENCOURAGING: “…more home options will probably become available…”
NOT SO ENCOURAGING: “…[for buyers] waiting until the fall or winter months.”
GOOD: [Early buyers]…will likely see lower prices and mortgage rates.”
NOT SO GOOD: “…buyer competition remains strong…”
GOOD: “Realtor.com® forecasts mortgage rates will continue to hover near 3%...”
SORT OF GOOD: “…then slowly rise to 3.4% by the end of the year.”
ENCOURAGING: “Buyers may finally have a better selection of homes to choose from…”
LESS ENCOURAGING: “…later in the year.”
…and so on. It looked like buyers who move early will be rewarded—perhaps more than those who wait longer. In the long run, the ultimate benefit to the buyer will as ever, be more dependent on the quality of the property being purchased. That’s always the case, whether sooner or later.
For homeowners who will list their own North Bethany, DE homes for sale in the coming year, the same back-and-forth seemed more optimistic, starting with “Sellers will continue to hold the upper hand throughout 2021…”
The predicted “slowing” price increases would, after all, continue to score new highs. And one key forward-looking edict would be good news for buyers as well as sellers—both “can expect homes to sell more quickly in 2021.” Since sellers often become buyers, that should be unalloyed good news.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Despite Everything, Consumer Credit Scores Rise
Sometimes perfectly logical assumptions just don’t pan out.
For homeowners who had planned to sell their North Bethany, DE home this year, the sudden advent of the COVID-19 pandemic looked like the worst kind of bad news—what pundits call a “black swan”—the kind of out-of-the-blue event that thoroughly disrupts normal prospects. Sure enough, unemployment numbers soared, and businesses in any number of fields ground to a halt. As if those conditions weren’t damaging enough, for North Bethany, DE home sellers, even showing North Bethany, DE homes became close to impossible as everyone grappled with finding the best ways to deal with the changing conditions.
Few would have believed that already by summer’s end, residential real estate sales could possibly rebound as dynamically as they did. Logic wasn’t defied—but many assumptions proved to be false.
A similar example has just been provided by the credit industry—one that could affect homeowners planning to sell their North Bethany, DE homes. It was reported by Realtor.com web site under the double-take inducing two-sentence headline:
“Coronavirus Tanked the Economy. Then Credit Scores Went Up.”
The credit scores under scrutiny are those of average American consumers who have been faced with a national economy “being pummeled” by the Coronavirus. Their credit scores, calculated after millions lost their jobs and skipped debt payments, registered the “highest since FICO began keeping track in 2005.”
Despite the apparent contradiction, the outcome isn’t without explanation. The first is the unprecedented financial assistance furnished by the government and lenders. That succeeded in helping borrowers to meet their bills. Payment holidays on mortgages, auto, and student loans helped, too. Yet another factor was how homebound consumers took to spending less in general. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 35% of stimulus payments were used to pay down debt. And many also adopted more cautious attitudes toward free-spending credit card use—ultimately lowering total outstanding credit card debt. As one consumer put it, “Covid forced me to really look at my finances.”
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
When North Bethany, DE Real Estate Watchers Google Sales Gains
North Bethany, DE real estate observers who Googled ‘existing home sales’ on Friday would have encountered a valuable reminder of how statistics can be true—but nonetheless misleading. National media reports had uniformly reported strong results from the residential housing market—but North Bethany, DE readers looking for more precise details found headlines that let them (as the mind-reading tricksters used to say) “Pick a number--any number.”
Google’s screen-topping “Top Stories” boxes displayed Friday’s leading ‘existing home sales’ entries like this:
· “Existing home sales jump 25 percent in July, continue record pace” -Woodworking Network
· “Insatiable demand drives July pending home sales up 15% annually” – HousingWire
· “Pending Home Sales Rise 5.9% in July” – PR Newswire
The three top stories illustrate something that North Bethany, DE real estate followers have come to learn: that glancing at top-line summaries—especially when they contain statistics—can be more misleading than informative.
On Friday, if you were looking to find out how ‘existing home sales’ are doing (as opposed to ‘new homes’ or ‘all homes’), the Woodworking Network reported an extremely strong showing. Sales had jumped 25% in July—but ‘jumped’ compared with what? The answer came from the National Association of Realtors®: compared with July sales the previous year.
The HousingWire story also had July activity growing, but only by 15%. That report was accurate, too—but it wasn’t about sales per se—it dealt with “pending” home sales, which count the number of signed contracts. Since these are generated a month or two before the actual sales are finalized and counted, the numbers are quite different.
But how to explain the third story? It, too, reported on a rise in July’s pending sales—but by only 5.9%! The discrepancy could be found in the NAR press release (which turns out to be the source of all three of Google’s Top Stories). The smaller number registered the growth from the previous month, rather than the same month a year earlier.
BTW, CNBC’s Diana Olick weighed in with (rather than 25% or 15% or 5.9%) “Existing home sales up 8.7% versus a year ago.” Good show, Ms. Olick—you didn’t have to read further: that headline said it all!
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
2020 Turns Out NOT to be ‘The Year With No High Season’
The Covid-19 pandemic may have thrown a monkey wrench into many a local resident’s summer plans—but none more thoroughly than those who had been waiting to put their North Bethany, DE homes up for sale. It’s a common strategy to hold off listing until real estate’s ‘Busy Season’—the time of year when more homes are put on the market, attracting hordes of prospective buyers.
That’s what happens in a normal year—but you know what came instead. This year, beginning in March, real estate’s high Season was thoroughly disrupted by restrictions on showings—not to mention the psychological effect of the accompanying forced recession. With everything thrown into such chaos, many homeowners decided it was no time to risk putting their own North Bethany, DE homes for sale. You might think that 2020 would forever be known as The Year With No High Season.
But it looks like this topsy-turvy year is dishing up another surprise. As real estate’s insider news source housingwire.com spelled out last week, the pandemic appears to have “pushed the bulk of home-buying this year into the summer months.” Real estate agents “are busier than ever.”
The lead story’s headline proposed “August is the new May” where residential sales are concerned—making it likely “to keep agents busy into the fall.” It quoted the National Association of Realtors® reports that contract signings have kicked off “strong” this month—with properties selling within 26 days in the four weeks leading up to August 2.
For local homeowners now beginning to feel less disoriented by the adjustments everyone has had to make, there is now ample evidence that worries about missing the traditional busy Season are misplaced. “The season” has just skipped a few months. It seems to just be getting started—and with many parts of the nation reporting low inventories sparking an upsurge in asking prices (and growing numbers of bidding wars), this could be one for the record books.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand