Last Thursday was the regular release date for ATTOM Data Solution’s quarterly Home Equity report. This year, ongoing events created the need for some additional commentary.

As the “curator of the nation’s premier property database,” ATTOM’s figures can be relied upon to gauge the nation’s residential real estate equity levels—South Bethany, DE homes included. This latest report covered 2020’s first quarter. It takes a while to collect and verify all the data—but last week, for optimists, the wait was worthwhile: the report card was a “rosy” one.

But, needless to say, a lot has changed since the end of March—hence the additional commentary.

 The report showed that about one in four homes in the U.S. qualified as “equity rich,” defined as a property with outstanding home loans totaling less than half of their estimated market value. When compared with the meager 6.6% of homes considered “seriously underwater” (those with loans totaling at least 25% more than their market value), the overall health of homeowners’ balance sheets looked strong.

But spokesman Todd Teta had to admit the obvious: this “rosy” first-quarter report needed “to be taken in the context of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.” In other words, at least in the immediate near term, the share of equity-rich homes could be expected to suffer—at least until business activity (and paychecks) return to more normal levels. That’s something not expected to happen until at least the end of the third quarter.

 All in all, looking for precise guidance on future conditions is even less fruitful than usual. As Norada commentator Marco Santarelli put it, “housing market predictions run the gamut from optimistic to pessimistic.” South Bethany, DE home sellers may continue to gain leverage due to low mortgage rates and tight inventories (both are expected to continue)—but with national economic factors in flux, housing market predictions are necessarily unreliable. For a concrete reading on the latest local South Bethany, DE real estate activity, call me! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

May Day is an officially recognized public holiday in 66 nations and unofficially celebrated in many more—but here in the U.S., it isn’t. That’s why on Friday, there won’t be any official South Bethany, DE May Day celebrations that have to be canceled; local banks will remain open (to the same extent that they are, currently); and the mail will be delivered as usual. The principal observance of May Day in South Bethany, DE this year is likely to be the sighs of relief from housebound residents that this year’s pandemic-preoccupied April is behind us.

Although the tradition of gathering gaily colored flowers in May Day baskets, hanging them on friends’ and relatives’ doorknobs, ringing the doorbell, then running away hasn’t been popular for years, a few South Bethany, DE residents will likely revive it. That playful custom was imported from European countries—a remnant of an ancient 5-day Roman holiday celebrating spring flowers. May 1 in these parts does feature a lot of those, for sure—although the associated dancing-around-the-maypole custom is pretty much lost to history. Try asking South Bethany, DE children to describe “maypole ribbons,” and you’ll probably get nothing more than puzzled looks…

Oddly enough, the widely observed international holiday originated here in America. The year was 1886 when a May 4 labor protest in Chicago was marred by a deadly bombing. No one knows who threw the bomb, but the men who were accused of building it were punished (though later pardoned). The whole unpleasant business—called “the Haymarket affair”—was subsequently commemorated as an International Workers’ Day, held on May 1. Our Labor Day is a distant cousin (one with a less strident history).

This May looks to be the beginning of a cautious return to business as usual—although South Bethany, DE real estate activity has been uninterrupted for a while now. If you are thinking that this May might be a propitious month for launching your own real estate project, please skip the flower basket, maypole ribbons, etc. Just call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

As the traditionally fast-moving spring real estate market nears, Delaware sellers who will be listing soon have multiple grounds for optimism—with the scarcity of available properties being the most widely publicized. Now it appears that the long-standing national shortage isn’t just continuing: it’s widening.

According to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors®, buyers in nine out of ten markets they tracked could find 8.5% fewer homes for sale than had been available just one year before. That was in addition to the host of sunny economic conditions (a “soaring stock market, good economy, and low interest rates”) that were further motivating prospective homebuyers. If the number of local listings echoes the national trend, Delaware sellers could expect an uptick in competition for this season’s properties.

That was the theme of last week’s lead article in Realtor Magazine. Home Price Hikes Widen Sellers’ Advantageforetold the effect constrained inventory is expected to have on this spring’s real estate activity. New research pointed in the same direction: median listing prices have been rising at the same time housing supplies and days-on-market decline. According to move.com, January patterns “set the stage for a competitive homebuying season.”

Although the principles of supply and demand would certainly lead to the same opinion, U.S. News & World Report gave a less ebullient reason to agree. In last month’s “Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2020,” they put out a ‘bird in the hand’ rationale. “Especially if you’re on the fence about selling this year or next,” they wrote, “sell in an environment that’s more predictable…” For homeowners who love their current homes, they advised waiting “five years” before revisiting the idea of selling. But for those nearer to a decision to sell, they had definite advice: “Don’t play the waiting game.”

If you are one of those Delaware homeowners having similar thoughts, it looks like selling this season is definitely worth looking into. Do call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

Last Tuesday night, as rickety Father Time welcomed in the infant New Year, an old saying was resurrected (as it is most years): “Everything old is new again.” It’s usually heard in relation to the temporary nature of fashions—like the width of neckties or the lengths of skirts. That has little to do with buying and selling South Bethany, DE homes, other than reaffirming the value of deep walk-in closets. If they’re roomy enough, temporarily out-of-style finery can await their next at-bat.

The nature of buying and selling South Bethany, DE homes differs from clothing purchases so greatly that it seems outlandish to think you can draw any useful conclusions by comparing the two. The size of a homebuying transaction and the complexity of the procedures that must be followed certainly point in that direction. Even so, in the broader context, there is more than a kernel of wisdom in the old saying. The national experience from the past two decades bears this out.

In the Year 2000 and for the first years following, the housing market showed all the signs of normalcy: where home values grew, the rise was slow and steady. But then, for a number of reasons only mildly related to the intrinsic value of homes, there developed a virtual stampede to “buy in” to avoid missing out on the widespread boom in U.S. housing values. Lax home loan oversight was a major culprit. Then came the puncture of the bubble—and an equally overdone plummet in market values. By the beginning of the second decade, market forces finally stabilized, allowing a bounce back, then today’s resumption of slow and steady value growth.

This is not to suggest that we will soon see another bubble, stampede, and the like—on the contrary, it will almost certainly be a long time before living memory has faded enough to allow a replay of that irrational sequence. But the current stable environment we consider normal does have a familiar ring: everything old is new again. It’s a saying that’s good to keep in mind.

I’m here to help assure that your new home buying and selling dealings are successfully executed…in the best old-fashioned sense! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com