Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January.
FROM THE DESK OF THE INTERIM CEO: Utilizing Your Tools for Success
I’m going to pick up where I left off with my January article in Real Estate In-Depth. My message in January was for our members to use their time constructively during this period as we experience a slower market than a year ago. One way you can do this is to take advantage of all the amazing tools provided by your national, state, local associations and OneKey MLS. The more you do now, the more ready you will be when the market speeds back up again.
This month I am focusing on you becoming THE resource for all things real estate-related for your clients, prospects and your entire sphere. As real estate professionals I imagine it’s rare for a day to go by where you are not asked by someone about the “state of the market.” If you haven’t already crafted your elevator speech, which should be 30-45 seconds, now’s the time. My elevator speech starts with “Real estate is local….”
Your 2023 plan should include an understanding of your local market trends and educating people about the nuances of their specific market to compensate for negative national media stories. One of the best resources for you is Matrix, the operating system for OneKey MLS. In Matrix there are several housing market research tools that focus on statistical reports that you can learn about in HGAR’s Matrix 3 Class, or you can explore on your own through easy-to-follow tutorials. They include InfoSparks which can give you countless housing variable combinations to run statistical reports for geographic areas, including a specific neighborhood (i.e., Fair Oaks in Orange County, Piermont in Rockland County, etc.) and FastStats where stand-alone market reports are located within a map-based interface.
Other parts of the country may be experiencing a more balanced market, but data in our areas is still indicating a market where there is steep competition to purchase a home, especially for the first-time home buyers. Keeping your eye on where our market is going is absolutely all of our responsibility.
Understanding the basic economic principle of supply and demand, and watching how they are tracking in your service area is one of the best indicators of where your particular market is heading. A rough barometer of supply and demand is a statistic the National Association of Realtors creates called “months’ supply.” That refers to how long it would take to sell all the current homes on the market at the current pace of sales. Typically, a six-month supply means a balanced market with moderately appreciating prices—anything lower than that means prices accelerate faster.
In January 2022, the national months’ supply got as low as 1.6 months, an all-time record low. By December 2022, the national months’ supply increased to 2.9 months. Remember, real estate is local so what is important to you should be what is happening in your service area. Currently the counties north and west of New York City are experiencing 2.4-months to 3.1-months’ supply depending on the county, which is still very near the record low for the lower Hudson Valley, according to data from InfoSparks.
As we all know, none of us have a crystal ball, but you can see into the very near future by tracking the month’s supply in your local area and noting how it is trending.
Your ability to provide niche neighborhood knowledge is essential for every conversation you have with a buyer, seller or homeowner. And just as important, and I personally believe more important, is your attitude as you navigate this current market. Your attitude has a direct impact on how you communicate, collaborate with others, how you contribute to the world around you and how you perform your daily tasks and responsibilities. Ultimately, your attitude shapes your success and your happiness.