Hello Rockwall! Welcome to the Rockwall Real Estate Market Update. This is for anyone interested to know what’s happening in the Rockwall real estate market. Each month I take the highlights from the news and market data then condense them into a quick update you can be in-the-know on the real estate market.
Here’s your update for the month now that the numbers for August numbers are in.
Let’s start with interest rates. During the month of August, interest rates stayed below the 3% mark (not including fees and points) and kept a lot of buyers in the market. On September 10, Freddie Mac announced that mortgage rates have hit another all-time low due to the slowing economic recovery. They also pointed out that buyer demand has been growing at double digit rates for four consecutive months and sustaining that growth will be a challenge given the already short supply of homes for sale.
On Wednesday, September 9, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications increased 2.9% from the week prior. This is the time of year we typically start to that number decrease week-to-week, so we’re going against the historical trend. In addition we have 40% more people applying for mortgages than we did this same time last year.
Another major factor at play for our market of the moment is the status of our economy and overall economic sentiment. Now before your eyes glaze over at the mention of the word, “economy,” hear me out, it’s good stuff. In general, buyers are sensitive to what the news says about the future and it’s easier for them to purchase a home when they don’t have to be as fearful of the economy and whether or not they’ll have a job next month.
On a national scale, according to Bloomberg’s Recover Tracker, we’re seeing some positive indicators for a continued recovery.
For Texas, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that if projections become reality, in a span of four months we could recuperate around 44% of the 1.4 million jobs lost between March and April.
According to the Dallas-Fort Worth Economic Indicators report released on August 28th, the area is continuing to recover from the effects of the downturn. We saw an increase in payrolls and a decrease in unemployment.
Local Market News
For local market data, I use numbers from single-family home sales in Rockwall County.
The average sales price is up about $7,248 from last month and is now at $376,704.
We had 326 sales for the month of August this year. Last year we had 248 sales. That’s a 31% increase.
As for how many homes we have available to purchase, in August of this year we had 337 active listings. Now compare that to last year when we had 655 active listings, that’s a 49% drop in available homes to buy. To drive this point home a little more. As I mentioned earlier, we have 40% more buyers applying to get a mortgage and we have 49% fewer homes they have to choose from. You can see, this causes quite the predicament for buyers.
Our current supply of inventory is down to 1.6 months. That means that if no new homes were listed on the market, it would take about six weeks for our current inventory of homes to be purchased. Last year at this time we had 3.8 months of inventory on the market.
The average days on market is 50 days before going under contract. Last month it was two weeks more at 64 days, so homes are selling faster at a time when the market generally starts to slow down.
Our average sales price per square foot has gone up to $139.This time last year it was at $130 per square foot.
In percent sales price to list price, sellers have to negotiate about 2% of the asking price of their home to get a sale, which is the same as last year. When you look at our average sales price, that is a roughly $7,500 decrease.
Now you might pause and say, wait, why do sellers have to negotiate at all with this market? Can’t they just name their price and call it a day? Well, not exactly. Anyone buying a home with a loan has to get an appraisal on their home. Since prices have jumped so quickly and by so much, appraisals aren’t following suit.
Some buyers are being too aggressive in their pricing and because of comps and appraisals, end up having to come down on their sales price. So while it’s still an incredibly great time to be a seller, you still have to pay attention to your pricing and overall positioning of your home in this market.
It’s the same as last month, if you’re a seller and your home is presented well in this market, the numbers favor you tremendously. Because supply is dwindling against the demand, we’re seeing a rapid increase in prices and therefore, appraisal issues are starting to creep up again. If you’re thinking of selling, we can help guide you through that process.
Right now our sellers are getting top-dollar for their homes. We believe that if you put your home on the market now, you will get the most amount of money that you’re going to get for some time.
Why do we say that?
There’s a great likelihood that in a few months, or four months, or six months, things could change dramatically. We cannot predict the future. If you’re in a place where you want to sell or if you need to sell, what I want to share with you is that this is a great time to do it.
If you’re a buyer, buying is a little more difficult at this time. You’ll want to work with an agent who has experience in negotiating multiple offer situations. Here at The Patty Turner Group, we’ve been on both sides of the multiple offer table and have great insight as to how to write and present offers to sellers in a way that favorably positions your terms.
And that’s the market update for this month.
This is a time when it’s critical to have a knowledgeable and experienced agent on your side whether you’re buying or selling. So, if you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in Rockwall, let’s talk. You can call or text at 214-803-4444.
Jennifer Shannon is a Texas real estate agent and broker, licensed since 2006.