Real Estate is seasonal. Kind of like if you're selling ice cream, air conditioners, or convertibles. When the weather gets warm the buyers come out in droves. Now just like I still enjoy a scoop of pralines and cream in February, people also need to buy and sell homes all year long. But rest assured, the time of year will have an impact, positive or negative, on how well you do. We are all aware of the springtime surge in Real Estate. Inventory goes up as well as prices and sales volume. But did you know that the Fall typically brings its own unique twist to the Real Estate market along with those piles of colorful leaves? Let me first illustrate with some sales volume numbers. While most buyers and sellers don't concern themself much with sales volume, we Real Estate professionals watch it closely as ultimately it represents what supply and demand will become, which of course, affects everything!
Perfect, you can see we typically have a nice boost in October and November sales as a pattern over the last 10 years. Why would this be? It could be that after the kids are back in school people get back to business as usual. Or nobody wants to move during the holidays so the pressure is on to get it done now. Generally speaking outside of other economic forces, available inventory will drive demand. When there are more homes for sale there will be more buyers. Let's track the last 10 years of available inventory…
Well, there it is. We are looking at the historical Unsold Inventory Index averaged over the last 10 years as reported by the California Association of Realtors. September typically has a nice spike in available inventory which nicely sets up higher sales volume in October and November.
October is almost over so the question remains will we see a bump? Or is it all downhill from here until spring 2024? And if so what does that mean? If we look at September sales numbers the picture starts to get bleak. Our sales in September 2023 were the lowest in recent history. Even going back 15 years to 2008, one of the worst markets we have ever seen. This year we are down 23% from September last year which was previously the worst September we had seen.
2022 also bucked the Fall market rebound trend. As you can see we peaked in August and didn't start increasing sold units until February. So what does this mean if you considering buying or selling before the end of the year? First off you will be part of an exclusive club. There are still very few homes for sale and even less serious buyers. Let me start by talking to you buyers out there.
I know mortgage rates are rough. At the time of this writing, the average 30-year fixed rate is a tick over 7.5% This can make it tough to qualify and afford the house you want. But, if you can work through the rates until it's time to refinance, there are some real opportunities to be had.
For the last 4 years available inventory has dropped between August and September. For 2023 we had a noticeable rise in available inventory in September. This could be signaling that a number of homeowners who have been waiting to sell are either tired of or incapable of waiting any longer. This could signal a shift to a buyer's market in November and give some extra bargaining powers to those patient buyers.
We still have a record low amount of available inventory but of course not that many serious buyers to grab it up. That said there is a selling strategy for a market with such a low number of houses to choose from. Believe it or not, we are still seeing multiple offers and bidding wars on gorgeous homes that check most of the boxes for buyers. No, I'm not talking about multi-million dollar mansions. These are everyday family homes that are dressed up to the nines.
Dressing up homes is my specialty. Helping sellers get their rode-hard-put-away-wet homes in their best possible light. Some paint, flooring, landscaping, and a large helping of Hollywood magic through lighting and staging. These fall-in-love-at-first-sight homes are getting snatched up with record-setting prices as there are just so few of them right now.
Whether your buying or selling I have a winning strategy to help you in this unique and challenging market. The phone lines are open and operators are standing by:)