Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Even With Snow Still on the Ground, the Spring Season is Here

I just went back and looked at the past three months' worth of Trulia leads and visits to our Pearce website from Trulia.  Leads were relatively flat from January through mid-February.  They went up 11% to 20% from week to week after that; in the most recent report, they have doubled. 

Although that's only one site, and the lead time for homebuyers can be long, it's a clear indication that interest in real estate is up, way up.  And, even if some people look at houses online instead of Netflix, many of the lookers will translate into buyers. 

Winter came so late this year that many buyers could begin the process without much interruption from the weather.  Even the recent "blizzard" didn't do much to send people back inside to wait for warm weather.  And sunshine helps--not only because it makes people feel positive, but because so many houses look their best in brighter light.  Of course, we've also switched to daylight savings time, giving us another hour of what feels like daytime at the end of the working day.  Anything that promotes movement and energy will boost traffic to open houses and initiate showings.

With all that happening, sellers should be doing everything in their power to get ready for the market, if they haven't already.  Spring can be fleeting, so take advantage of it while it lasts!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

We're Excited about Homesnap

The Connecticut Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS) is offering Homesnap to all of us now.  We think that consumers will absolutely love this free app, which is a cross between Zillow, Realtor.com,  and SoundHound.  That means that you can take a picture with your phone or iPad of any home you see; if it's not listed, you will get exterior and public information.  If it is listed, you will get what you would see on Realtor.com, all without having to do anything except point and click. In addition, by signing up, you can get updates every time something in your desired area comes on the market. If you sign up through an agent, it will be branded with that agent's info, and the agent will also have a record of what you're seeing.  This has the potential to make homebuying so much easier!

I've been playing around with the app this weekend, whenever it's too cold to do anything else--so I've clearly had a lot of time to spend!  I think this app will replace a bunch of others, since it combines so many great features into one delivery package.  At Pearce, we are busy training all of our agents on Homesnap, and we will soon be inviting you to come and join us.  In the meantime, you can certainly go on as a guest, and see whatever there is to see from the road, every time you have a few extra minutes.  If you're a fan of trolling on Zillow, this app's definitely for you.  I'm hoping that it will soon be available for commercial properties as well, but, for now, it's just great to have this new tool, in time for the spring market. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Squeakly Property Reviews


Current Absorption Rates

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. If you look at the number for Hamden you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 6.9 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market. A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”

Monday, February 27, 2017

Millennials Catch Up

We've all been reading for the past few years about how millennials are slow to leave home, slow to find a career, slow to get married, and slow to buy houses.  In addition, there has been a lot of speculation that they would never embrace some of those things the way that their parents and grandparents did.  Even if they wanted to buy homes, the story went, they have too much student debt to do so, and a generational disinclination to suburbs and investment in real estate in general.

Lately, it seems as though the pundits spoke too soon.  Now the theory is that, while the average 30-year-old has had eight jobs, and while millennials have reason to distrust corporate America, given what happened to many of their parents in the most recent downturn and the one before that one, he or she is not so different from earlier 30-year-olds, or at least from those having children.  They seem to want to buy homes, and even homes in the suburbs, once they start having kids.  While walkability is desirable for them, and puts places with amenities within walking distance at a premium, they own cars, and want to own houses also.

When the Gen Xers and Yers reached this point, they were not interested in homes that needed updating or redecorating.  They wanted everything to be perfect.  The millennial generation, which grew up on HGTV, is much more likely to undertake those types of projects.  In fact, their interest in having balanced lives and healthy lifestyles will make it easier for them to spend the time at home that DIY undertakings require; even professional help means that you need to take the time to hire and manage it, and this generation is willing to do that. 

All of this is good news for sellers, who have struggled with the dilemma of whether or not to fix up homes before selling them, knowing that they could guess wrongly about the taste or budget of a buyer.  Now it seems possible to show potential, and leave the rest up to the buyers.  Reports from recent weekends have indicated that there are lines out the door at open houses in some parts of our region, made up both of first-time homebuyers and downsizing boomers.  Maybe both of those groups will finally rejuvenate the stock of homes being vacated by seniors.  They might have to, if demand goes up enough, and if they end up competing against each other for the listings that are out there.  Now that would be a welcome problem for Realtors in Connecticut!