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The 2018 Real Estate Market In Review

What a year it’s been in real estate. The year started strong for sellers as the trend in

price appreciation that closed out 2017 continued in to 2018. By the start of spring, the

market was in full swing with prices averaging 25% more than the same time the

previous year. Multiple bids as high as 20% over the initial list price seemed to be the

norm. Homes were selling quickly, often a week or two after hitting the market.

Then came the shift…

Despite statistics showing a favorable market for sellers through the Spring, those of us

who track the market every day felt a change taking place. Buyer sentiment seemed

different. There was more hesitancy to place offers and it seemed the attitude when

placing an offer was “if I get it, I get it” rather than a desire to get it any cost.

It wasn’t until mid-Summer that the market data revealed what we (in the business)

already knew. The price-to-list ratio steadily declined from 12% over list to 10%, then

7%, then 5%. The average price pulled back in similar fashion. And, perhaps most

interestingly, the number of homes sold changed very little even though a lot more

inventory came to the market. Whatever caused the change in buyer attitude (fatigue,

higher interest rates, affordability, etc.) led to a shift that continued into the Fall.

...and now it’s balanced

With Winter and the New Year approaching, the statistics now show a balanced

market. Final sales prices are about even (on average) to list prices. Average prices

are holding steady and number of homes for sale (inventory) are closer to historical

averages and twice as much as a year ago. The days on the market is back to 30 days

(from 17), which is another indication of a more balanced market.

Lessons from 2018

There are two key lessons from this past year. First, the market changes quickly and

secondly, constant monitoring is the only way to keep up with the changes. Remember,

your most reliable source for market information is from professionals like me who

watch this carefully. Getting information from almost any other source is either late or

written by somebody with only second-hand knowledge. Your real estate decisions are

too important and should not rely on those sources.

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