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David Watkins is a professional committed to providing excellent service to his clients, colleagues and Featured Calabasas Communities. David Watkins incorporates various methods that specialize in the marketing, listing, and sale of Calabasas Homes for Sale. David aims to provide knowledge and sound advice regarding the ever-changing real estate market, so that his clients are not merely bystanders, but active participants involved in the sale or purchase of their home. He ambitiously implements new ideals and explores new avenues of technology to make the selling and buying of real estate faster, easier and more efficient.

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Calabasas Real Estate Newspaper – September 2017

Buyers Willing to Buy if Owners Would Only Sell

by David Watkins

 

Inventory has been tightening for decades, but in the recent past it’s been in a nosedive; that applies to nearly all parts of the U.S. According to the National Association of Realtors®, 1.96 million homes were on the market in June, a year-over-year decline of 7.1 percent. Prices are on a steady upswing at about 7 percent, but transactions are swift, with homes on the market an average 28 days (compared to 34 days in June 2016). That leaves prospective buyers with only 4.3 months of inventory, even less in some ZIP codes. This situation is less than ideal for people looking to buy a home, and it certainly won’t do for anyone who’s in the business of accommodating them.

The California Association of Realtors® reported that, as of June, homeowners comprise more than half of the Los Angeles market. The county’s 2.7-month supply represented a year-over-year drop of 17.6 percent, and the median days on market was 23 days. While city- and countywide price increases are fairly consistent with the rest of the U.S., they are north of 30 percent in desirable neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.

Researchers at realtor.com surveyed homeowners recently, and after crunching the numbers, this is what they concluded: folks are not feeling particularly compelled to move.

While the motivations (or lack thereof) seem generational, the trend is much the same across all age groups. At the moment, baby boomers own 33 million single-family homes and condominiums; 85 percent of those homeowners have no intention of selling their homes in the next year, 72 percent citing satisfaction as their primary reason for staying put.

After all, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Apparently, the youngsters agree, as 65 percent of Gen X’ers and 52 percent of millennials surveyed can attest. Even if something were broken, 13 percent of homeowners overall are more willing to fix it (or have it fixed) than to uproot their lives over a psychological attachment to anything material. Besides, 15 percent only recently bought their homes and figure it would be silly to move now; 27 percent of millennials are feeling that sentiment.

Although 59 percent of millennials were part of the aforementioned stay-put group, 35 percent were not, and 60 percent of the latter hoped to trade up. For the people who want to move, however, lack of inventory is one thing that slows their roll. Unless they’re planning to buy a new build, they have to find an available existing home; builders aren’t building for affordability, and there’s not a lot of moving going on.

“Boomers indeed hold the key to those homes the market desperately needs, both in the urban condo and the detached suburban home segment,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “But with a strong economy and rising home prices, there’s really no reason for established homeowners to sell in the short term. Although downsizing might be on the minds of boomers, they face the same inventory shortages and price increases plaguing millennials.”

In any case, neither lateral nor upward mobility is reason enough pull up stakes. Even lives of leisure are busy, and the mere thought of the logistical challenges of moving will make any sane person take pause. Prying someone out of their home typically requires a significant life event. Anything short of relocating for a job change, however, had better register on the Richter Scale. Families grow, but households can adjust as necessary. Gen X’ers may constitute the latest batch of empty-nesters, but they can’t count on retaining that status until their offspring build or buy nests of their own. While boomers might be considering downsizing, they have long outgrown their inclination to make impulsive decisions.

Furthermore, mortgage rates are still below 4 percent for the most part, and while some people are bracing themselves for the hike that has yet to come, those who have seized their moment are holding on to their “bird in the hand.” A reported 16 percent of homeowners surveyed are remaining in place because of the current interest rates and 13 percent choose to stay for their manageable property taxes.

These people might be convinced to move if they knew they could get a good deal on another home, on better terms than they have now. Until that happens on a relatively large scale, many would-be buyers will continue to have a precious few homes from which to choose. First-timers may have to rely on luck and prayer.

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