July 27, 2018
A consistent theme this spring and early summer is that property values are increasing fast. There?s evidence of this in both the mortgage and deed transaction numbers in the second quarter. The last four years, mortgages securing between $75K and $200K are holding steady at around 600 and change. (see chart page 9) Mortgages securing between $200K and at the top end of the conforming market ($417K+) are steadily increasing over the same time period. (chart page 10) While the rate of increase isn?t overwhelming, it is consistent.
Further evidence of increasing prices can be found in the sales disclosure data for properties designated as the buyer?s primary residence. (chart page 14) The 318 sales disclosures in the $200K to $500K bracket during the second quarter are notably greater than any quarter since I began tracking this data. Digging deeper, the increase is spread mostly even through the $200K to $350K price range. The data for non-primary residences doesn?t show this appreciation at all. (chart page 15)
While I don?t think the increasing values indicate that we?re in a bubble, as long as the housing inventory remains constricted the appreciation will continue.
I?ve also heard that sales and lending are slowing down due to the inventory shortage. The transactions numbers don?t show that through the first six months. In fact, compared to 2017?s first half, deeds are up 3.4% – and a whopping 9.6% in the second quarter. I did peak at the first 16 days of July, and those deed recordings show a definite decline from last year. I?ll write more on that next month.
All of us here at John Bethell Title are delighted to finally be settled in our new surroundings! (I don?t miss my temporary career in site acquisition, construction management and furniture buying.) Many thanks to all our great clients for your patience and understanding during our transition! We couldn?t be more grateful!
~ John Bethell