July 26, 2019
The number of recorded sale transactions in the 2nd quarter ended down considerably from a year ago (see graph page 13). The quarterly decline started modestly and accelerated in the month of June. In the first quarter, this year’s recording numbers showed a five percent increase over 2018. In April that positive margin started narrowing and by the end of the second quarter the deed recordings were down over five percent for the year. Perhaps the inventory issue is becoming worse. Or perhaps, the monsoons of May and June tempered demand. I will be watching this trend in the coming months.
An examination of sales disclosure data from the Department of Local Government Finance shows a continuing trend of property valuation increases (charts pages 14 & 15). Sales priced below $200,000 are declining while sales above that price are increasing for primary residences. Sales of non-primary residential properties are mostly unchanged. The numbers of mortgages securing loans in these price ranges also show the same increase at the higher end (see charts pages 9 & 10).
It was a busy month for us in June, as we expected. We helped 557 people buy, sell or refinance their properties. That brings our year to date total over 2300. In June, our closing team provided seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing in 91% of transactions. We averaged 4.28 days prior to closing for all of our transactions. Our title team issued title commitments an average of 4.58 days after receipt of the order and produced over 80% of our commitments in fewer than five days.
Enjoy the second half of summer!
~ John Bethell