Marion Filley's Closing Comments: September 2015

The third quarter ended with a touch of good news, but overall continuing downward trends. The good news was the larger number of sales (if only by a single house) over last year—and with the exception of 2013, the best September since 2006. However, the monthly median sale was off almost $140,000. The average was even worse, down $320,000 (over 30%). Single month statistics can be misleading, but it is a point of concern. This is especially true when the inventory levels are blended in. With 209 houses on the market on October 1st, we continue to record 10 year highs in inventory for the month.

Year-to date the increase in closings for September brought us back under 10% from last year’s level for the same time frame. The median price continues to be the bright spot, 4.7% ahead of last year. Meanwhile, the average sale slipped below the 2014 level by a little over $16,000. And as would be expected overall single family sale volume is down by almost $16,000,000, close to 9.5%.

On October 3th, TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) went into effect. By the afternoon of the 7th the House (in an unusually strong bipartisan vote) had passed the Homebuyers Assistance Act which proposes delaying the enforcement of the 1,888 page new rules till February 1st. While the Act still has to pass through the Senate, the President has made it very clear that he will likely veto the bill. Every buyer or prospective buyer should be consulting with their mortgage representative to understand how TRID will change the home buying process for them. In the meantime, mortgage rates remain at levels that are probably in their last few months and there is certainly value in the inventory (4 of the 24 houses that were new to the market in September are already under agreement).  Nevertheless as we enter the final quarter it seems unlikely that the sales volume will.