Affordability tops list of Realtor market concerns


California Realtors responding to the August Market Pulse Survey said declining housing affordability topped lack of inventory as Realtors’ top concern, with 26 percent stating they were concerned about low housing affordability, and 19 percent indicating they were concerned about a tight housing supply.

Realtors locally and throughout California also expressed concern about inflated home prices/housing bubble, a slowdown in economic growth, lending and financing, rising interest rates, and policy and regulations.

The California Realtors responding to the August Market Pulse Survey compiled by the California Association of Realtors expressed opinions on multiple topics, including:

  • After reaching an all-time high of 38 percent in May, the share of homes selling above asking price dropped to 29 percent in August, up from 27 percent a year ago. The share of properties selling below asking price dropped to 41 percent from 48 percent in August 2015. The remaining 30 percent sold at asking price, up from 25 percent in August 2015.
  • For homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price rose to 10 percent, up from 7.8 percent in July and 8.2 percent from a year ago.
  • The 41 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 12 percent below asking price in August, which was down from 14 percent in July and up from 11 percent a year ago.
  • More than six in 10 of properties for sale – 62 percent – received multiple offers in August, down from 66 percent in July and up from 58 percent in August 2015.
  • The average number of offers per property remained at 2.8 in August, unchanged from July and up from 2.4 in August 2015. The year-over-year increase is likely due to a greater proportion of properties that received three or more offers – from 32 percent a year ago to 42 percent in August. Homes priced between $200,000 – $299,000 saw the most significant increase in three or more offers compared to a year ago, primarily due to their better affordability.
  • In a sign of slowing market activity, nearly a third – 31 percent – of properties had listing price reductions in August, up from 26 percent in July and 30 percent from August 2015.
  • Realtors were the least optimistic in August since C.A.R. began tracking this data in January 2014.

Realtor optimism of market conditions over the next year has been waning for the past few months and is now barely in positive territory at an index of 51, down from 52 in July and 58 in August 2015.

 M. Dean Vincent is President of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the 9,500-member Southland Regional Association of Realtors. David Walker, of Walker Associates, co-authors articles for SRAR. The column represents SRAR’s views and not necessarily those of The Signal. The column contains general information about the real estate market and is not intended to replace advice from your Realtor or other realty related professionals.

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