Uncategorized July 3, 2020

The COVID Roller Coaster

We continue to ride the COVID roller coaster with its dizzying plunges and upward swoops. Below is another look at how four metrics are tracking this year compared to last year; the numbers of single family homes Sold, Available, Total Listings and Under Contracts.

Some thoughts on this chart. All of these metrics are comparing this year to last year, not the absolute numbers of each category. The dramatic rebound in the Under Contract numbers tells the story of how it feels to most buyers out there. In most price points, competing offers are the norm for new properties, which feels odd in the middle of a pandemic and at a time of the year which is typically less frenzied.

This feeling of strength is also driven by the continued decline in the number of available homes. This can get a little complicated, as the number of available homes has been flat in absolute numbers over the past month, but this flat trajectory is being compared to the steeper upward trajectory of a typical year or last year which results in the declining red line above. With an average number of buyers for this time of the year chasing a below average number of sellers, the market feels strong.

Lastly, one other good sign for our market, we’ve seen the number of sales hopefully start its rebound off the bottom. Due to the delayed nature of a sale, happening 1 to 3 months after a contract, our sales numbers have been the last to show recovery from the shutdown. I’ll want to continue to see this metric climb rather than rely on just one week’s upward motion, but with the large rebound in under contract numbers, sold numbers have to increase eventually.

Another statistician I was listening to last week talked about how these wide scope charts can hide more localized effects. The roller coaster ride for the national numbers is different than the ride for the statewide numbers, and I would take it even further to say, the ride for the individual city numbers and possibly even the ride for different price points and neighborhoods. With the lower numbers of sellers in the market, any sudden influx of buyers into a price point, area or neighborhood can have strong localized effects. I’m hearing many stories of fierce competition, but also other stories of people getting very little showing interest from buyers. Essentially, we’re all riding our own roller coasters and experiencing our own rides. You can see this a little in the chart below showing the different percentages under contract for the different cities within Boulder County. Someone riding the Louisville roller coaster is experiencing a much different ride than the person riding the City of Boulder roller coaster..

Be well everyone!