CLARK: Real estate trends

RealtyTrac recently reported that 24.6% of single-family home and condo sales in May were cash transactions. This is a decrease from 28.5% in April and down from 30.4% from last year to the lowest level since November of 2009. Institutional investors (categorized by purchasing a minimum of ten properties in a year) decreased to 2.4% of single-family home transactions in May. This is the lowest level of sales for this market segment since January of 2000.

Many real estate analysts contend this a good time for first-time buyers and those wishing to upgrade their existing homes. The basis is that although inventory is tight, investors or cash buyers now account for less of the participants which can be advantageous in a multiple-bid situation for first-time buyers. However, those downsizing and developers who can pay cash may still be competitors.

The median sales price of residential properties (including distressed and non-distressed) across the country increased 4% in May from April, but dipped 1% from last year. This was the second straight month where median sales prices decreased nationally on a year-over-year comparison after 36 straight months of year-over-year increases.

According to RealtyTrac, distressed sales in May were a smaller%age of home sales. The reason being there is an increasing number of non-distressed sellers continued to take out the equity gained over the past several years of rising home prices. However, the distressed sales are still putting downward pressure on home prices, selling at a median price that is approximately 43% below the median price of other homes. This represents the largest differential in price since the tracking of distressed home to non-distressed sales nine years ago.

The increasing real estate market segment will be the Millennials. Currently, there are 87 million Millennials. The number of households in their 30’s is expected to increase 2.7 million in the next ten years. (Source: Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies).

The baby boomers continue to be a force in the real estate market. Not all of the boomers, however, are prepared to down size. In order to make the transition easier, a little preparation goes a long way. Prepare your home to list and for the move by clearing your possessions. Envision the must-have rooms in your next home. Section possessions as necessities, give to family, questionable to keep and sell/donate.

Contact a Realtor for a market value assessment of your home and recommendations to improve its listing and sale. Also, contact an accountant and lawyer to get an estimate of what amount will result in the sale of a home. This information will help plan your next home as you will know approximately what resources you can commit.

This process should commence as early as possible to minimize being overwhelmed and finding another home appropriate for your needs. Medical concerns should also be factored into the next home selection as well.

Mary Ann Clark is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker at 177 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Questions or comments may be emailed to [email protected]

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