Sunday Night Stats – Volume is Stabilizing

We have a couple of months to go before we have a full 12 months past Mortgage Meltdown to guide us into the future of the real estate market.  But volume has really been pretty stable.  As you can see from the above chart, September of 2007 is when the market dropped as to volume.  Compare this to some graphs I did at the end of last year showing the relationship of volume month to month back in 2005.  Then add my predictions as to volume back in mid April of this year.

When I predicted that total single family home sales in King County would be 16,500 by the end of 2008, I was basing that on the second chart in the first link above.   Let me bring that chart forward so you can follow what I’m saying better.

June 2008 sales were 1,557.  June in 2005 represented 10.3% of the total year sales.   1,557 is 10.3% of 15,116.  If you use April sales from the top wheel of 1,505 that would be 9% of 16,722 (which is where my prediction of 16,500 came from).  While volume is clearly drastically reduced, it is not dropping out from under us.  It basically dropped once and then stabilized.  That’s good news, though we do see some minor slippage in the relationship between April of 2008 and June of 2008, so we will continue to track that as the year progresses.

Where prices will go in response to the change in volume is another story and where Absorption Rates become a weak indicator.  Absorption Rates only work when you can expect all inventory to be “absorbed” .  that is not the case.  In a market like this you have to throw absorption rates out the window and try to find the point at which a property will not sell at all.  The worst I have seen is a market where only 3 of 10 houses will sell PERIOD!.  To say current inventory will be absorbed in eight months is not true.  At the end of eight months, some of those homes will still be on market and other properties that came on market after them will be the cream of the crop that sells.

When you see prices fluctuating upward, while volume is stablilizing and absorption rate is high, that is because the small percentage of homes that sell quickly and at higher prices, are influencing and increasing the price stats.  We saw that more in February, March and April than we did in May and June.  That is why the April prediction of 16,500 may turn out to be 15,500, since June did not expand much beyond April levels as it usually does.

Single Family Homes in May and June look like they sold at higher prices, as does the condo market, but that is because people are opting to get more for their money.  As price per square foot drops, people are opting for bigger houses and lower prices.  Instead of buying an 850 square foot condo for $250,000, they are buying an 1,100 square foot condo for $300,000.  So they are paying a higher price, but a lower price per square foot.  Same is true for single family homes.  In March the median price was $435,000 and the median price per square foot was $221.  In June the median price is up to $451,000 but people are opting for the higher price AND the larger house, as they trade in the lower price per square foot of $216 for more house. (Note, homes in escrow are at $207 MPPSF – see weekly stats)

It’s really a smart move.  People who are unsure of the market over the next several years are making sure they buy a condo or house that is large enough so that they can stay put, and not have to trade up as to size.  Those who are buying, and there are clearly fewer of them, are not buying with the idea that they will REFI or sell in a couple of years.  They are buying for the long term.  They are paying a higher price, but a lower price per square foot.  That is why it may appear that prices are going up, when they are really going down. 

Before I do this week’s stats, note that earlier this week I did the 1st half and 1st quarter to 2nd quarter comparison.  May and June did not do as well as expected, so the 2nd quarter did drop more as to volume YOY than the 1st quarter.  But if the market can sustain at this level for another 45 days, I think by year end it will still be in the 16,500 total sales for the year range.

Sorry this post is so long tonight.  There are no easy answers this year.

Changes in condo stats for this week

Active Listings: 4,014 – UP 56- median price $320,000 – MPPSF asking $313 – DOM 66

In Escrow:  847 –  DOWN 23 – median asking price $297,000  – MPPSF asking $302 – DOM – 48

Sold YTD :  2,875 – UP 98 – median list price $290,500 – median sold price  $285,500 – median PPSF – $289 DOM 48  Note: 35% selling in 30 days or less.


In Escrow: 2,771 – UP 11 – median asking price $434,000 – DOM 49 – MPPSF $207

SOLD YTD: 8,612-  UP 297- median asking $449,950 – median sold price $440,000- DOM 49 – MPPSF $218  Note: 36% selling in 30 days or less.

Actively for sale 12,184 – UP 281- MPPSF <$800,000 is $220- MPPSF >$800,000 is $337

Note that the MPPSF Asking prices of homes not sold is virtually unchanged week to week while those going into escrow are the ones asking less and less each week.

(above info and graphs not compiled, published or verified by NWMLS – required disclosure)

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

100 thoughts on “Sunday Night Stats – Volume is Stabilizing

  1. As to the absorption rate issue, I don’t you throw absorption rates out the window ever, but then I’ve never seen a really bad market. Recently about 1/4 to 1/3rd of the stuff coming on market is selling within 30 days (for the periods I’ve looked at in the past–I don’t track it month to month). I think it went up to just over 1/2 last summer. When stuff is selling that fast, junk sells. In slower markets, the only junk that sells is junk with potential, or junk in a great neighborhood, or junk with a really attractive price.

    There is of course a price at which anything will sell, but for houses not in very good condition, the difference in price in this market is bigger than in a hot market where people will rush to buy just about anything before it’s gone.

    Also, higher absorption rates often mean higher inventories, and when you’re dealing with more competition, your house needs to be in top shape to get the most attention and have the best chance of selling for a decent price.

    BTW, what do you mean by “volume is stabilizing?” Less monthly variation?

  2. Ardell wrote: “Single Family Homes in May and June look like they sold at higher prices, as does the condo market, but that is because people are opting to get more for their money. As price per square foot drops, people are opting for bigger houses and lower prices.”

    This seemed suspect to me as to SFR (not condo), so I pulled some numbers.

    June 08 median square footage for King County was only 40 square feet more, although the mean was 89 more. May 08 (using only a 30 day month because I forgot to change to 31) had a median exactly equal to 07, while the mean was only 8 feet more. February 08 (our low price period) median was 23 square fee LESS, and the mean was 14 square feet LESS.

    Now there was a variation between the months. February had the smallest numbers and June the largest. So apparently people buy smaller houses in February than in the summer months.

    Anyway, where are you seeing people buying larger houses for less money?

  3. Oh, Ardell,

    Your paragraph on AR’s leave me scratching my head.

    AR’s are simply a way to measure the strength or weakness of a market. They are the measurement of supply and demand.

    Ardell, what you say here:
    “At the end of eight months, some of those homes will still be on market and other properties that came on market after them will be the cream of the crop that sells.” ……is true of ANY market, whether that AR shows 1 month or 20 months. AR’s are tracked as the market goes up and as the market goes down.

    Median prices generally follow AR’s. (supply and demand). AR’s ARE the indicator of volume (in realtion to supply and demand).

  4. Kary: “As to the absorption rate issue, I don’t think you throw absorption rates out the window ever, but then I’ve never seen a really bad market.”
    Greg: “AR’s are simply a way to measure the strength or weakness of a market…”

    Both of you are correct in that you don’t really “throw out” the absorption rate data, but you have to move PAST it. Yes Greg, it is “simply (key word being simply) a way to measure strength or weakness of a market…” It’s more a tool to move someone past denial.

    But once all are agreed that a market is weak, and to what degree it is weak, you have to put Absorption Rate aside and go deeper into methods that offer solutions, and not just explanations of what is.

    The faster agents can move past AR and into the solution phase, the better they will be able to assist their clients. It’s not enough to simply convince clients about market conditions, we have to generate effective solutions for them.

    There were many methods proven to be succuessful in markets such as this one. I’ll write a post with some of them later today. Of course there is successful for a seller and successful for a buyer…so maybe that’s two posts 🙂

  5. Ardell,
    The “solution” phase is always to assist a Seller or a Buyer be postitioned correctly and make correct decisions within a market……whatever that market is at the time.

    AR’s — THE RATE OF MARKET ABSORPTION are one of the best tools to do this. By charting them one can instantly see if a market is progressing, treading water, or regressing.

    In my mind, your basic premise of charting only VOLUME is incomplete information. WHAT DOES THIS VOLUME MEAN WITHOUT THE SUPPLY SIDE? Volume can appear to be stabilizing or actually increasing, but what if inventory is coming in at 4 times the rate of volume (sale)? I have the same problem with those who only track inventory (without supply) as a market measure indicator of strength or weakness. The relationship between supply (inventory) and demand (pendings) give a more complete and accurate picture. Volume (sales) without supply or supply without volume in my mind is barely a notch above anecdotal information.

    BTW, proper use of AR’s are just as powerful for buyers as sellers.

    AR’s are no more important or less important in hot markets or weak markets.

  6. @Kary regarding more house for more money.

    While this is currently true it is also historically true, but also only temporarily true. I think we are coming out of that phase and into more house for less money totally. It’s one of the stages of a turning market. You need a bell curve to visualise it. I’ll try to draw one that replicates my experience of a run up, drastic down turn, and back through and past new strong market phase (which brings us to where we are). The key indicators are absolutely identical, so it will be a good tool to predict where we are headed.

    This is very important for the Seattle Area as Seattle really didn’t have that experience though the rest of the country did back in the late 80s to present. To date Seattle has run on it’s own cycle based on local economic factors…now it is joining the Country with nationally based market changes. So real estate is no longer “local” and based on local history. One must shift to a broader perspective to see what is happening and what will happen next.

    The highest price point was July of 07 where median price was the highest at $485,000 as was median price per square foot at $233. That is peak anyway you slice it.

    We then moved to people paying less, buying smaller houses, and paying just a tad less per square foot. Getting a house for $467,000 median price became more important than getting a better true value, with median price per square foot dropping only from $233 to $231. The lowest price period was actually January and not February, but not worth mentioning, as lowest price period is directly in front of us, and not behind us at all.

    If you track the immediate present, you will see that the median price is rising as the median price per square foot is falling, but that will be short lived. The cycles in a changing market last 30 -45 days or so as the market is moving quickly as to price, once volume becomes relatively stable (as it has). I think you will see the same drop in price in the next 45 days that you saw from August to present (and that is proven and evidenced by the pending stats).

    Once you start around the top of the bell curve, the momentum picks up on the downward and slippery slope. So hindsight is for clues more than for extrapolation of the data. If you “study” the stats too much or take too long to be convinced, the market has changed by time you decide to believe it 🙂

  7. I’m still not seeing it Ardell. The numbers I posted indicated that the square footage is remaining relatively the same, although it had a seasonal factor. But between the peak and now the price per square foot has dropped because the price has dropped, not because of any significant change in squre footage.

    As I started though, I agree that is probably happening in condos. I’ve seen some evidence of that, but I don’t remember whether it was King County, Snohomish, or both.

  8. Greg,

    I have my hands full at the moment…but just wanted to say that I LOVE your all caps 🙂

    Briefly, here’s how it plays out, once you get past the fact that the market is X weak based on studying the absorption rate, the market turns into two complete different segments. The won’t sell at all and the will sell. Then you pull the won’t sell at all out of the AR calculation and only the ones that will sell become part of the mix.

    If you keep looking at AR you ride the market down looking back at why you didn’t sell. You have to get in front of the pack and stop looking at AR to be SOLD vs RIGHT. That reminds me of a Dr. Phil line. I don’t watch him, but I’m pretty sure the line is something like “Do you want to be successful, or do you want to be right?”

    The bell curve will help explain this better. I’ll try to get to it late tonight after the business at hand of a busy Monday is behind me.

  9. Kary,

    I’m seeing it. All you have to do is calculate the median price and median price per square foot for each month from July 07 to present. It will become immediately apparent if you chart those 12 months on a rolling basis. Don’t simply look at the square footage as you are doing. Calculate the median price per square foot and it will jump off the page at you with no room for doubt.

  10. I think all you’re seeing is the difference in price. The square footage isn’t changing significantly (neither median or mean), so people aren’t buying larger homes. They’re just paying less for them. That’s what’s affecting the price per square foot.

  11. Kary said: “I think all you’re seeing is the difference in price.”

    Incorrect. (sounds a little better than the first word I typed…WRONG!”

    Price went from $432,750 to $451,000. Price per square foot stayed consistent and will be having it’s most dramatic drop in the next 45 days based on a study of pendings. In that phase both will drop…total price AND price per square foot…all by the end of the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter is where people will stand up and take notice, and that’s OK for economists…but not for real estate agents. We have to get in front of it long before year end.

  12. Sorry I missed the “what do you mean by the market is stablilizing”. I have to pull July and August of 2007 out to better show that as a visual. I will…tonight. I was hoping you could see it by linking back to the 2005 pie on my blog without my having to adjust the two pie charts.

    The best way to see it is if I do 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 for the first half of the year only. That will take a bit of work, but it’s important to get that (moreso for agents than the public generally), so I promise not to go to sleep until I get that done.

  13. And Absorption Rates back in January were a very good tool to that purpose, Greg, but not quite as effective as more direct instruction, info and evidence to support the recommendations, and not as valuable this time of year and in this phase of the cycle.

    Absorption Rates are more like the first step of a twelve step program 🙂 Getting people who have been somewhat oblivious to market conditions to understand what’s happening generally if not specifically.

    How many times do you then here “But I’m not going to GIVE it away!” I think that will be the topic of my first video blog 🙂

  14. “But, I’m not going to GIVE it away!”

    “But, MY house is better than those comps”

    “But, I really don’t have to sell.”

    “But, I NEED to get this price for my house”

    “But, my neighbor got “X” fo his house”

    “But, I have a hunch about this price. I’m just feeling good about it.”

    “But, I don’t want to put any time or money into repairs, I just want to sell it like it is.”

    “But, you know it only takes one!”

    “But, we need to get the money out of our improvements” (purple walls?)

    “Ok then, we’ll wait until next year when the market is better.”

    A Top 10 all star list, starting with 9 big but(t)s, of those things that seller’s say. Over and over and over and over.

    The market isn’t always kind, but it’s never wrong.

    And yes, I’ll agree. AR’s are a tool to get sellers in a “real” state. I use them as “evidence”.

    Your video should be good.

  15. Greg says:

    “The market isn’t always kind, but it’s never wrong.”

    and I add my favorite”

    “You can’t be smarter than the market”.

  16. I actually had a seller years ago want to overprice his house, and he told me, with a straight face, “well, you know, someone from California is going to buy it anyway, and they’ll pay ANYTHING” …

    so I said, “ya, but how come you think only the dumb ones are coming up here to buy?”

    As to market-isms …
    My favorite: Do it my way and it will work out better for you.
    Been trying to get Windermere to let me put that on my card for years 🙂

  17. Thanks for continuing to put these together, Ardell. Even though we all have access to this data, I enjoy your summaries. Here in the trenches it is feeling like a workable market, with our inventory at least seeing action and some of it moving, some of it not. It’s like fishing in a somewhat sparse hole, but with good bait and the right presentation, we’re getting bites and landing some too.

  18. You are very welcome, Gordon. I have to pour through this stuff anyway, so I might as well share it once I’ve done all the work.

    The odd thing is that even though we all know that median days on market is over 45 days for anything that is selling…30 days still feels like a freakin’ eternity! doesn’t it?

    When I started in real estate escrow timeframes were 90 days to 120 days. Today we want it listed, sold and closed in 30something 🙂 More than that just doesn’t feel good…but we’re geting used to it, cause we have to.

  19. I’m not a real estate guy, but I am a numbers guy, and what Ardell is saying makes perfect sense to me. The houses that are simply unrealistically priced might as well not be on the market. They have signs in front of them, but for all practical intents and purposes they aren’t on the market. Don’t count ’em.

  20. Thanks Larry. Yes. It really is that simple. So if only 3 out of 10 will sell, and 7 will never sell as there are only 3 buyers to every 10 sellers, then you have to work your butt off figuring out how to be one of the top 3 on market.

    Absorption rate simply sounds the bell to get into a different mode. It doesn’t help you sell your house. In fact it’s misleading as some sellers who will think “oh, so I guess it may take my house 8 months to sell because it will take 8 months to absorb ALL of the houses for sale. That’s OK, I’m not in a hurry.” NO!

    Absorption rate can only hail the coming of the buyers market. It doesn’t tell you what to do when you get there. #4-#10 on market may never sell, and #1,2 and 3 that do sell will often pass by #4 before it gets to be #3.

    I just saw a New On Market pass the house next door by selling in 6 days when the house next door had been on for a year and a half. (you know it well, Greg. The one next to the one that was FSBO in the mls and then Zip).

    Absorption Rate simply tells you that you either need to be serious about selling, or you need to do something else like rent or stay or default. It doesn’t give you steps that are different at an 8 month absorption rate.

    OK…break over, back to work. Be back.

    Thanks again, Larry.

  21. Gordon,

    I’m only saying this because I really like you “but with good bait and the right presentation, we’re getting bites and landing some too.” that language is offensive. I’d rather you said fck. I’d rather hear someone curse their head off, than act like people being faced with the difficult challenges of buying homes in today’s market are “baited and landed” like fish.

  22. Back to Kary’s question: “Ardell, you still haven’t answered where your numbers come from (area, type and date).”What area are you talking about? Those numbers don’t match the King County data published by the NWMLS for any months that I can see.”

    Kary – read the top of the chart “King County SFH…”

    It’s tedious, but simple. I started with July of 2007 and did every month, month by month, through June of 2008. King County. Residential. Check “sold”. Put in the months 07/01/07 to 07/31/07. Hit Statistics (not submit). You get the number of properties sold. I drop to the median line and get the median asking price and the median sold price, so I can see the relationship and apply that to pending sales. When I post the MPPSF for pending sales I do not deduct for the spread, so when I say it’s going to be down to $207, that is based on asking price, so we know it will be less than that.

    All of the numbers I posted are literal and not “tweaked” in any way. I get the MPPSF simply be dividing the median sold price by the median square footage.

    The commentary is based on reading between the lines of the data and also projecting based on historical data going back to 2000. I posted the data back to 2000 a few weeks back so it is handy when I need it. More recently I only went back to 2004 as it was too much for people to have to wade through. Last night I didn’t repeat that data as I was using graphs I stored at the end of 2007 and early 2008 knowing I would need them as a refernce point when we hit the end of the first half of 2008.

    That’s where I get them from. It’s a lot of work. I just did it ALL OVER again, since you seemed to doubt my numbers for some reason. The data was accurate and double checked. (except 2 agents posted their 6/30 closings today, but that didn’t change the median price, days on market or any other data I used for this post except 1,557 for June is now 1,559.)

    I have no idea where the numbers you are using come from. I only know that I spend hours doing mine by hand, and I do them late enough into the next month to pick up as many late postings as possible AND I go back when I use the data at a later time and recheck the data again.

    Regarding the information regarding weak markets, I am pulling from my experience from 1990 to present. I’m hoping there’s a bell graph of that period available by googling so I don’t have to draw it 🙂 Off to look for it.

    Where do you get your numbers?

  23. Thanks Giles. I was a banker for 20 years, Trust & Investments for most of that. Switched to Real Estate in 1990 with a year or two of overlap. The Bank paid for me to go to the Wharton School of Business at night. I took all of the business courses but not the electives, so i didn’t hang around to get the degree. The Bank didn’t want to pay for the elective classes and I decided it was time to start having some babies 🙂

  24. Ardell, I get my numbers the same way. That’s not news to anyone who is an agent. I was asking for area, type and date, and you only answered two of the three questions. I’m asking show me some statistics that indicate that people are buying larger places now. I’ve shown you 6 months, and you’ve shown nothing. If you’re seeing people buying larger places for more money, you’re including condos as “residential” or using different months than I used.

    I posted six months above where the square footage YOY was basically the same, and in some cases identical to the prior yearl And May and June were pretty close to each other in 2007 and 2008. I only gave the differences before, but here are the numbers (median rounded because I really didn’t care about that–I was looking for a move to larger properties as claimed:

    Month, median $, median SF, mean SF

    Feb 07 435k, 1984, 2207
    Feb 08 434k, 1961, 2193

    Note the median and mean square footage was smaller in 2008.

    May 07 461k, 2020, 2242
    May 08 442k, 2020, 2250

    This time the median is identical, and the mean slightly larger.

    June 07 475k, 2040, 2228
    June 08 451, 2080, 2319

    This is the only pair where it shows a larger size, but the differences are not all that significant.

    Of the six means and medians above, only the June 07 to 08 mean shows a significant move toward larger units.

  25. Ardell,

    I’m quite sorry for offending you (responding to your #29). My point was that marketing real estate in this environment takes skills born of experience and creativity — similar to what it takes to be successful at fly fishing. Maybe the metaphor was lost on you, or maybe it was poorly crafted; either way I certainly didn’t mean for it to be offensive or demeaning to buyers. And by the way, it’s unlikely you’ll ever hear me say the f-word. Unless one of my fish wiggles off (don’t worry, I meant that last in the literal sense).

    As far as the “difficult challenges of buying homes in today’s market?” Sure beats what buyers have been faced with for most of the last ten years in Seattle. Not a lot of multiple-bid-shoot-first-don’t-inspect-later auctions happening this season.

  26. I showed this weekend in Shoreline, a pretty big price spread, from $500,000 to $700,000. We probably looked at / drove by about 20 houses. 2 of them were in the right ballpark for price, the rest were just there to prove the 2 good ones were the only good ones.

    Sellers who don’t price ‘in the ballpark’, won’t get a home run.
    Sellers with good bait and the right presentation will get a fish.
    Sellers who don’t present well won’t win the award.
    Sellers who don’t do their homework, will flunk the exam.

    However you choose to describe the issue, it’s 100% price, terms and condition today.

    I’m with Gordon on the challenges in todays market. It’s nice to not have to feel we’re in a footrace to write an offer fast.

  27. @Kary – I gave you all three. King County – Residential – each month on a twelve month rolling basis beginning in July of 2007.

    I’m not doing YOY for this post, I’m doing the market progression from July of 2007. If you look at March of 2008 you will see that the median size was 1,960 square feet and the median price was $435,000 and the median price per square foot was $221. Jump to June and you will see the median price at $451,000, the median size at 2,080 and the median price per square foot dow at $216.8.

    More house, higher sale price, lower price per square foot.

    I’m not looking at what people did last year at this time vs. this year. I’m looking at what people did a few months ago vs. now.

  28. Kary and Gordon,

    I’m pretty equal in not permitting the public to run by and call agents Realtwhores or agents to call people “leads” or “fish” or the purchase and sale of their most valuable asset “a deal”. If an agent calls another agent a rat…hmmm, I’d have to see it in context.

    True, it is one of my missions in life to encourage agents to treat the buyers of real estate with the same dignity and respect as the sellers of real estate. But that’s nothing new.

  29. Leanne,

    I’ve found that “in the ballpark” has gotten much tighter. There was a time not too long ago that being in the correct $25,000 increment was sufficient. i.e. $449,950 vs. $509,950. Now I’m finding that you have to be right within $10,000. If the seller is willing to accept $515,000 then they can’t be priced higher than $525,000. $449,950 means $440,000 or better.

    A seller can’t be “off” in asking by more than $10,000.

    The common complaint of listing agents and sellers being “why don’t they make an offer?” Because they just leave if the price is considered unreasonable or “out of range”. The seller can’t throw a high price up just in case, and complain that no one is bringing an offer of any kind, in this market.

    Yet we still see sellers willing to take less, and yet holding on to the hope that someone will pay more, by keeping the price more than $10,000 over the lowest offer they will accept. That may work for the first couple of weeks or even the first 30 days. But we all see that happening on properties that are on market much longer with the seller saying “well why don’t they make an offer?” instead of reducing the price.

  30. Since I’m not a real estate type, but a numbers type, I’m going to ask a dumb but related question. Isn’t it too simple a model to look at the sale price of a property by looking at the square feet of the structure? A property around Seattle, correct me if I’m wrong, has about half of its value in the land, and half in the structure. If real estate appreciates or depreciates. it’s the land that goes up and down, not the structure, right? I understand that $/sqf is an index that varies with property value, but this doesn’t seem to reflect the reality that it’s the land value that’s going up and down, which has only a loose relationship to house square footage.

    Or is it just not workable to try to do a more complex calculation? My concern is that when you have an unusual situation with a large lot, and 2/3 of the value is in the land, this method will give erroneous results.

  31. Larry,

    Yes and no 🙂

    If you don’t mind, I’ll write a post on that now since it deserves a longer explanation than a comment can handle. I’m writing it now.

  32. Okay, I can see how you’re looking at it. Bigger houses will sell for less money, all other things being equal. So yes, as the median square footage moves up, the price per square will move down.

    Rather than being a choice to buy more for more money, I think it just is a difference in consumers, since it appears to be seasonal.

  33. Kary,

    You can think what you want, but people are buying bigger for less money because they aren’t buying a 2-5 year “stepping stone” house. With the uncertainty looking out into the near future, they don’t want to have to sell in a few years. That is a change in the thinking and actions of buyers.

    A few years ago they would buy a smaller house for a lot of money, knowing that they could sell it in two years for more money, and then buy their bigger house. Today they want the house they can stay in longer…for less.

  34. 46 was in reference to 40, where you said you’d have to see the rat reference in context. I provided the link to it.

    As to 49, you can think what you want, but people are not buying larger houses, at least in comparison to last year. So for if whatever reason slightly larger houses were selling in the summer either year, it’s happening again, for the same or a different reason. It doesn’t matter.

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