May Newsletter- Finding our Way in These Times
As Dickens penned, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” The last two months have been times like none of us have ever seen. I was able to visit with my grandmother who is 91 and in a nursing home. While Facetiming, I asked her if she ever experienced anything like this pandemic. She said, “No, not anything can compare”. She was a nurse during WWII and lived through the depression. She has been around but she said nothing can compare. I think that is certainly true.
Times have been hard and these hard times are not over, but there have been some good things to happen as some families have been able to spend more time together and prioritize what is most important. I have seen courageous frontline workers and many appreciating all of those jobs that are essential for supply chains. As I type this newsletter, we just launched astronauts in space with a reusable rocket.
Our apologies for the delay in getting this newsletter out as we are now at the end of the month, but we have been busy and most importantly we had our son’s wedding this month (pic at the end of the newsletter). There were many adjustments and last-minute decisions that had to be made. The wedding went from a large to a very small gathering and then from an outdoor wedding to indoor due to the weather. They have been together 8 years so we agreed with not delaying it! We will have a large celebration later but in the meantime, we are very happy they started their married life together and wish them the best of times!
In regards to the housing market, some have tried to compare it to 2008 or 1980s S& L crisis but a forced shut down during a pandemic of epic proportions is not like any of those things. Many are thinking that the market should be tanking but what many do not understand is when we are looking at a market, we are looking backward. There is usually around 30 days, sometimes more from the time buyers and sellers have a contract and then the sale is actually closed. The numbers shown on the charts below are up to April, so many of these sales began in March. Next month’s numbers will be more telling of what occurred during the shutdown. We can get a glimpse of the future by looking at the pendings and number of listings of which were down.
In many ways, the market appears to have hit a pause button. It seems that the supply and demand both retracted in tandem, meaning that overall prices, as of yet haven’t seen significant declines. As we shared in our January & February newsletters, the market was really heating up before the pandemic. We see prices either slightly up or flat for the month of April. The supply has decreased as many were taken off the market during the shutdown. Sale volume is also down, which is not surprising during the shutdown.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Median Sales Price
Average Price Per Sq. Ft.
$145 | +2.1%
$164 | +0.6%
$134 | +3.9%
Months Supply of Inventory
2.4 | -25.0%
2.6 | -27.8%
2.7 | -18.2%
2.0 | -13.0%
1,190 | -14.9%
1,217 | -19.9%
1,679 | -28.7%
1,890 | -25.1%
Days on Market
18 | -21.7%
22 | -12.0%
20 | 0.0%
16 | +6.7%
1,608 | -25.8%
1,576 | -34.8%
2,391 | -32.7%
2,623 | -23.9%
Looking ahead , since Texas is now in various stages of reopening, we will see if these trends begin to change. Mortgage interest rates are at all time lows but lending has tightened. If some jobs don’t come back, the economy will be impact and the available pool of buyers will decline and impact the market.
Celebrations & Anniversaries!
This is our 5th year of doing our monthly newsletter. The very first newsletter was sent out 5 years ago this month. We have changed the format a bit but we hope you enjoy it. Please give us feedback, questions or topics you would like us to cover.
We also want to celebrate Shannon Slater for 14 years of working at the DW Slater Company. Shannon joined the company in May 14 years ago making this a husband and wife appraiser team. Shannon thought, if it didn’t work out, she would go back to being a school teacher. After 14 years, we can safely say that it has worked out. Happy Work Anniversary!
Now for that wedding picture we promised! We are so very happy for our son and his new bride. We wish them the best in their future together!
As we look forward to the summer months, we will continue to provide you with monthly updates and information on the housing market. We also love being your appraisal service provider. If you have any questions about real estate appraisals, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will get through these times. The beach picture we took a year ago in Hawaii. It was a peaceful place and a peaceful time. We will find our way back. This too shall pass. Until then, enjoy a little bit of Styx, The Best of Times.
About The Author
Shannon is a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser and serves as the Vice President of the DW Slater Company. She joined David at the DW Slater Company in 2006. Shannon graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a BA degree. Prior to joining the DW Slater Company, she was an Elementary School Teacher for the Pilot Point Independent School District. Shannon is an FHA Certified Appraiser. Shannon is a designated member of the National Association of Appraisers and a member of the Association of Texas Appraisers. In her free time, Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, singing in a local church choir, and tandem cycling with her husband.
Thank you!! I can’t believe it’s been 5 years. Glad you like them. Thanks for the wedding wishes. We are so happy for them.!Reply
Congrats on 5 years. And congrats on your son getting married. What a time we’ve been living through. Keep up the outstanding work. I always appreciate reading your market perspective.Reply
Thank you! I can’t believe it has been 5 years! Yes, these are extraordinary times for sure. As always, thank you for your input!Reply
Thanks so very much!Reply
Congratulations to you for your five year anniversary of your news article! I love every one! Keep up the great work! Also, a big congrats to your son and his new wife in their marriage! My best to you and your entire family.