Who’s Buying and Selling Homes in 2017?

The National Association of Realtors just released the  2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey which provides demographic insights into the real estate market nationally. For most home buyers, the purchase of real estate is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. Buyers purchase a home not only for the desire to own a home of their own, but also because of changes in jobs, family situations, and the need for a smaller or larger living area. This annual survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors® of recent home buyers and sellers provides insight into detailed information about their experiences with this important transaction. Here are highlights from the latest report.

  • First-time buyers made up 34 percent of all home buyers, a decrease from last year’s 35 percent.
  • Age for first-time buyers remains flat, but the age of repeat buyers continues to climb—now at an all-time high of 54.
  • Married couples continue at 3-year decline, while single females increased for the 3rd year.
    Buyer and seller use of agent remains at historical highs, 87% and 89% respectively. FSBOs remain at an all-time low of 8%.
  • Drop in those who stalled their sale of the home because they were underwater to 10%, but it is still common among those who purchased 8-10 years ago at 26%.
  • Tenure (holding on to the same property)  remains at an all-time high of 10 years.

In Ridgefield, we are seeing young families make the move to the suburbs, while empty-nesters are starting to downsize. While we may not have seen the gains in value that some of the country is experiencing, 2017 has been a strong year for both single-family unit sales and median home values.  We hope to see this trend continue through the end of the year.


Source: “2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” National Association of REALTORS® (Oct. 30, 2017)

Ridgefield Q3 Market Report

The third quarter of 2017 sees the culmination of an active summer market with median values increasing for the first time this year when compared to 2016, and the number of sales remaining constant.

Unit Sales
Incredibly, the number of sales of single family homes in Ridgefield remained the same at 116 units in both the third quarters of 2016 and 2017, however the total dollar volume sold in Q3 2017 amounted to $93,705,894, up from $86,206,720 in 2016. Overall, since January, 294 homes have sold in Ridgefield compared with 269 during the same time last year. This represents an 8.5% increase and reaffirms that we are experiencing a healthy real estate market.

Market Inventory
The number of homes listed for sale was lower every month during Q3 2017 when compared to Q3 2016, with an average of 282 homes available for purchase. The average months of inventory was only 6 months in July and August, but has risen to 14 months in September, which is to be expected as families settle into school, and less new homes come on the market.

The median sales price for single family homes is currently sitting at $657,500 as compared to $637,500 during the same period last year. This represents a nominal increase in median values of 3%. The average sales price also saw a shift towards higher values with the return of upper end sales. It rose from $743,161 in Q3 2016 to $807,809 this year. Homes also continue to sell at an average of 96.6% of the listed price.

For a snapshot of of single family home sales in September, click here.

Remodeling Seen As A Good Investment For 2018

As homeowners gain more equity, they are expected to continue heavily investing in home improvement projects and repairs through the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity report released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA index projects annual gains in home renovation and repair spending of 6.3 percent for the fourth quarter of 2017 and up to 7.7 percent by the third quarter of next year.

“Recent strengthening of the U.S. economy, tight for-sale housing inventories, and healthy home equity gains are all working to boost home improvement activity,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “Over the coming year, owners are projected to spend in excess of $330 billion on home upgrades and replacements, as well as routine maintenance.”

For homeowners looking to remodel for resale, the National Association of REALTORS® publishes a report looking at the costs of some of the top remodeling projects. Take a look at the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report.

As Realtors, we see the impact of a good remodel all the time.  Painting the interior and exterior of your home in modern, transitional colors is a fairly quick and inexpensive way to make an immediate impact, as is removing heavy drapery and letting your windows shine.  Upgrading bathroom vanities, tile and shower doors, as well painting or replacing outdated kitchen cabinetry, backsplashes and countertops is also a big hit. Decluttering – although not a remodel – goes a long way towards making your home feel fresh and new. If you want to learn more about how to get your home ready for sale, contact us for a consultation.

Welcome To The Porch

According to a Census data analysis from the National Association of Home Builders, more new homes are coming equipped with front porches. Sixty-five percent of new single-family homes started in 2016 included a porch. For comparison, in 2005, 54 percent of new homes had porches.

Certain regions of the U.S. are showing higher preference for porches. For example, the East-South-Central region of the U.S. had the highest share of new homes started in 2016 with porches at 86 percent.

The Census data from the Survey of Construction report does not indicate much information about the look of the porches. However, the NAHB reports that the Annual Builder Practices Survey, conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs, shows that front porches on new homes tend to be more common than side porches. Also, most new home porches are open rather than screened. The average size of a front porch on a new home is about 60 square feet, according to the report.

Front porches provide the best of both worlds: privacy and community, yet it also provides a “sense of separation” between the indoor living space and the street.

A front porch also provides ecological advantages. Because the windows are protected, you don’t have to close everything down to keep the sun out.

Like all home design, the range of styles runs the gamut, from traditional to contemporary and a lot of eclecticism in between. But one thing is for sure: There’s a desire to bring the indoors outside (with comfy furnishings) and let the cool breezes from outdoors waft inside.

Patio furniture has become more high-end and lighting has also improved – oftentimes with chandeliers or sconces making appearances.  And besides being an aesthetically appealing architectural addition, renovating a home’s front porch can often boost both its curb appeal and sale price. So if you’re thinking of renovation ideas to tackle next spring, why not design and build a new porch?