The recent increase in open houses within the Springfield area is being welcomed as a good sign for those looking for a new home.
Not so long ago, homes were often sold before these events were scheduled.
a Report from the Greater Springfield Realtors Commission The residential real estate market in the Greene, Christian and Webster counties area continues to move at a fast pace, but is not at the level of a year ago.
With limited inventory and high interest rates, fewer homes are sold and tend to stay on the market a little longer.
“The market is doing well, and we’re continuing to do well on both the sales and pricing side. If you look at the average number of days in the market… sales are slowing down a bit,” said Jeff Kester, CEO of the 2,800-member Realtors Commission. “For member agencies and consumers, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
There were 622 home sales last month, and 770 in June 2022. The average number of days on the market jumped from 10 days a year ago to 21 days in June 2023.
Recalling last summer, Mr. Kester said a home sold on average in just 10 days and “no one has time to breathe.”
“It’s an average, so we know half are less than 10,” Kester said. “Open houses and such are postponed.”
Last month, average days on the market were 20 for Green, 22 for Christian and 32 for Webster. A year ago, Greene & Webster had just 10 days, and Christian had 11.
Aaron Wilken, office manager and broker at Leith Nichols Real Estate in Springfield, said affordable homes in certain price ranges sold quickly.
“It’s been crazy the last couple of years. We didn’t even stay in the market long enough to have very few open houses,” he said. “The market is still very good, with very low inventories at certain price points.”
In recent years, Wilken said, it was not uncommon for brokers to put homes up for sale on Fridays and then immediately set up open houses on Sundays.
“They will have an open house on Sunday, but will tell all potential buyers that they will consider the offer on Monday or Tuesday,” he said.
“They were still doing open houses, but in most cases, even if you put the house up for sale on Monday, it probably won’t be in time for Sunday.”
In the first six months of 2023, 2,856 homes were sold in the three counties, down from 3,592 in the same period last year, including 1,967 in Greene County, 694 in Christian County and 195 in Webster County.
“Little in stock” at certain price points
Wilken said homes priced between $100,000 and $400,000 continue to sell well, but “we have very little inventory.”
“Once you’re in the $500,000+ range, it’s still selling well, but with a little inventory, you’ll have some options,” he said.
There were 465 single-family homes available in Greene County this week, according to the Realtors Commission. At various points in the last decade, that number has more than tripled.
When asked why inventory is so low, Wilken said there are many reasons.
“Part of the reason is that construction costs have skyrocketed so quickly that it’s no longer possible or difficult to build a house for $250,000,” he said. “Rising interest rates have been a factor in many people buying or refinancing their homes over the last few years.
Last month’s median sales price in the three-county area was $274,900, up $9,512 from the same period in 2022, according to the Realtors Commission.
The median selling price for greens was $250,000, little changed from a year ago. Christian and Webster witnessed an even bigger jump.
The Christian’s median selling price rose $15,366 to $329,900, while the Webster’s rose $51,500 from a year ago to $282,000 in June.
Board Chief Executive Kester said the terms “buyers’ market” and “sellers’ market” are outdated. The current goal is to have a “balanced” market.
“If you calculate the number of homes currently on the market by the home sales rate, how long will it take to digest all those homes if no new ones come to market? Generally speaking, a balanced market inventory is about six months,” he said.
“For the last two years, our inventory has been about one to two months’ worth of inventory.”
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Kester said the market was still “very stable” but there was a constant stream of interested buyers who were recently married, recently divorced, had a new baby or had been burglarized.
He said despite a slight slowdown in the local homebuying scene, low inventory could make finding a suitable home a long time.
“The reason fair-priced properties don’t last long in the market is simply because there are so many potential buyers and potential buyers waiting for them,” he said.