Record breaking home prices

HouseIn May 2024 median home prices in the US reached an all-time high of $419,300. Mortgage interest rates went down a little this month but are still high at 6.9%.

 

It is the lack of supply and the high demand that has driven prices up. Houses are still selling quickly and multiple offers are common but not as common as they were a year ago.

The number of homes on the market is up 18.5% from May 2023 according to the National Association of Realtors.

The people who are most likely to move this year are moving due to life events like job changes, the birth of a child, or a death.

For homeowners who want to sell this is a great time. There are more houses on the market this year than there were last year which makes moving easier.

An abundance of primrose

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Many years ago my mother gave me half a dozen primrose plants. They didn’t do much at first but after a few years, I had so many I was pulling them out or digging them out and giving them away. I have way more than what she gave me and over the years they have moved further away from the shade of the house.

My primroses are a reminder of my mother and her love of gardening and of primroses. She passed away a few years ago and the primroses remind me of the many conversations we had about gardening and of the time she caught me pulling them out like weeds.

Primrose
Primrose

Primroses are native to many places in the Northern Hemisphere. They prefer climate zone 5, but survived just fine in zone 4. We have been upgraded in the Twin Cities to zone 5b. The leaves and flowers of the primrose plant have medicinal properties but I wouldn’t eat them.

Beat the heat – Summer 2024

So far we haven’t had much in the way of hot weather but today marks the first day of summer. For most of my life, we lived in houses that did not have air conditioning. I am not suggesting we go back to that, but we sometimes forget the simple things we can do to keep the house more comfortable. Here are a few of my favorites:

Close the shades, blinds, or curtains, to keep the sun and some of the heat out.

Use ceiling fans or regular fans as needed to move some air. They make it feel cooler in the house with or without the AC running.

Run the dishwasher at night. I use the delay start feature.

Avoid using the oven while the air conditioner is on. Use a microwave, toaster oven, outdoor grill, electric frying pan, crock pot, instant pot, etc.  I also occasionally use a small electric conduction hot plate.

Trees also help keep the house cool. Consider planting a tree that will provide shade and help keep the house cool.

I keep the house warmer during the day and cooler at night after the sun goes down so that we can sleep.

Happy Solstice. Here in the bold north, we will have 15 hours, 37 minutes, and 2 seconds of daylight. The days will start getting shorter starting tomorrow.

Happy Juneteenth

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The news arrived in Texas two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. (January 1, 1863)

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of ending slavery and was made a national holiday in 2021. Banks are closed today and there is no mail delivery.

Consult Google for information about celebrations in your neighborhood.

Wishing everyone peace, love, and happiness.

 

May 2024 Housing Report

Infographic Minnesota home sales
Minnesota Home Sales May 2024

Minnesota May 2024 housing report from the Minnesota Realtors:

Supply levels are on the rise as home prices continue their ascent

Seller activity was flat while buyers were less active compared to May of 2023. Supply levels are up for the tenth consecutive month as home prices continue increasing.

Many consumers and real estate professionals were expecting fixed mortgage rates to be lower by now, which has caused some buyers to postpone purchase decisions due to declining affordability levels.

Even as closed sales and inventory increased, new listings and pending sales fell compared to last May, an indication that the market has been slightly cooler this spring.

“Despite the slowdown in new listings in May, anytime we see inventory levels rise overall, it’s a good sign,” said 2024 MNR President Geri Theis. “Both buyers and sellers can find opportunities in this market by working with a trusted local Realtor®.”

May Year-Over-Year Summary of Key Market Indicators:

  • Closed sales: 6,575 (up 10.0%)
  • Median sales price: $350,000 (up 2.9%)
  • Average sales price: $411,949 (up 5.2%)
  • New listings: 9,996 (down 1.7%)
  • Pending sales: 6,912 (down 5.7%)
  • Days on the market: 37 (up 5.7%)
  • Homes for sale: 13,910 (up 16.3%)

Mortgage interest still too high

On average mortgage interest rates decreased slightly last week compared to the prior week. Rates are up from last year at this time, just below 7%.  Still too high.  Home prices are still rising but at less than 5% and rents in the Twin Cities have increased by less than 4% this year.

I am disappointed in the Federal Reserve. I had hoped they would be lowering rates by now. High housing costs and high interest rates are contributing to inflation.

Freddie Mac mortgage rate chart