Why inventory is becoming less of a problem

Plus, simple ways to manage your finances

Grace Townsley
May 13, 2022

New member of The Blueprint family

David here :) Last week we became a family of 4. Officially honored to introduce you all to Lily Jane Parnes born on May 3rd. We are all home, resting, and spending time with one another. It’s moments like this that make it all worth it.

I think back to when I first came to the United States with James, such a young guy, with no idea what was in store for me. I couldn’t be more blessed for how it’s played out. I have the best job in the world, get to work with my best friend, and I have an amazing family. 

Now don’t get me wrong— the road hasn’t been easy, but today was a firm reminder for me to stop and smell the lilies ;)

- David

Light at the end of the inventory tunnel?

Source: Unsplash

Realtor.com’s April market report shows that while the inventory problem is still a problem, it’s finally starting to become less of a problem. Here were the most notable takeaways from that report:

  • Nationally, the inventory of homes actively for sale on a typical day in April decreased by 12.2% since April 2021, a smaller rate of decline compared to the 18.9% drop from March 2021.
  • While inventory declined in 42 out of 50 of the largest metros compared to last year, 8 metros saw inventory growth, up from 6 last month. 
  • Metros which saw the most inventory growth include Riverside (+23.3%), Austin (+16.5%),  and Sacramento (+11.8%). Seventeen metros also saw the number of newly listed homes increase compared to last year.

Our take

This is a good sign. Finally, we could be returning to normal. It’s definitely been abnormal to see homes getting 30+ offers. Inventory has been the talking point of this industry for the past 18 months, and we all know that if the supply can match the demand, it will be better for our industry in the long run. Share this news with your clients who have been priced out of the market because of bidding wars. This could be their time to get back into the mix.

Why more buyers are becoming “ARMed” 

Source: Unsplash

With mortgage costs rising, many buyers are looking for alternatives. One solution is quickly gaining popularity: adjustable rate mortgages. And specifically, 5/1 ARMs which lock in your rate for five years, then readjust your rate every year following. 

Here’s what you need to know about ARMs:

  • Right now, the interest rate on a typical 5/1 ARM sits at about 4.47%, more than a full percentage point lower than the average contract interest for a 30-year loan, which hit 5.53% last week.
  • Over 10% of home loan applications last week were for ARMs, the largest share since 2008
  • The share of ARM applications peaked at 36.6% back in 2005, but have stayed in the single digits since then… until this month

Our take 

Your buyer may be able to get a slightly better interest rate with an ARM, but we’re not so sure if the uncertainty is worth it. We prefer the fixed-rate mortgage, even if you have to pay a slight premium for it, because at least you know exactly what you’re in for. If interest rates hit 12% five years from now, you’re safe, instead of sweating the next adjustment. When it comes to financing, we value certainty over everything else.

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The Top 10 most expensive zip codes 

Source: Unsplash

If you think your local market has become expensive, Realtor.com’s latest report will give you some much-needed perspective. By compiling listings data from across the nation, the site has come up with a list of the most expensive zip codes in the country. These neighborhoods have always been lux, but lately, they’re on a whole other level. 

Check out the Top 10 cities with the most expensive zip codes in the US, and their median list price:

  1. Atherton, CA - $15M
  2. Sagaponack, NY - $8M
  3. Telluride, CO - $6.1M
  4. Paradise Valley, AZ - $5.5M
  5. Palm Beach, FL - $5.4M
  6. Stone Harbor, NJ - $5.3M
  7. Greenwich, CT - $5M
  8. Vineyard Haven, MA - $4.8M
  9. Kilauea, HI - $4.3M
  10. Sun Valley, ID - $4M

Our take

This report just proves the point all agents try to make— real estate, at any price point, is a really strong investment. In the long run, it will keep going up because people pour money into real estate every time there’s volatility in other investments. They know brick-and-mortar properties are more stable, not just because they hold significant value, but you can generate income while you’re holding it. Cryptocurrency is interesting to say the least, but there’s a reason why real estate has stood the test of time.

Schematics 

The news that just missed the cut

Source: Cottages and Gardens
  • See inside the Bel-Air mansion that sold for $41M under asking
  • Maroon 5’s Adam Levine has to “move like Jagger” after selling his minimalist Pacific Palisades mansion
  • California takes another step towards adopting crypto
  • 9 tips for coming up with interesting real estate content
  • Amazon and Walmart offer their own employer-assisted housing programs
  • For sale: the home where Zuckerberg and friends invented Facebook

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Managing your personal and business finances can feel overwhelming, especially when your earnings vary from month to month. While tech tools are no replacement for your own financial professionals, we can recommend a few apps that might make money management just a little simpler (these aren’t advertisements, these are genuine recs)

For your personal finances:

For your business finances and taxes:

  • Hurdlr: Automatically tracks your business expenses and mileage
  • FreshBooks: Tracks your business expenses and send your own invoices
  • Xero: Connects to your accounts for instant cash flow tracking and easy tax planning

These are just a few tools we think are helpful for managing your money. For more ideas, check out the in-depth article we wrote for Inman here

Q&A

You ask, James and David answer!

Q: The bond you two have is remarkable. How do you stay positive with one another?

Ann, The Blueprint reader 

A: Like any partnership and friendship, we have disagreements all the time. Even though we’ve known each other for years, we have different perspectives on a lot of things. But we have such respect for each other that we always, always get through the issues. We respect one another and our team. Even on the tough days!

James & David

Want to see your own question in next Friday’s newsletter? Submit it here!

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

We created The Blueprint to be exactly the kind of resource we wish we had 10 years ago. Back then, there wasn’t a great source of real estate news, tips, or advice. We literally had to read books just to learn about the market. Unbelievable! 

So, if you’re getting something out of these newsletters, share it with a friend who might find some value. We've enjoyed getting to know some of you through our referral program, so thanks again for spreading the word. 

Have a great weekend.

- James and David

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