Clark County Housing Market Update
and the Secret to Free Nutritious Eggs
Buyer Activity: As you have heard me say before, changes in buyer activity levels will be the first clue of a change in the market. If buyer activity begins to fall off for 2 weeks or more then we have a seriously changing market (assuming a normal period. If it is the holidays or there is a declaration of a war then this indicator is likely less accurate at predicting the future.)
Buyer activity is valuable because it is one of the most immediate indicators we have. It reflects what was happening just 2-3 weeks ago. As opposed to inventory levels which is based on what was happening 6-8 weeks ago
I have been saying that if the early few weeks in January start out super strong then it usually suggests at least the first 6 months of the year will be very strong.
So here is what we have. As you know, our lockboxes tell us every time a box is opened to show a home and RMLS posts for us the weekly numbers of openings. The numbers are usually about 2 weeks behind.
For the week ending December 30 we had 1635 openings while the first week in January ending the 6th had 2765 openings. The key to these numbers is, did we exceed the average openings for most of the year or did we fall short? Let me explain.
For most of last year strong market, the rough average number of openings was around 4,000. So, at 2765 openings we fell short, but be aware that half of the week was still during the holidays. If we adjust for that then the showings for the first week are just a bit over the 4,000 mark.
My interpretation is that our buyer activity level is starting up at the same level as it was during most of last year. While this is not as strong as is needed to assure a strong next 6 months, it certainly suggests the market is not heading down the tubes. Buyer interest is remaining stable as compared to last year.
Price Reductions:The number of price reductions was as high as 1439 last August. We are now down to about the same levels as last March, 570 price reductions the past 30 days. Now, I will admit that the holidays may be producing a skewed number so perhaps for this reporting period we should not give much weight to this measurement.
The Average Price: The average price of a home changed very little. It moved upward from $386,200 to 388,600.
Marketing time: Marketing time increased slightly from 52 days to 59 days.
Inventory Levels: Inventory levels remained exactly unchanged from November to December.
Pending Sales: Pending sales fell 14%, from 564 in November to 483 in December. While this ordinarily might be worrisome, it is quite normal to see a December decline in sales from the prior month. Sales also fell a bit, 2.4%, from the same period in 2017.
What price ranges are most affected by the market changes?
Inventory (Inventory=months needed to sell all existing homes at the current rate of sales.)
Price Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan
2-300,000 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.6 1.3 1.1
3-500,000 2.1 2.3 2.6 2.6 2.7 3.0
5-700,000 4 3.2 5.2 4.8 5.2 7.3
7-1,000,000 5.7 7.7 7 8.6 9.4 7.8
Yes, the inventory level rose especially high for homes priced in the $500-700,000 range and yet oddly enough inventory in the $700,000+ range dropped. This is odd enough to suggest we need more time to assess if this rise is really happening or if this is just a one month oddity.
What we do know is that there is no strong data to suggest the market is doing anything more than stalling at this point. It is as if the market is waiting to see if conditions (the economy) are likely to get better or worse.
We also know that markets always struggle during uncertainty and these are times of uncertainty. In fact, I think it is fair to say objectively that Trump is equivalent to uncertainty. So, I am predicting that once this uncertainty is “gone” we will see a recovery in the general economy and a recovery in the housing market to conditions closer to what they were just a few months ago. If this is literally true and you buy into that belief then this may actually be a buying opportunity for investors. Naturally, it is also possible the world and national economy will get so bad as to be beyond recovery if uncertainty is not “gone” soon.
More nutritious eggs for free
If you have chickens and enjoy having eggs or if chickens interest you, I thought it might be fun to do a chat, especially if the idea of free eggssounds good to you.
As per Mother Earth News research, what makes a chicken egg many times more nutritious is allowing your chickens to roam the yard so they have access to bugs, insects, grass, etc. But that can be a problem because chickens can be destructive. I find Premier portable Fencing helpful. The fencing lets you protect your garden areas and flower beds. It is light weight and so portable, you can move the fencing easily and quickly so as to rotate the chickens to new areas. If you have a problem with dogs or coyotes, you can get a power box to keep the fencing charged. It is best to rotate the fences at night when the chickens are in the coop. (By the way, the chickens go into the coop all by themselves at night. Our friend once very kindly tended to our chickens while we were gone. With great effort she rounded them up each evening and put them into the coop for their own safety. She was a bit embarrassed when we returned and told her the chickens already knew the rules and go in all by themselves.)
If you have a small yard, one way to get more mileage out of your yard is to build a compost bin for your chickens. The compost will attract worms, bugs and insects which the chickens will love. You can build it inexpensively using old pallets. There are lots of youtube instructions full of ideas. Toss your household veggies into the bin along with coffee grounds from your favorite coffee shop. Gather the autumn leaves from your neighbor’s yard and anything else they are tossing out that will compost. Add manure from a local dairy or horse ranch and grass clippings from your lawn mowing and in no time your compost bin will be full of all kinds of critters for the chickens. Those critters that show up provide your chickens between 2 to three times by weight the protein of grain plus many more nutrients. You will find your eggs will taste fabulously better and the yolks will be a brighter yellow or orange.
There is a compost farmer from Vermont, Karl Hammer, who since 1998 has had 1200 chickens (I understand he currently is down to 600 chickens) and he has not feed them one lick of grain. All his chickens eat are the critters that show up in his compost. If you feed your chickens from the compost, your eggs will be way more nutritious, better tasting and it is all free plus lower maintenance. (The compost critters do not charge to show up). My experience is that if you are feeding your chickens grain, you are paying more for your eggs than if you bought them from the store.
One last note, if you are having a raccoon problem, try playing a radio tuned to a 24/7 talk station. It does not have to be loud. Raccoons can hear better than you and me. I and the farmer I learned it from have used that trick for years.
So, write or call me when you have a free moment on any of these topics:
1) Your thoughts on chickens
2) Composting issues
3) An idea you have about real estate
PS: Chickens are my hobby and real estate services is my profession.