Pockets of Cooling Home Markets Seen Call for Creative Sales Approaches


A scenario of softening home prices due to rising mortgage rates appears on the radar screen of some market analysts in 2015. This forecast, in turn, is kindling interest in real estate solutions which can help both prospective buyers and sellers engage the market, particularly in metro areas where the home values, as per the property research firm Veros, are expected to drop by an average of around 3% next year. On a broader viewpoint, Veros sees home prices declining in as much as 20% of the U.S. real estate markets in 2015.

To a certain extent, the resale market for single family residences in Manatee County has been experiencing the ripples of slackening activity in recent months, Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes.

Manatee home resales slacken

Pockets of Cooling Home Markets Seen Call for Creative Sales Approaches

For June 2014, provisional estimates show a year-over-year 12.4% rise in the single-family homes’ median price to $245,000. However, consecutive weakness was experienced during the previous two months with a marginal 3.7% gain in May to $225,000 and a 3.3% drop to $220,000 in April. This two-month log compares with double-digit increases in the median price for Manatee single family residences from June 2013 up to March 2014.

Notably, the number of closed sales for single family homes in Manatee has also been on the retreat on a year-to-year comparison since March 2014 with a decline of 13.7% for the month. This was followed by drops of 6.5% in April, 6.3% in May and 4.3% in June. In comparison, an 18.0% advance was seen for June 2013 from the 2012 year-earlier level.

The slowing activity in the county’s single-family home market was likewise evident on the days on market (DOM) for residences which have been rising since the start of 2014. In June, the initial estimate of median DOM was at 89 days, up 154.3% from the same month last year. For June 2013, Manatee single family homes stayed in the market for a median 35 DOM, a 35% drop from June 2012.

Ways to help facilitate deals

Conditions like these, market observers believe, can bring about the resurgence of some of the past creative real estate approaches to help sellers and buyers to come together on a deal. Among these methods, which were largely utilized during the Great Recession’s housing downturn, are buy-downs on home resales, carry-back financing or seller financing.

Essentially, the idea behind buy-downs is for sellers to help lower the home loan interest payments of buyers by paying the latter’s lender money upfront in order to lower the interest rate for the life of the loan. In the seller or carry-back financing, what the seller actually does is act as the banker and carries part or all of the financing for the loan purchase. Potentially, this can save the buyer in bank closing fees, while the seller gets an additional monthly cash flow from the agreed-upon loan interest rate.

Realty agents with an intimate knowledge of the local market are one of the best resources for buyers searching for available residences with possible seller financing. In Manatee, the current list of single family homes for sales has several options at price ranges from the low $100s up to the $1.5 million level.