Back to School Means Back to Business


The first day of fall also happened to be the day NAR released its existing home sales report for August, which despite being a summer month, marked the start of school here in St. Joe’s County for our 57 public schools, 29 private schools and seven colleges and universities. Once school starts, we often see a “back to school” mentality play out in the real estate sector, with an increased focus bringing more sellers and buyers into the market.


With many schools across the country not opening until late August or early September, August real estate activity can often be affected by a vacation state of mind. That may be some of what we saw from a national perspective. Home sales slipped 2% from July and were down 1.5% from last August.  


Whether sales are down because people were on vacation or because buyers are taking a more measured approach to buying, the drop in sales coincided with a slight drop in inventory nationally from last month, down 1.5%. Year over year we are looking at 13.4% less inventory, making it challenging for buyers across the country to find their dream home.


The desire to buy is still there and with continued demand outpacing available homes, prices continue to rise nationally. The median sales price for July was $356,700, a 14.9% increase from this time last year. The streak continues, making July the 114th straight month of YOY price gains.


According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, high home prices make for an unbalanced market, but prices would normalize with more supply. 


Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in August, unchanged from July and down from 22 days in August 2020. Eighty-seven percent of homes sold in August 2021 were on the market for less than a month.


Local Activity

Here in St. Joseph County, school is in session and sales are up! August saw 16.2% more sales than this time last year. With just 1.2 months of inventory available, the number of homes for sale in August was 22.2% less than last August.  


Competition for homes is high, driving prices up 14.9% as compared to last August.  We are also seeing those price increases play out in the bidding process, with homes selling on average 101% of list price. Traditionally, the list to sale ratio is 97% making this a lucrative time to be a seller.


Despite those current conditions, we still have one of the most affordable markets in the country with a median sales price of $190,000. That’s 46% less than the national median sales price! 


If you want to hit the books and read up on the local real estate picture in South Bend, Granger, Mishawaka, Notre Dame, Osceola, Elkhart and New Carlisle, give us a call. We’ll be happy to “school” you!  It will be an A+ experience, I assure you.


Reach out to me or call 574-360-2569 with any questions.


Until next month!


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