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August 2023: Is the Housing Boom Over Post-Pandemic?

Friends and family, I had the pleasure of traveling to Los Angeles again last week! It was an incredibly long and successful week, and it was a short stay in LA, but I was able to get out and do some of my favorite things… eating at highly recommended restaurants. I can’t wait to tell everyone why I was in LA again this week, but I had to sign some NDA’s so you won’t find out until October, but it’ll be worth the wait!

One of my favorite cuisines that I haven’t reviewed yet is sushi and Kiwami by Katsu-Ya came highly recommended, and trust, it did not disappoint!

Located in one of the hottest spots in Studio City, Kiwami brings culinary artistry to the world. Chef Katsuya Uechi is a part of a small select group of Master sushi chefs in Los Angeles. Chef Katsuya took his talents to LA from the streets of Okinawa, Japan. He is known for his distinctive style and first-rate execution of high-quality dishes. Chef Katsuya is recognized as one of the major trendsetters in the world of Japanese Cuisine, and after eating at this restaurant, I can completely understand why. To get things started, I went with the edamame, which was literally perfect. I was able to try a few sushi rolls, but one really stood out – the Popcorn shrimp with Spicy Tuna Roll. There’s something about sushi on the west coast that is just different, and I can see why this restaurant was highly recommended. On the FoodiePhil scale, this gets a solid 9.4 which beats any review of sushi that I’ve given on the east coast….by a lot! For dessert, I ventured out to another spot that came with great reviews, Salt & Straw! A great neighborhood hangout, the ice cream was just incredible. I went with the Berry Slab Pie and let me tell you, it was really good, so good that I finished the entire pint in one sitting. On the FoodiePhil Dessert Scale, this gets 9.1, they are just so creative with their flavors and it’s truly one of a kind. You better believe I hit the treadmill after this feast!

Where should I go next?! Send me your recommendations!

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In this week’s newsletter, I want to discuss why many are saying the housing boom is over as new home sales fall to pandemic lows and would like to highlight 3 key points as to why many believe this.

  1. Rising Inventory of Homes for Sale
  2. Slowing Price Growth
  3. Newly Built Home Sales 

1. Rising Inventory of Homes for Sale

The rising inventory of home sales is a great sign for buyers looking to get into new homes, however, sales of newly built homes dropped in June to the lowest level since the early days of the pandemic in April 2020, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The good news is that with the rising inventory, it is no longer just a sellers’ market. Prospective buyers are no longer waiting in long lines to view open houses, and buyers also are not settling for a home just because the rates are low. The inventory for new homes for sale jumped from a 5.5 month supply in May to a 6.3 month supply in June!

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2. Slowing Price Growth

The prices of homes are also slowly on the rise. Currently, most of the home buying is on the higher end of the market. After a year of record-breaking purchases, the median price of a newly built home in June rose just 6% from June 2020, and while that is typically a large gain, it is nothing compared with the 15% - 20% gains seen in previous months. Now is a great time to get into that home that you’ve always wanted before the prices skyrocket!

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3. Newly Built Home Sales 

Newly built home sales are now out of reach for much of the demand that remains in the market and one reason is that builders cannot afford to put up affordable homes due to skyrocketing construction costs. Softwood lumber, for instance, spiked more than 300% during the pandemic, and even though the price has dipped a bit, it’s still about 75% above its 2019 average and other lumber products are still significantly overpriced at this time. On top of the spike in prices, there are shortages of appliances, labor, and affordable lots. Many builders are struggling to finish homes because of a variety of delays. My best advice if you’re looking to purchase a new home: stay away from new construction for at least another year!

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While this is a great time to buy, there are factors that need to be looked out for and at this time, constructing a new home is not in the best interests of the buyers. There is still a very strong demand from buyers and we don’t anticipate a slow down any time soon.

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