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Untangled Web: High-end home stats paint 'sunny' picture

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Stock Segment

In my last beat page, published Oct. 17, I reported on O’Reilly Automotive Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ORLY) stock movement from $700 to $800 per share. After hitting $700 in December 2021, the stock hovered around that mark for nearly a year. At the time the piece was published, I pondered when $800 would be hit, suggesting the figure could come as soon as the company’s third-quarter report went live.

Sure enough, that’s what happened.

On Oct. 27, after the release of the quarterly report, the Springfield-based auto parts retailer’s stock crossed the $800 threshold for the first time in company history.

As I don’t possess a crystal ball, this was an informed guess on my part just from watching the stock move as part of my job at SBJ. But the timing was coincidental and funny enough to bring back up for this beat page.

Since then, the company’s stock has reached as high as $870.92 per share, hit on Nov. 30, according to Nasdaq data.

It’s safe to say that the $900 threshold is fairly certain, but this time I’ll let the stock speak for itself.

High-end home sale stats paint ‘sunny’ picture

[This home at 4571 E. Farm Road 144 was listed in June at $2 million.; Photo courtesy Southern Missouri Regional MLS]

Spring and summer are the most popular times to list high-end homes in the Queen City market, according to Southern Regional MLS data collected over the year by Springfield Business Journal.

For the monthly editorial series Curb Appeal, I compile a list of the single-family homes within city limits that are listed with asking prices of $500,000 or more. The idea is to get an inside look on what kinds of residences that price point fetches in the Queen City, and it’s proved to be highly popular among readers. Safe to say, we’ll keep it going in 2023.

While December data isn’t complete yet, it’s also safe to say that the “sunny” months were the hottest of the year in high-end homes.

May had the highest number of listings, at 29, followed by June, at 26. In both months, the combined asking prices were at yearly highs of more than $20 million.

In the Springfield region and the state, the data flow similarly in showing high points during the summer months.

In the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors’ coverage area of Greene, Christian and Webster counties, August represented the month with the most homes sold, according to data through October, the most recent available. The figure was 684.

Statewide, 8,761 homes sold in June to mark the highest monthly amount through October, also the most recent data available, according to the Missouri Realtors association.

It’s interesting to see the impact of seasons on the housing market, especially on the local level.

The reason behind these trends appears to come down to timing.

According to a blog post called “How the Summer Season Affects the Housing Market,” by online real estate school Aceable, summer is a great time to move, as parents are more easily able to get their children to relocate when they’re not in school. It’s also nice for these families to be established in a new home before the new academic year begins.

Further, longer daylight hours mean more time for house hunting in the spring and summer months. And, again, a timing issue, much of the rest of the year is filled with holidays – and holiday spending – making for a time that’s not as ideal to buy and list homes, according to the Aceable blog post.

Similar thoughts have been penned by experts at the National Association of Realtors in a blog post titled “Seasonality in the Housing Market.”

“Demand and mobility are highest in the summer, as the data on existing home sales indicate,” the post reads. “It seems that homebuyers tend to move in the summer, and especially for renters who buy, they are even more likely to move at that time.”

Knowing that the spring and summer seasons are hot for homebuyers, there are philosophical questions that come into play.

Should the homeowner list during the most popular months of the year to be in front of eager buyers? Or should they wait until less popular months so that their homes stand out more?

I’d suggest you consult a real estate agent for those answers.

Talking Tech

A couple of tech items are worthy of mention: the controversy at Ticketmaster over the Taylor Swift tour debacle and artificial intelligence-created images that are shaking up the arts industry.

Drama with Ticketmaster is nothing new for music fans, but so-called Swifties have pushed the issue into the public consciousness once again.

Let’s set the stage. In November, Ticketmaster came under fire after the website experienced glitches and crashes during the initial “verified fan” ticket presale. Ticketmaster then canceled the public sale afterward, saying there were insufficient tickets. This month, a group of Swifties sued Ticketmaster, alleging the company “intentionally and purposefully” allows scalpers and bots to snap up tickets during presales, according to BuzzFeed News.

“Ticketmaster was eager to allow this arrangement, as Ticketmaster is paid again in additional fees every time a ticket is resold,” the lawsuit alleges, referring to Ticketmaster’s resale market.

Further, CBS News in November reported Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. Investigators reportedly are focusing on whether Live Nation is abusing its market dominance in the ticket industry.

This is tech news to watch, as it could have long-lasting implications on the music industry.

Moving on to our next topic, you may have noticed a proliferation of AI-generated pictures of your friends on social media. With images provided by the user, an app called Lensa AI creates artistic representations of what people could look like when combined with fantasy settings and themes.

It’s all a harmless bit of fun at first, but there’s a deeper issue among the artistic community.

There’s a price attached to Lensa, creating a commercial market for AI-generated images.

Stable Diffusion, the AI image generator that powers Lensa, reportedly was trained on some 2.3 billion images, according to reporting by TechCrunch. Artists are alleging that companies like Lensa are profiting from stolen art.

And with prices set much lower than actual artists would charge, there’s worry that these apps could price genuine people out of their livelihoods.

Conversely, I’ve read on social media that, philosophically speaking, human artists also learn by studying other artistic works. Therefore, according to them, it’s not all that different from AI learning from images online to create artistic works.

This one has a ton of angles to it, and AI is just a fledgling industry.

Once again, another one to watch with interest.

Contact Geoff Pickle
Phone: 417-616-5856


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