February 2014 – State of the Real Estate Address

Al JacobsI hope this finds you and yours in good times and in good health. News reports about real estate are all over the board with mixed messages. The questions is always, “How’s the market?” Here’s my official Sunset Creek Realty “STATE OF REAL ESTATE” update as of February, 2014.

It is true indeed that the market has improved a bit, but the ride is a lot longer and bumpier than we would like. Let’s get right to the numbers. In Guilford, through the first half of 2013, there were 111 sales vs. 104 in 2012 and 88 in 2011 during the same period. Please know that there were 128 sales during the same period in 2006 and 119 in 2007. A little better each year but it clearly is still a buyer’s market.  I think it is going to be a long haul to get back to parity between buyers and sellers. My take on the equality is when there are about 150+- listings during the spring market. Last spring there were as many as 263. In the fall of 2013, at the end of the main selling season, there were 245 active listings. I will say that of those actives, 35 were listed as “On Deposit – continue to show.” However, that status means that they are shaky and probably ½ will fall apart and be put back on as straight active. Bottom line again – Economics 101 talks about supply and demand and desire for balance between the two. We have just not made any inroads in reducing the supply and there is no apparent increase in the demand.

Where are we going? Also, the median price was $380,000 in 2013 vs $513,500 in 2006. With the exception of a small number of high priced homes, the activity is in the lower price brackets – under $500,000. Well priced homes are actually selling “fairly quickly,” although 98 DOM (days on market) is a far cry from 30 – 40 days of years past.

Others that have yet to deal with the reality of price are languishing. They get stale on the market. I see a merry-go-round of different real estate company signs go on the property. Sooner or later, somebody gives them an honest opinion of value.  Oh, by the way, upper bracket million dollar properties are not selling well and the numbers reveal there is several years’ worth of supply on the market. So, how are we doing?

Our recovery is slower than many areas in the U.S. since our slide was not as deep as theirs (i.e. Florida, Nevada, Southern Cal.). We are also seeing more deals fall apart for a myriad of reasons: lower appraisals, inspection issues that turn off nervous buyers, and more stringent mortgage guidelines making it tough to qualify. This does include houses that are on show status – under contract BUT all contingencies are not met and may still be shown. As many of these are short sales and others where the deal will fall apart, they have to be included in the supply. This means that even if there are more sales this year than last, there is almost a full year’s supply of houses on the market, not counting what will be coming on the market.

Bottom line, if you have to sell, be realistic and get your house in order to show. We’d be happy to give you an honest opinion of value and how to get you the most for your home. If you are a buyer, my advice is to buy right now! In order to do so there are a few things to get you ready to buy once and buy right.

Why do business with us? Experience, trust and communication are top priorities in the selling relationship. You can always count on us at Sunset Creek for all three. We have 8 agents with a combined 130 years of experience. We have two agents who also hold mortgage licenses, give us up to date information on the best mortgages, and how to get them. And we have a partner in the business who has performed over 4,000 home inspections as well as a building division that we get a lot of useful information from in dealing with difficult issues. We WILL always treat people right – we are here for the long run. Give us a call for anything – FREE advice, contractor recommendation, or just stop by for a cup of coffee.

– Allen B. Jacobs, GRI, Broker, Owner  

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