By Jim Peek, Windermere Real Estate
We’re heading into the fall real estate market and it’s a good time to look at where we’ve been and look ahead to where we’re likely to end up in 2011.
I’m a numbers guy. As a negotiator, I have to have a strong handle on the facts and understand the data. My numbers are a little different from other statistics that you might see because I only count homes that are ready to move into today. I also exclude manufactured homes, condos, and vacant land, focusing on detached, single-family homes.
The Bainbridge inventory of residential homes listed for sale has hit its high point for the year. Beginning in September, we had 257 homes listed for sale, which is 37 more homes for sale than we had on September 1, 2010.
On Bainbridge, as in most places, home sales are seasonal. The spring and summer are our “selling seasons.” That means by the end of the year our inventory will likely drop back to below 150 homes. Historically, fewer home are listed in the fall, and many sellers will take their homes off the market during the holiday season. If the trends hold true, we’ll see about 70 more homes selling in the 4th quarter of the year.
Should you list your home for sale in today’s market?
Listing a home for sale in the fall can be a smart strategy: The inventory of new listings is going down, so there are fewer homes to compete against. Sure, there are fewer buyers, but fall buyers also tend to include more “ready-to-buy” folks; in summer, we have more “tire-kickers.”
Less competition means it is easier for your home to stand out.
How much are homes selling for?
It’s interesting to see where our market is as of early September in terms of price:
- 94 homes for sale priced below $500,000,
- 93 homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million,
- 28 homes priced between $1 million and $1.6 million, and
- 28 homes priced for more than $1.6 million.
The highest priced sale so far in 2011 was $3,368,000 and lowest was $71,000.
In terms of closed sales, where will we end up this month?
Last year, 40 pending sales generated 18 closed sales for the month of September. Since we have about the same number of homes under contract this year, we’ll probably have about the same number of closed sales as last year.
What does the Bainbridge housing market look like today compared to last year?
Overall, we are looking to pretty much repeat the total single-family home sales on Bainbridge last year. Through the end of August, we have 174 homes compared to 181 on the same date in 2010. The $8,000 buyers credit that was offered in 2010 might have had an impact on last year’s number.
In terms of pending residential homes sales, we are spot-on where we were last year: 39 homes under contract (versus 40 on September 1 of 2010).
My best guess is that we will close slightly above the 255 recorded sales in 2010.
One of the most interesting trends emerging is the TOM, or time-on-market. The good news is it is taking fewer days for the average home to sell; in fact, homes are selling twice as fast in August than the average for the whole year.
As of August, it’s taking only 83 day to sell a home, compared to our year-to-date of 160 days. I believe this is because homes are being priced better. We are still seeing the strongest activity for homes selling for $500,000 and less.
What’s happening with home prices?
The median price for single-family homes on Bainbridge for the month of August 2011 was $467,250, down from $515,000 in July. The median price has jumped around quite a bit, depending on the inventory of homes sold. It was $541,000 for all of 2010, then decreased to just $450,000 in January 2011, then went back up to $517,500 for February 2011, then down to $501,500 in March, and then back up to $564,000 in April.
Overall we are still seeing some price pressure, particularly for homes that are priced in the $700,000 to $900,000 range.
More interesting Bainbridge housing facts.
So far this year, 31 waterfront homes have sold compared to a total of 39 homes in all of 2010. At the beginning of September, there were 87 waterfront homes listed for sale.
The news for condo sales is encouraging. Condo sales are stronger than last year, with 47 record sales by the end of August, compared to 51 sales for all of 2010.
We still have four months to go and interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage touching 4.00%—which is simply stunning. It’s hard to imagine that buyers won’t seize the opportunities in a fall market that is seeing both great prices and low interest rates.
Photos courtesy of Jim Peek.