This month I want to go over some conflicting signs about our local real estate market to try to help you make sense out of them as well as some new ways for you to find out about what is going on here locally more often than just once a month when I send out this newsletter.
First, to understand what’s going on in the market here let’s look at last month’s statistics.
Sales in March
Last March had sales here that were the highest since back in 2006 and I doubted that this March would be able to beat that number. In fact, most months of last year were higher than the same month in all of the previous 3 years so it was questionable whether we’d be able to keep the same pace. However, not only did January and February (barely) top the same months in 2011, but March did also.
Inventory Still Falling
And as a result of that, the inventory has dropped to its lowest level yet in the last 5+ years.
Up to this point there wasn’t much sign that this was affecting prices, but that has now changed.
From January 2007 thru December 2011 there have only been 2 times that the median price for a single family home was higher than in the same month in the previous year and that was in January 2010 and October 2010. So far this year, we have had 3 consecutive months where the median price for a single family home was higher than in the same month last year and the average increase was about 20%.
For condos there have also only been 2 months since January 2007 that showed a median price increase over the same month in the previous year and that was in May of 2008 and April of 2010. This year we saw a higher median price in both January and February over last year by about 8-10% but a drop in price in March.
With the sales still increasing each year (which shows a continuing strong demand) and inventory continuing to fall to very low levels, it was only time before this was reflected in prices. It seems that the single family home market is stronger at this point than the condo market and that is in part due to the fact that the inventory of single family homes has dropped about 70% in the last 5 years while the inventory of condos has only dropped a little over 50%.
What this means for buyers is that you will start to see more competition and less negotiating room especially considering the fact that last month about 60% of the buyers paid cash.
What this means for sellers (more so for houses than condos except beach area condos) is that this if you were waiting to sell, this might a good time to go ahead and list your house or condo.
New Places to Keep Up to Date on the Local Market
There have been a lot of articles lately in a wide variety of publications that discuss this and that also discuss the fact that there will most likely be a noticeable increase in foreclosures coming on the market in the near future and to keep you more up to date on all this news I’m now providing you with a few different ways to stay current on what is happening.
First, I’ve done a makeover on my Facebook page and am updating it quite regularly with the latest news on the real estate market and will also be putting info there periodically on local events and news. Feel free to check it out and Like or Share anything on there you want. I also would love to have you share news you hear about and also helpful information for others such as photos of any remodeling you’ve done, info about happenings in your local community and people or companies you’ve found that do go work in any of the areas having to do with taking care of or improving a home or condo. You can see the new Facebook page by clicking here.
Another place you can go to keep updated is the Real Estate & Area News section of my blog that will have these same articles.
The third place where I will posting updates is in my Google + account. You can get to my Google + page by clicking here and to keep up to date you should add me to your Circles. If you don’t have a Google + account and would like to get one (they are by invitation) just click this link and set up your account.
Don’t forget I also still have my Clearwater Beach condos for sale site at http://clearwaterbeachcondosforsale.com which is more focused on Clearwater Beach and the surrounding beach areas if that is what you’re more interested in.
There’s a lot more to go over but since you can now read about other news on my Facebook page or Google + I don’t have to include it here and so am going to end off for now.
I hope to see you here soon and if you need help with anything, please let me know.