So, the political conventions are behind us, Michael Phelps is the fastest swimming biped on the planet and weighed down with more gold than Flavor Flav’s grill!
You know what? The Ann Arbor real estate market continued to hum along!
From the Big House Data executive summary for August 2008:
Nationally, the housing market is taking a beating. The media makes it appear as though the sky is falling. In Washtenaw County and the areas surrounding Ann Arbor, the market is showing another month of stabilization. The numbers of closings are up and the number of listings is down. Interestingly enough, while sales prices are down and closings up, the total volume for 2008 is not down by much at all!
This means that buyers have seen value in the properties on the market, and snapped up the values. Sellers that have sold their properties this year have done two things correctly: priced to the market and made their property shine.
Pricing to the market means pricing your property aggressively against the competition and keeping an eye on what has sold recently. The clincher in many buyer’s eyes, past the price, is the condition of the property. If your property sparkles, it is another check mark in the “must purchase” column of a potential purchaser!
And if that wasn’t enough for you, Dan Elsea, the President of Real Estate One, Michigan’s largest real estate broker, had this to say about the market:
August followed the same trend as July and for the most part the past six months, a rising rate of sales (in terms of number of homes sold), a declining inventory of available homes and a decline in home values. No new news there, except the news that the trend continues, which is a very good sign (except for the home value part, but that will right itself when inventories fall to 6-8 months). Add to that a more stable mortgage market with the bail out of Freddie and Fannie (and even a rate decline!) and you have all the ingredients for an acceleration in our recovery. Not anything earth shattering for us in Michigan, since job growth overshadows any other housing influencers, but still good news for all.
What does this good news mean for Buyers and Sellers? For Sellers, price is still king and will be until our inventories fall from 12-18 months to 6-8 months. As we begin to move off bottom and see more good news trends one of our bigger challenges will be keeping Sellers expectations reasonable. It will be very easy for a Seller prematurely feel the good signs mean their home will sell for more. There is still a lot of market absorption left before that can happen. Although the number of homes sold should continue to rise for the balance of this year and next as well, home values will continue to fall so don’t wait to sell, be aggressive and price ahead of the market, or take your home off the market and wait until 2010 or beyond when prices begin to rebound to better fit your target value needs. For Buyers, the advice does not change as well; the next three to four months will be a perfect storm of even lower interest rates and low prices. Rates should go up next year, negating any gain by waiting for lower values. If a buyer hesitates, waiting for a better price next year, ask them to make what they think will be next year’s offer today, you would be amazed at what can be created in this market. Finally, it can never be said enough, when you are selling and buying in the same market, you can’t loose, your gain on the buy will always beat or at least equal the gain (or loss) on the Sale.
Hmm, so there is a silver lining in the real estate market after all! On to the charts….
Average List Price – August 2008
|The overall average list price in August was $210,902, down over 13.5% compared to August 2007. For the eight seven months of 2008, the average list price is down over 7.5%.|
Average Sales Price – August 2008
|August saw an average sales price of $196,751, down over 12% from August 2007. Compared to the first eight months of 2007, the average sales price is down over 10.5%.|