Happy February Everyone!
Anyone else remember telling themselves back in the late 90’s early 2000’s, “I should’ve bought then!?” Well, here we go again, folks! The real estate market is rapidly shifting, and anyone with an eye on opportunity will want to read up on the state of our local progress. So, here’s an update for our area:
Our inventory shrank considerably over the past few months, and buyers were feeling the crunch with considerably less to choose from. Now, however, homeowners are seeing the unusual trend and jumping onto the bandwagon. Sellers are not waiting for spring! They’re realizing they better beat the competition, and are getting listed early in 2012.
Facts to back this up? Active listings dropped consistently from mid 2011 through December. January saw the first increase since last August: up from 2325 in December 2011 to 2849 in January 2012.
Helping this along, closed sales were up October through December 2011. Comparatively, we saw 355 homes closed in December 2011 (from 336 in 2010), and 205 homes closed in January 2012 (from 184 in 2011). For chart aficionados look here:
Maybe most importantly, the Fed just made a mega deal to help homeowners who are upside down in their mortgages in the next 12 months. This will begin to take away the “smoking deals” on foreclosures and short sales. Not only that, they’re aiming to compensate families who were forced out of their homes prematurely due to improper foreclosures. Read more about it here:
Summary, if you’re considering buying or selling:
Sellers (if you’re not upside down in your mortgage), it may be the right time to beat the competition. Consider getting your property listed sooner rather than later.
Buyers, it may be the right time to get your financing in place and find your new home. Beat the crunch, before interest rates go up and the banks get buried (again) in the Fed’s mandated refi’s and principal reductions.
In case you’re wondering, here’s what’s happening with real estate in Spokane:
Many Realtors, including myself, have seen an increase in calls, online traffic, home showings, and closings this December. The market feels like there’s been a substantial shift in confidence, and the numbers say the feeling is right.
Active listings have continued to decline thru the last two months reportings (October/November), dropping down to just under 2600 properties (from close to 3000 in September). This equals sold homes, and we know why; successful closings held steady in the range of 320 completed transactions. Usually, they dip down a bit in November… I am very interested to see what December’s numbers show us. From the buzz around the office, a lot of people were getting new homes for Christmas!
Proof positive is seen in the fact that sales this November were up 15.7% over 2010. Even though average sales prices dropped another 3% the past couple months, if the trends stay the same as the past two years, we should see them leveling off and possibly increasing slightly with the increase in activity and somewhat boosted buyer confidence, not to mention the decrease in inventory.
Best of all, interest rates are still holding steady below 4%!
I hope this information is useful for you. Give me a call, text, or email if you’re ready to make your move, just want to say hello, or have any questions regarding the state of the Spokane market or real estate in general.