Crystal Coast Housing Market Report
Crystal Coast. Big news in real estate mortgage rates came at the end of the month of May. The average 30 year fixed mortgage rate hit a yearlong high at 3.99 percent. The last time 30 year rates were that high was May 2, 2012 when it was at 4.02 percent. Ironically last year’s figure marked an all time low for mortgage interest rates.
Crystal Coast Home Prices
Home prices nationwide have increased by 12.1 percent when compared to May 2012 according to CoreLogic and the Mortgage Bankers Association. The increase marks 14 straight months of rising sold prices and is the single biggest one month rise since February 2006.
The story is different locally in the Carteret County area. Prices have been fairly consistent for the past few years. The average sold price of a home (excluding condos) was $223,000 for the month of May, just $10,000 more than May 2012.
Active listings (or homes for sale) have also remained consistent in this multiple listing service area. May had 2,100 active listings. That number has held true, with few exceptions for almost every month ever since 2007.
Crystal Coast Supply of Inventory
The significance of the Crystal Coast averaging 2,100 listing on market is that it has never been able to handle more than 800-900 successfully at any given time. 2005 was the last time listings were down that low. High levels of existing inventory and the number of new inventory coming on market outpacing the number of sold inventory going off market causes the inventory to swell. The inventory or supply of homes should be around 6 months. This means that if no new inventory came on market for sale then it would take only 6 months to sell all of the homes. A market is considered to be healthy and stable with inventories at this level.
Nationwide there is a 5.2 month supply of homes according to the National Association of Realtors. Locally along the Crystal Coast there is an 18 month supply, triple where it should be. The graph below illustrates the problem this area has and shows just how long the area has been struggling with it.
Crystal Coast Foreclosures and Short Sales
It’s hard to believe that just 5-6 years ago foreclosures and short sales were not even tracked in the local MLS property search database. Even when distress sales had reached epidemic proportions in places like Las Vegas, Southern California, Rhode Island and Miami it just wasn’t occurring here in Carteret County and the Crystal Coast.
But times have changed. The month of May saw 15 percent of all homes sales along the Crystal Coast as either a bank owned or short sale. That’s down from the year to date average of 23 percent. It’ still difficult to grasp that at times we have seen a third of all sales being a distress sale.
Here is a word of caution to anyone considering a foreclosed or short sale property. A distress sale does not mean a desperation sale. A common mistake buyers make is to grossly underbid the asking price of a bank owned property and then wonder why their bid is rejected. Nor does a distress sale mean a quick and easy sale. It is usually quite the opposite.
This is where the services of an experienced real estate professional can pay off big dividends. Margaret Hitchcock is not only an experienced Realtor but also has several years experience in dealing with bank owned properties, REO properties, Crystal Coast foreclosures and short sales. Margaret knows the process and knows how to successfully close on a distress or conventional property you may be interested in. Contact Margaret Hitchcock with Hitchcock Realty at (252) 269-2893
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