Home Prices and Sales Are Up

The differences between the local Carteret County and Crystal Coast real estate market compared to the national real estate market can be vast. Inventory seems to be the biggest problem but for different reasons. But two things are for sure. Sales are increasing and prices are rising. Is this the recovery we’ve all be anticipating?

The National Association of Realtors®  (NAR) just released their April data. It shows that existing home sales rose nationally by 9.7 percent when compared to April, 2011. The pace of sales is the highest since November, 2009 and has “been above year-ago levels for 22 consecutive months, while prices show 14 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases”.

Home Prices and Sales: Traffic Up

home-prices-crystal-coast“Buyer traffic is 31 percent stronger than a year ago, but sales are running only about 10 percent higher,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The Crystal Coast multiple listing service (MLS) area saw a whopping 21 percent increase in sales during the same time period.

Inventory increased by almost 12 percent nationally.  The total supply of homes available is at 5.2 months. Inventory has been a tough subject for the Crystal Coast MLS for seven or eight years now. A normal stable market is considered to have around a 6 month supply. The Crystal Coast had an inventory of 16 months last April. In April of 2011 the supply was at 19 months.

For several years it was not uncommon to see the Crystal Coast inventory at a 24 month supply of homes.

Whereas Lawrence Yun says, “It’s become quite clear that the only way to tame price growth to a manageable, healthy pace is higher levels of new home construction,” this possibly could be the worst advice locally.  Don’t get me wrong. A newly constructed home is great. But newly constructed subdivisions would be crushing to the health of this local real estate. We’ve got more inventory than we’ve been able to sell since 2006. We do not need to add more to it.

Home Prices and Sales: Sold Price

The median sold price nationally in April was $192K. Locally it was at $189K. But the similarities end there when you take a look at how long it takes to sell a house. Across America the days on market before under contract was 46. For the Crystal Coast the average days on market was 181 days. Although experienced Realtors like Margaret Hitchcock closed on listings in 30 days in April, the average days on market for the Crystal Coast at 181 days seems a bit low. Remember, we have almost three times the inventory of what is considered “normal”. That translates to slow sales and extended periods of time on market.

Home Prices and Sales: Short Sales and Foreclosures

Here are more surprising findings. 18 percent of all sales nationally last April were distress sales. These include foreclosures and short sales. Locally that number was at 13 percent.

How people paid for their home purchases continues the trend of cash. 32 percent, or a third of all homes bought in April across the USA were paid for with cash. Along the Crystal Coast that number dips to just above a quarter of all sales or 27 percent.

So what does all this mean? When the number of homes getting sold is on the increase, and they are. Then corresponding price increases will follow suit, and they have. But always remember that not only is all real estate local, but it is also very target specific. Forget the national and local market data, treat each property individually and with the proper attention and due diligence. Then and only then will properties get bought and sold.

Contact Margaret Hitchcock of Hitchcock Realty for current market data and conditions for individual neighborhoods. Margaret is an experienced Realtor and highly skilled in performing a Custom Market Analysis or CMA for a home or property. Price is one of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to selling a home or property. Call Margaret and let her determine what an estimation of fair market value is for your property. It is a service done free of charge to those who are considering whether or not to list their property for sale.

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