The time-honored axiom of the real estate business states that “all real estate is local.” Markets may closely resemble one another in terms of the conditions affecting housing supply and demand, but no two are exactly alike up close. Instead, it’s the specific conditions on the ground in your community, neighborhood—or even street—that determine what kind of market you will ultimately be buying or selling a property in.
Still we can’t help but be thrilled that markets across the nation are experiencing the same heightened demand, increased sales, declining inventories; and gently rising prices that have characterized our own market over the past year. These are the trend lines that will ultimately lift the housing market out of its worst slump ever.
A recurring theme throughout recent news cycles has been the trending recovery in national home prices driven by enough continuous demand to send inventories to their lowest levels in seven years. Needless-to-say, this is more good news for our own recovering market; as not a few buyers must first sell properties elsewhere before committing to properties here.
The latest report issued by the National Association of REALTORS® reveals that the median price for existing homes rose in 110 out of 147 metro areas during the second quarter of 2012, compared with only 41 in the same quarter last year; and 74 in the first quarter of 2012. The national median price during the second quarter was up 7.3% over the same quarter of 2011.
As reported in last week’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune, year-over-year home prices increased by 5.1% in the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota market during June and were up by 6.7% over May. In Charlotte County, June prices rose by 6.5% from a year ago and 6.7% over May. Factored into these gains were a bump-up in prices for distressed properties which, due to the diminished inventory of properties, are being absorbed at an ever-increasing pace.
Even as this column is being written, the Washington Post led its coverage for today with these encouraging observations:
“The long-moribund housing market has bustled to life, with prices and new-home construction rising in recent weeks. Hiring, so weak earlier this year, picked up last month. And on Thursday, the government reported an acceleration of a downward trend in the number of people seeking unemployment insurance, as well as a sharp improvement in U.S. exports.
Home prices in Southwest Florida have risen by single digit percentages in some neighborhoods; and by as much as 31% in places where inventories can’t begin to meet demand. As such, home buyers throughout Southwest Florida continue to bet with their check books that now is unequivocally the time to buy.
Will this buying spree continue? We think so, as long as prices remain relatively low, and our recovering economy doesn’t take any overly-negative turn. Contact an agent from Michael Saunders & Company to find out what your property will fetch in today’s market. You may be surprised. With so many buyers here, now and ready to commit, it may be your best time to sell.
The old proverb, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” could easily be re-stated to apply to today’s property market: A buyer with checkbook in hand is worth two who may show up at some future date.