I’m always looking for some perspective on the real estate market, both for my own need to understand my business prospects, and also because lots of folks ask me questions about the future of real estate since the economy is so solidly tied to it. Well, my crystal ball isn’t working very well, but I do have access to lots of data about our market over the last few years that hopefully can be used to do some rough projections. The bar charts below come from the Carolina Multiple Listing Service. I’m showing just Iredell County numbers this time and have broken them into price ranges so you can see it does matter.
What you can see here is that inventory appears to be coming down in traditional, foreclosure and short sale homes in most price ranges. That’s good for buyers because too much inventory relative to the number of buyers out there keeps prices depressed. As inventory goes down, there will start to be some upward pressure on prices. Of course, I’m happy for my buyers when they can get a good deal, but when they do that because the economy is in the dump, that’s overall not a good thing, right? And my sellers need to understand that waiting for price improvements can be a long-term proposition.
One thing to be concerned about is the “shadow inventory” of foreclosures and short sales. If we don’t know how many there are waiting to hit the market, it’s hard to predict anything about the future. However, there does appear to be a glimmer of good news on that front, too. Standard & Poor’s recently issued a report that shows that the total number of “shadow inventory” homes is slowly being whittled away. Here is a link to an article in CNN Money that came out on that subject this week.
Hopefully, next year at this time we can look back at these bits of info as the early signs of a housing, and economy, recovery.
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I’ve written before about how special football season is for the Mooresville community. Since we are one of the few city school systems in the state, our football games feel much like the old days (if you’re old) when schools really did represent the local community. It doesn’t hurt that Mooresville has historically had great teams. There were a few rough years after coach Mike Carter retired, but with second year coach Hal Capps now in charge, it looks like things will likely be back on track with an expectation for a winning season. Mooresville has a great football stadium thanks in part to the contributions of Lowe’s Corporation, and the community provides great attendance and support, so Friday night football is something special here.
Last night, the Blue Devils had a most challenging assignment. West Rowan has been a powerhouse for years with an unbroken 46 game winning streak. That is, until last night! Mooresville took the challenge and even though the score was 14-0 in favor of West Rowan at the half, Mooresville managed to find the solution and put 21 points on the board in the second half to make the final score 21-14 Mooresville. To get all the details, click HERE for the writeup from the Mooresville Tribune.
Condolences to my big brother, Steve, who is a big West Rowan fan and history teacher there.
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I’m often asked “how’s the market?’, meaning how’s the real estate market. I get to say that for me fortunately, the market has been good this spring and summer. I’ve had the pleasure of working with quite a few buyers and sellers and have been able to close a nice number of transactions. That’s not to say that the market is “coming back”, as some keep hoping for. If anything, I’d say that we are bumping around on a bottom that will last for quite some time to come. And the shape of that future is not just controlled by how the USA handles its own financial problems, but also by goings on in Europe, with many of those countries on even shakier ground than we are. To a degree, we’re all in this together, bound by the realities of international finance.
In any case, that image of bumping on the bottom can be illustrated by a couple of graphs from our MLS’s new statistical tool, the Statistical Analysis Module (SAM). Below is a graph showing the closed transactions over the last several years in our overall MLS and the average $/square foot of the sold prices over that time. Take a look at these, and you’ll see what I mean.
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