How is the market?

How Is The Market?
In the last few months I have encountered numerous folks who invariably ask, how is the market? My answer, soft, and the follow up question; it’s getting better, right? Cutting to the chase, NO the market is not getting better, it is just different.

There is REALTOR attrition. In my market REALTORS who I thought would be around for the long haul are out of the business meaning less competition.

Consider this snap shot; according to the Triangle Multiple Listing between 1/1/2010 and 4/19/2010 there were 114, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home sales at an average sale price of $192,930 in Durham County NC. Also in Durham County NC from 1/1/2011 to 4/19/2011 there were 113, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home sales at an average sale price of $181,938 from 2010 to 2011 a decline in price of just over 6% for identical time periods.

So if the American dream, the 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home is any indication of what the market is doing then, the news is a bit depressing; prices are soft and buyers are relying on FHA/VA and USDA government backed programs to mortgage their homes.

Finally and experientially, rental homes are renting, foreclosed homes are selling and those home sellers who offer strong incentives and aggressive pricing to potential buyers are selling their homes. Pricing property for sale is still a testing of the market. So if a home is brought to market and nothing happens the price must be adjusted down to encourage a sale.