21 October 2010

From the Realtor: Observations from the Field

From time to time, I report on the trends we are seeing both in the body of statistical infomation on hand and in what is currently happening "on the ground" with buyers and sellers.  Here are some of my latest observations.

It’s a fantastic time to be a buyer.  Let’s see, where do we start… lowered values, soft prices, a buyer’s market, super low rates, and some incredible deals.  Wall Street Journal’s Brett Arends recently spelled out “10 Reasons To Buy a Home” in today’s market.  Check out this compelling article on my Casa Fiore Facebook Page—or email me and I’ll send it out to you!

Super Low Rates vs. Lower Prices.  Wait for prices to potentially drop a notch or grab today’s unprecedented rates (4.3% at time of publishing)?  As Arends points out, “These are the lowest rates on record.  As recently as two years ago they were about 6.3%.  That drop slashes your monthly payment by a fifth.”  In concrete terms, a $600K mortgage that once would equal $3,150/month now equals $2,580—a $570/month savings.

 Values Up, Inventory Up, Pending Sales Down.  Since late spring, this is the trend we have been seeing.  Many will point to the April 30 deadline for the federal tax credit, and it appears that the credit may have contributed to knocking some future demand off the fence.  However, we have also seen some of our best year-over-year appreciation in a long time, something worth celebrating.  (Year-over-year statistics represent Seattle neighborhoods.  Source:  NWMLS)

Priced High:  List Long, Sell Low.  Priced Well:  Sell Fast and at 97% of List Price!  In a June snapshot of the market, homes that sold in less than 31 days sold for 97% of their original asking price, while homes with 32-90, 91-180, and 181+ days on market, sold for 94%, 91%, and 76% of their original asking price.  It pays to price well.