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Jim Stephenson's Blog

By Jim Stephenson | Broker in Branson, MO

Buying a Home in Branson, MO - Time to Get Off that Fence!

Home Buying in Branson, MO - Time to Jump!

Time to Jump Off the Fence

Time to Get Off that Fence!

OK, for those of you who have been contemplating a home purchase in Branson, MO but have been “sitting on the fence” trying to decide what to do, let me give you a little tip: Jump Down!

Over the past few months I have started to see a stabilization in prices in general, as well as fewer and fewer of what are referred to as “REO”, or Real Estate Owned properties. These are basically bank or lender owned properties coming onto the market in our area. Further, those REO properties that do come onto the market are being absorbed at an increasingly quick pace.

Yes, I have heard all of the talk that there is this huge back-log of REO properties waiting to come to market that have been held back due to over-supply. But I have some more news for you – that is no longer the case in our local Branson area market. For example, right now there are 11 homes listed for sale in the Branson school district priced between $75k and $150k. Of the 11, 6 are REO. And guess what? All 6 of the REO are currently under contract. Every single one.

As I mentioned, another trend I am seeing is that these REO properties are not “seasoning” like they had been. The “Days on Market” is getting shorter and shorter, and the need for price reductions is likewise shrinking.

Some recent research reveals that in Taney County, out of 350 homes priced below $600k that have closed escrow this year, 101 were REO. That’s about a third. Further, of the 24 currently listed REO properties priced below $600k, 14 or 60% are under contract.

Priced above $600, we currently have 47 listed, none of which are REO. (there is 1 pending, although I am suspect of this one as it has been pending for 7 months) So far this year, we have had 5 close escrow above $600k, two of which were REO.

In 2010, we had a total of 536 that closed escrow in Taney County, with 184 of these being REO. Again, a little more than a third. Right now, with 101 REO sold properties to date and 14 pending, we are on track to have closed 115 REO properties in 7 months, or 16.4 per month. But that only leaves 10 on the market – less than a 30 day inventory. If the banks are sitting so many foreclosures, what in the world are they waiting to list them for?

Overall, every single foreclosure that has come onto our market over the last 19 months has sold. And they are selling quicker, for more money, and fewer and fewer are coming in behind them to take their place. That points to a very near term trend of price stabilization in non REO properties, and a mid term trend of price increases.

One thing I am certain of is this; As long as the United States continues to be a place that people want to migrate to, and babies continue to be born here, there is going to continue to be a demand for homes. And right now, you can buy one for, in many cases, quite a bit less than you can build it for. Add in interest rates, lower than any of us or our parents have ever seen, and you have the perfect recipe for an outstanding buying opportunity.

And there is one more thing I am certain of; it ain’t gonna be this way much longer!

Branson's Real Estate Professor


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