Prices may not be rising incrementally, but sales activity is up.
I'm busy - the market changing!
The Berkshire Board of Realtors recently released statistics that show sales up 15% this past quarter from the same quarter last year. It's definitely busy here in the Berkshires, and buyers do seem more serious (we are writing up more offers and more deals are coming together). It's all very promising and we are grateful to see it.
Associate Broker, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut
Berkshire Property Agents
12 Railroad Street
Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230
Hopefully unemployment will continue to improve and the banks will lighten up their lending practices.....
For example, in our town of Greenwich CT, the first quarter single family home sales results are up 39% YTD April 2011 over the same period last year. (143 homes in 2011 vs. 129 homes in 2010)
The average sales price for single family homes in the same period went up 9.7%.
With prices stabilizing and interest rates at record lows, astute buyers are recognizing value and opportunity. I canâ€™t speak to all markets as they are driven by local supply / demand and local economic conditions, but in some like ours, it is improving.
Also like you, I've experienced multiple offer situations and quick sales in the midst of this disastrous economic scenario. And while buyers are surely looking for bargains (who wants to be in this kind of a mess 5-10 years down the road, after all?), I have found many exceptionally well-priced properties I've encouraged buyers to consider coming as close to list price as comfort permits--and sooner rather than later. I'm afraid I believe that buyers in general are still a little uncertain about future--their own and that of the real estate they hope to own--particularly so for first-time buyers, but also a good-sized cadre of potential sellers who struggle between the growing cost of "staying put" and the desire to downsize (if only for financial reasons).
And in the midst of all this, we have to consider the devastation so many sellers are experiencing with foreclosures looming and short sales still very difficult and sometimes impossible to maneuver toward a satisfactory outcome. Not to mention the downward pressure all of that places on the surrounding marketplace values.
The "news" about the state of real estate, which arrives in my mail every morning is likely no less conflicting than that which my buyers are reading--and sellers, too. I think buyers & sellers alike probably read into such "news" their own personal degree of hope-slash-anticipation for what is to come. All I can say is I believe there are plenty of great opportunities for buyers to accomplish their buying objectives with confidence and plenty of sellers who would be happy to oblige for perfectly valid selling objectives (which surely include their own subsequent housing needs and requirements).
My take is that we'll be jiggling this thing loose for some time to come--one buyer at a time. But I do believe the jiggling loose has begun.
Our market is stronger than most nationally. Our experience here may not reflect our colleagues in other areas of the country. The real estate market here is driven by Wall Street finance guys/gals, so just think about where we were when all the banks were collapsing and the Dow/Nasdaq were tanking vs where we are today!