I heard today that some in Congress are trying to get the mortgage guidelines relaxed a bit. I believe the banks have the money to loan but the Fed credit requirements right now are pretty restrictive. Whether thats right or wrong I'll leave to others to decide. The housing market is the engine of the American economy and it needs to get moving again for all of our sakes.
The 'Days on Market' at 144 is of concern but from what I've seen this year alone, I would say the tightening of the mortgage guidelines has a lot to do with it. Every week we see people who are otherwise well qualified be denied at the last minute by an underwriter who has once again been given new stricter federal guidelines.
I completely agree that lending practices were far to easy before the economic problems. Overcorrection and making it very, very difficult to get a mortgage is not the answer either. Sales fall apart and sellers and buyers both are rightly unhappy about it. People can't move to the new job or they do and let the house go into foreclosure. It has a very far reaching effect on people and the economy.
Good question. This is a very simple question that would require a full length conversation. Why are you looking in Williamsburg? Are you relocating to the area? How long do you expect to live here? Do you plan to work in the area or commute to larger metropolitan areas like Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Richmond? What is your motive for the question?
Historically our area has been somewhat sheltered by drastic movements up and down in prices. We have experienced a pull back in pricing just as the national trends have, but as the National Association of Realtors are saying, "Now is the best time to buy".
Our area is a great place to live because of the historical nature of Williamsburg and the surrounding communities. The College of William & Mary offers a great venue for social and sporting events. Strolling down Duke of Gloucester Street during a warm Spring day or seeing the natural decorations during the Christmas season offers a great way to enjoy our communities.
I moved here from California 6 years ago. While I do miss the vibrancy of living in a large city, when I need my fix for larger city life, Richmond is an hour's drive or Washington, D.C. is about 2.5 hours away. I love the idea of spending my family time in this wonderful community.
But you don't think that current DOM is a little bit troubling? It would also be nice if you could list the "average sold" prices for the 2007 and 2005 timeframes so we could see where we are in the process of deflating the "bubble".
Great post for actual, rellevent information though.
Curious if the stats would bear this out, I went to the Williamsburg MLS and pulled some figures.
Here's the stats for the past three months in the 23185 zipcode from the Williamsburg MLS. Homes are selling for an average of 94% of list price. I don't think 20-30% is going to be a realistic starting point.
3-24-2009 to 6-24-2009
103 homes, townhomes and condos sold over the last three months in 23185.
Average list to sale price is 94%
Average list to sold (days on market) 144 days
Average price (sold): $334,901
Average cost per sqft (sold): $145.46
Same period in 2007
Average list to sale price is 97%
Average days on market: 82
Average cost per sqft: $159.33
Same period in 2005
Average list to sale price is 99%
Average days on market is 61
Average cost per sqft is $149.04
Some distressed properties, usually foreclosures, can be had for less but they will generally require fixing up and the bank will rarely agree to do any repairs. Foreclosures are all in the Multiple Listing Service as well. The biggest variance on list to sale price is found in the high end market. Right now we are the market in homes under 300K is doing really well.
You are right about the prices going down. In general, I think our price reductions in Williamsburg have lagged those of surrounding areas. We are now seeing more sellers "getting real".
However, it is VERY rare to sell for 20-30% below the current listing prices. Some are certainly 20+ below their original listing prices, but I can't recall any that are that much below the current list price. And, I watch this everyday.
It is an excellent time to buy. Interest rates are very low, there are lots of homes to choose from, and many of the sellers have had their homes listed for quite some time... so they are motivated! No one knows whether the market has "hit bottom" yet or not, but if you are buying up or making a lateral move, then it really doesn't matter.
Your buying power given the combination of low rates and low prices is very likely at it's peak now. If prices should go down further, the price reductions will likely be counterbalanced by an increase in interest rates.
Take a look at what we have to offer here in Williamsburg. Let me know if I can be of assistance.
I agree that is is a good idea, depending on your financial situation and your reasons for wanting to buy. I recently sold a home there to friends who, due to the reduced prices, where able to buy the perfect home. Prices where much more last year and the reduced interest rates and reduced prices made it a no-brainer for them. If you've had your eye on Wbg for a while, now is the time to try to secure an affordable home there. feel free to contact me if you need help!
If you are moving here for work and your options are to rent or buy, buying right now is a great time in 23185,23188. Williamsburg is a safe bet and has faired better than many areas of the country, and even the Hampton Roads area in general.