That's an excellent question and I'm afraid no one can really give an answer; there are opinions, speculation and analysis but it's certainly not to be taken as fact when we discuss the future direction of the economy, the financial markets or real estate values (or the future value of any invesment like stocks, oil futures, gold, etc. for that matter).
The home prices have dropped over 20% in Manderley over the past two years since the peak in 2005/2006. That's fairly consistent with the overall decline in values in Lake Mary and in Seminole County (where I also live).
In the 12 month period from April 19, 2006 to April 19, 2007, there were twelve sales and the average sale in Manderley was $370,000 and the median sales price was $367,250 ($195 and $194 a square foot respectively). The next six months (from April 19, 2007 to October 19, 2007) there were ten sales and the average price was $321,425 and the median price was $329,000 (whihc is $162 and $166 per square foot respectively). The LAST six months from October 19, 2007 to today April 19, 2008 shows six sales with an average sale of $299,083 and a median sale of $313,750 ($150 and $154 per square foot respectively). So if we take the average price per foot from the first period ($195 a square foot) and the average or the most recent period ($150 a square foot), you'll see a decline of 23% over the two year period.
I have to tell you this isn't 100% of the story because more larger homes or smaller homes could sell in one period over another, more homes with pools or other features could sell in a period, etc. so the numbers could vary a little but you've got a pretty good baseline of what's happened in the neighborhood.
If the economy falters more, the recession deepens, the credit crunch and liquidity crisis worsend, etc....prices could decline further. That being said, prices have retreated to a level that is more affordable, there is pent up demand, interest rates are at or near their historic lows in decades, selection is excellent, etc. so it's probably a GREAT time to buy. Make sure you buy right, but if you plan to stay in your home it has ALWAYS proven to be a fantastic long-term investment and a way to build wealth.
Make sure your agent provides an analysis that satisfies you regarding trends, understand the values, what would be a reasonable offer, and gives you statistics to show you the direction of the market. I have sold several homes in Manderley and I think it is a fabulous neighborhood and a great place to buy a home. Good luck to you Mary and let me know if you have any additional questions!
Marty Hunt, Realtor, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO
Realty Exectives Orlando
(407) 869-7779 or toll free (888) 412 8681