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"So what happened to the market?" During 2006 we experienced two markets of almost equal time. The first half sellers were "in control." Multiple offers abounded and price appreciation was on the same torrid pace as 2005. By June 30th, the average prices were already up 9.4% and median prices 13.8%. The number of sales was down to 170 homes in the first half (versus 222 homes in the first six months of 2005) primarily because buyers had so few choices. Beginning in May, buyers attitudes shifted from "what will it take" to "I think I'll wait." The number of available houses grew from 111 on May 1 to 181 houses by October 1. The average market time also went up. We were experiencing the same slowdown as the rest of the country. Houses continued to sell, but often after one or more price reductions. 179 sold in the second half compared to 220 the previous year (which was less than the year before). Taking into account the climbing inventory, it became clear selling a home was becoming a more challenging proposition than it had been in the past few years. Many homes listed in the last 1/3 of 2006 are still on the market today! Price and condition became (and still are) a more critical factor for success.
Meanwhile, 2006 changed our condominium marketplace. At the end of the year there were 115 condominiums available for sale versus 30 at the beginning of 2006. Bainbridge had 26 homes sell for less than $400,000 in 2006 while there were 96 condominiums sold for less than $400,000. There were 150 condos sold with an average price $336,000. There are currently 5 major projects in Winslow, none are sold out and there are a number of "flips" for sale in Harbor Square and Island Crossings. The impact of these projects will be profound on the composition of both our real estate marketplace and Winslow.
So what is going on and what should a person expect? Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, all indications are the Northwest economy will surpass the national economy. Aerospace and software are thriving in our region. Microsoft and the myriad of Boeing suppliers are hiring. Nationally the Northwest is still considered a very desirable place to be and Bainbridge is still a jewel of the Northwest. Our market will be healthy. Instead of a hypermarket, we will probably experience a "normal" market where well priced, marketed and presented homes will sell in a prudent period of time. Bainbridge will not be a healthy place for short-term investors looking for quick returns, but real estate will continue to be a safe and productive investment for the long run.
One of the big questions we often get in November and December is "how long does it take for the market to pick up after the holidays are over?" We have seen it languish most of January and into February and we have seen it start much more quickly. This January it has been busy! Our office has already put together over 22 sales ranging from $339,000 to $3.975 million (listed prices).
Here are some final numbers for 2006.....
2004 2005 2006 Change %
· Average Prices: $551,462 $668,963 $752,154 +12.4%
· Median Prices: $469,750 $569,000 $662,000 +16.3%
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.