Gosh, it's been grim.
But I'm here to tell you that this month - April 2010 - feels like it might as well be 2005, considering the volume of house sales going on.
Sure, the homebuyer tax credit expires April 30. Sure, some people moved up their time frames to capture as much as $8,000 in tax credits.
But I'm hoping that the effort to get the housing market chugging again like a great locomotive will have staying power. It just takes some time to get the big wheels on the Real Estate Express moving. And maybe, just maybe, sales will maintain a more normal pace.
More than 175 homes in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope are under contract. This is the best first quarter since 2007.
Prices have adjusted, and there's no changing that anytime soon, but at least things are happening again.
During the 1st Quarter, 189 homes sold, with an average sales price of $230,261 compared to 157 sales with an average price of $223,575 this time last year. The average time it took to sell was 6 months.
■ 20% of sales were short sales or foreclosures, yet such properties or sellers made up only 6% of the inventory.
■ 28% of sales were over $300,000, while 40% of the 1,237 houses on the market on the Eastern Shore were listed at or over $300,000. But the upper end market has improved, too.
On to the stats:
■ Fairhope: 59 homes sold with an average price of $266,308, compared to 59 sales this time last year with an average price of $242,771. On average it took 203 days to sell and sellers took on average 7% off their list prices to sell. Houses on the market here: 607.
■ Daphne: 77 homes sold with an average price of $246,382, compared to 47 sales with an average price of $237,409 during the first quarter last year. It took on average 169 days to sell and sellers sliced on average 4.75% off the price. There are 387 homes on the market.
■ Lake Forest: 24 sold with an average price of $129,816, compared to 24 sales with an average price of $140,756 this time last year. Average market time was 149 days. Sellers took on average 4% less than list price. There are 114 houses on the market here.
■ Spanish Fort: 29 homes sold with an average price of $235,173, slightly up from 27 sales with an average price of $235,161 in the 1st quarter last year. Sellers took on average 4.3% less than list price. Average market time was 167 days. There are 114 homes for sale here.