Now that we are back from the Labor Day break, it feels like a good time to take stock of what is going on in our local market. Here in Hamden, sales of single family homes year to date number 225. This compares to 287 at the same time last year, so we are down 22%. Barring any unforeseen stimulus packages, it looks like a down year. Ever the optimist, I'm thinking we can only go up from here, right?
Our average sales price is $236,568, down from $250,135 a year ago. "Average" roughly translates to a 1700 square foot house with 1.5 to 2 baths. Average price per square foot is $138.80 vs $145.54. Marketing time is up to 88 vs 67 days on market. The Sales Price to List Price percentage is 94.53% now vs $96.04 YTD in 2010. So what can we learn from this and our own observations as Realtors? Anyone selling a property now is facing some severe headwinds. Bank short sales and foreclosures are still a large percentage of the market. 46 of the 225 homes sold, or 20%, fell into this category. In the prior year, it was closer to 10%. This skews the statistics by quite a bit, and makes pricing a home for sale a research project. I have noticed that banks are getting a bit more anxious to move their properties, and are dropping prices on unsold inventory more quickly. All statistics are courtesy of the Greater New Haven Association of Realtors.
Are there any positive here? I think so. Our inventory in Hamden is still moderate at 308 single family homes for sale. A good percentage of listings are expiring unsold, and many are not relisting. Bank owned properties are selling. Their prices have dropped to a point where they are quite attractive to investors. The numbers finally work. People with good credit have many good choices. This is a perfect market for someone who wants to buy a property and has nothing to sell. Those are the people who should be jumping into the market now. Housing is certainly not a passing fad - we all need a place to live, whether as owners or renters.