Everytime someone says "How you doin'?" the don't want to know if my neck aches; they're just saying "Hi". However, when I meet a person who says "How's the real estate market?" they probably want to know How's the real estate market. In fact, they specifically want to know What's Happening in MY Neighborhood?? That's what matters most and last I heard from the us Realtors, markets are local.
They certainly are local. In Madison we have Lake Mendota, which has shoreline extending to more than a few communities and 21.6 miles according to Wikipedia. If I'm sitting on the pier at Memorial Union and a friend calls me from his home in Maple Bluff and asks "How's the water?" and I answer "Warm", because the north side of the lake heated up that day, and he jumps in and finds the water frigid, he might wonder about my sense of reality. But, If before answering, I ask ,"What water?" or "What part of the lake?" I can give an answer more relevant to my friend. Same goes for real estate.
For 2011, I will follow the neighborhoods where I have listings and sales report on the statistics and trends on this blog. The beginning of the year looks cautiously optimistic at first glance at a few areas. Here's what's happening in your neighborhood according to our MLS, and all data is too small to draw any projection conclusions. Unless otherwise noted, the areas are by High School districts.
- Middleton: 9 closings in January. Average first asking price to sale price is 83% and 190 days on the market.
- DeForest: 7 closings in January. Average first asking price to sale price is 89% and 218 days on the market.
- McFarland: 6 Closings. 92.7% and 52 days
- Mount Horeb: 3 Closings. 93% and 32 days.
- North of the Beltline, near Fish Hatchery Road: 2 Closings 93.7% and 288 days on the market.
Distressed sales (REO and Short Sales) do not appear to be significant yet. I found 3, and there were also 3 new construction homes which were not included in this data. Our MLS can be manipulated to show fewer than actual cumulative days on the market. For the big picture it probably doesn't matter as much as when you try to get a clear image of the hyper local market. My sense today is that PRICE is key and more key is that the price is perceived as a "Tremendous Value". I think Tremendous Value is replacing Location, location, location in the priority of real estate lexicon.
I'll keep including areas as the year goes and we can drill down to get more insight. If I do this right, I should be able to tell you where the water is warm or cold before you jump in.