How unusual is this housing market, anyway?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Ford's Colony Realty

I'm sure many of you have been selling real estate for a long time.  You've been through "ups and downs" before.  But, can you ever remember a market like this?

Here's a home price chart that illustrates perfectly the oddity of the current market.  This chart shows nominal and inflation adjusted home prices from 1970 to the present.  (click for a larger version).  This really puts it all into perspective.

I put together some data for our market in Williamsburg, VA.  Our market hasn't behaved quite the same way.  We did see the sharp run up in prices, but we didn't see prices fall as sharply... (even though most of our sellers will disagree!).

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Since we are a retirement destination, our population isn't like the norm.  We don't have as many "motivated" sellers here, and they haven't responded to the downturn in the way you might expect.  Our sales volume has dropped tremendously because our prices have not responded to the market pressures.

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How has your market behaved?  Were your price moves more like the national chart?  Do you think we have hit the bottom? When are you projecting that we will see a recovery? I'm expecting to see us bump along the bottom for quite some time, but I would love to be surprised on the upside!

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