Any informed Lewiston-Auburn homeowner (or future Lewiston-Auburn homeowner) is keenly aware of the national and regional real estate trends. It’s hard to avoid hearing about them, because the TV and print media headline them all the time. Often the headline angle of those reports focuses on “distressed” statistics, which deal with foreclosed home and REO (real estate owned) sales and prices. Even though our Lewiston-Auburn foreclosed home numbers don’t usually match the national statistics, the impression we come away with is nonetheless hard to ignore.
Those headlines and 10-second news bites are important because everyone hears them, and for good or ill, those are the ‘everyones’ who make up our Lewiston-Auburn market. Yet such reports seldom tell the whole story. Realistically, they can’t possibly do so, because foreclosed home trends are different in different states and even within states, and exhaustive statistical analyses make for yawn-worthy news items. In December one in-depth analysis appeared that pointed out a statistical fact that is usually overlooked, even by real estate professionals. CoreLogic Inc. is a Santa Ana company that experts rely on to provide analysis of the trends available from public records.
Their latest report interprets the home sales and prices. Inside, the numbers provide an interesting point: the foreclosed home and REO sales numbers may be throwing the non-distressed home price and sales numbers a little bit off-kilter.
Looked at from a local homeowner’s point of view, the supposed slide in the numbers have what blogger Nick Timiraos at wsj.com correctly calls “a silver lining”. Because banks are notoriously impatient when it comes to marketing the foreclosed homes they own by default, that impatience is reflected in lower prices than are reported from the rest of the market. So although you may have thought it was a fact that home prices were in decline, during most of 2011, prices from non-distressed homes remained relatively stable.
Some analysts think that the gulf between the two types of sales will widen as traditional, non-distressed homes are seen as increasingly desirable compared with their foreclosed home competition. So the overall market reported in national headlines might continue to fall even as traditional sales hold steady or even improve.
But you wouldn’t know that unless you looked behind the headlines. For information on the local Lewiston-Auburn market, please give me a call!