This is a tough market update to write. What to say? What to say? Too much information to digest and impart.
Maybe that's the problem ... there's simply too much information about the national housing market, the global financial market, the subprime, the Fed, the fraud, the foreclosures, to clearly see what's happening. And it's not just me. This information binge clearly is spinning the heads of would-be buyers and sellers.
It's strange because the bad news is offset by the good. For all the declines in the number of homes sold, there is not yet an overall decline in average sales price on the Eastern Shore. For all the lower offers that buyers are making, there are still sellers who have realized great appreciation if they've owned their home for at least three years. For every Realtor moonlighting at the mall during Christmas, there are a number who have had one of their best years - me included.
So if you want my predictions, for 2008, visit my site: JanetEnglish.com and look for Market Predictions 2008, which will be posted for a limited time (until I decide that I look a genius or fool, depending upon whether those predictions pan out.)
On to the Eastern Shore numbers:
The number of homes sold in 2007 fell by 18.5% from 2006, but the average sales price rose from $289,935 in 2006 to $292,091. In 2006, 1,309 homes sold compared with 1,092 in 2007.
The average time it took to sell a home was 144 days, but this stat was skewed by homes that were re-listed after having been on the market for as long as 6 months. (In fact, current statistics show that it may take more than 10 months to sell a home on the Eastern Shore. Mind you, this is a broad measure and not specific to location or price range.)
As the market continued to slow in the 4th quarter of 2007, 184 homes sold, down from 248 during the same period in 2006. Average sales price did fall here, from $299,328 in 2006 to $290,044 in 2007.
Spanish Fort: 33 homes sold in the 4th quarter vs. 30 homes in the last quarter of 2006. Average sales price went from $246,774 to $304,803. Days on market stood at 132.
For the year, 145 homes sold with an average price of $281,232; in 2006, 173 homes sold at an average of $291,773. It took on average 123 days to sell.
There are 103 homes on the market.
Daphne: 58 homes sold in the 4th quarter vs. 107 homes in the 4th quarter of 2006. Average sale price was $258,273, compared with $301,615 in 2006.
For the year, 394 homes sold here with an average price of $295,486, while in 2006, 515 homes sold with an average price of $286,259. Average days on market stood at 141, and there are 335 homes on the market here.
Lake Forest: 25 homes sold in the 4th quarter with an average price of $162,768, compared with 27 sales in 2006 with an average price of $165,887. It took on average 101 days to sell.
During 2007, 153 homes sold here with an average price of $170,930. Days on market stood at 110, and there are 96 homes on the market.
Fairhope: 68 homes sold here, down from 84 homes in the 4th quarter of 2006. Average price was $356,772, compared with $364,138 during the last quarter of 2006. Average days on market: 157.
And for the year here, 400 homes sold, down from 449 in 2006; average sales price still made slight gains from $333,255 in 2006 to $339,028 in 2007. Days on market stood at 162 and there are 540 homes for sale here.