The Median Home Price Is Up, So My Home Is Worth More...Right?

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group

The Median Home Price Is Up, So My Home Is Worth More...right?

Maine home prices - the Maine Real Estate NetworkPress releases have touted a steady rise in median home prices in Maine over the past several months.  Yes, this trend is good news for Maine home sellers, but what does it actually mean for your home’s market value?

As detailed in the press releases, the “median sales price" is basically the middle.  Half of the homes sold for more, and half of the homes sold for less.  While the steady increase does show a trend, it does not automatically translate into the same percentage increase in the value of your home.

Here in Androscoggin County Maine, the latest statistics showed a 5.6% increase in median sales price over the same period last year (see stats below.)  However, a more detailed analysis of the homes sold, shows that much of this increase is actually due to the fact that more buyers are purchasing homes in the higher price ranges.  While this is a good sign and can be an indicator of a strengthening economy, it does not necessarily mean that home values themselves have risen by the same amount.

Two years ago, we saw very little activity in the $225,000 - $300,000 range.  This year, we have more buyers looking in that range and frankly, not enough homes on the market to show them.  Activity has definitely increased as Maine home buyers are feeling comfortable that we have most likely moved beyond the bottom of the market.  Also, more buyers are taking action this year since they realize that interest rates are likely to go up.  We are now seeing, for the first time in a long time, multiple offers on homes in all price ranges.  Inventory is low and buyers are finding that they need to act quickly when they find a home that they love.

Accurate and competitive pricing of homes is still the number one driver for successful home sales.  We are seeing well priced homes regularly selling within the first 30 days and for 98.2% of the list price or higher.  

If you would like to find out the current market value for your home and the best pricing strategy, please feel free to contact me via phone, email, text, or even carrier pigeon.

Maine Home sales 2013

Posted by

The Maine Real Estate Network - Kristen Wheatley - Lewiston-Auburn Maine Real Estate

Maine Realtor Kristen Wheatley  

Kristen Wheatley is a Maine Realtor working and living in Central Maine.  She specializes in the sale of residential and investment property in the Lewiston-Auburn area and surrounding towns.  Kristen uses the latest tools and mobile technology to provide a superior experience and results for her clients and enjoys sharing these technology skills and teaching other real estate professionals and local small business owners.

The Maine Real Estate NetworkKristen Wheatley, Associate Broker
The Maine Real Estate Network
34 Center Street - Auburn ME 04210
mainehomeseller@gmail.com
207-240-2250     www.lamainerealestate.com

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Comments (19)

Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Great information for your market.  We are seeing the same trends in our area  as well. 

Mar 03, 2013 11:53 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

Welcome to the market that thrills sellers!

 

In our market…the San Francisco Bay Area…multiple offers are the order of the day. Any house that comes on the market that is well priced and properly presented sells strongly and quickly and for more than expected. Shortage of inventory in the face of strong buyer demand is the driver.

 

Here is a weird statistic…

Prices are up but sales are down in many areas. Houses are selling so quickly and strongly that there are literally not enough houses to sell! The first glance impression is the market is declining but the truth is that there are just not enough houses to sell to keep pace with the previous level of sales even thought the buyers would buy them if the houses were available.

Mar 03, 2013 11:54 AM
Bart Foster
Keller Williams Realty Boston - Metro - Boston, MA
Boston MA Real Estate

SF, Boston, the statistic is the same. Sellers took their homes out of the sales market in favor of renting need to return to the market to balance things out. We have too few homes for the demand.

Mar 03, 2013 12:21 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

This question I hear often for last 2 months.

Yes, prices are up and sellers have more control. But if they want to sell and buy something else, here they have a challenge. The housing inventory is extremely low here in LA/Valley.

 

Mar 03, 2013 01:08 PM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Kristen. that's an important fact people need to remember--changes in the Median Sale Price may reflect the distribution of homes being sold and not the value of individual homes.  The median price in my market--Silicon Valley-- increased dramatically in 2008 because low-end homes stopped selling when the bubble burst.  The "Case Shiller" index is supposed to reflect the change in value of individual homes.

Mar 03, 2013 02:14 PM
Sabrina Solesbee
Solesbee Group - Laguna Beach, CA
Sabrina Solesbee

We are experiencing the same in Orange County CA. Inventory is low and seller's want to make $$ if they are going to sell.

Mar 03, 2013 03:13 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, real estate is very lcoal and can vary by neighborhood and price range.  Great illustration of that here.

Mar 03, 2013 06:02 PM
Scott Nowling
Prudential Starck - Saint Charles, IL
Prudential Starck
Piscataquis down almost 39%. Ugh. Not only is it tough to spell, it's tough to sell:-)
Mar 03, 2013 06:52 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

"Median price is up but average price down". I can never explain that one except nobody buys or sells a median or average home. Every home is unique.

Market data shows trends but each market segment and neighborhood has it's own nuances. Only a local expert like Kristen can tell you what your home is worth in today's market.

Mar 03, 2013 08:15 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

In Charlotte inventory is low so home prices are higher than they were, but they are not yet running away with themselves. I tell sellers if they price their home right for condition and locaiton it will sell fast. I tell buyers that there won't be a lot of negotiating room if a house is priced right for market values in the neighborhood. And then I'm always reminding clients that real estate is not just local, it's hyperlocal so they should take news reports with a grain of salt.

Mar 03, 2013 08:32 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Kristen, sellers need to understand that in a sellers market they have a better chance of selling their property if the condition is good and it is priced right. Appreciation will take care of itself. It doesn't mean sellers can ask whatever they want for their homes. Nice report!

Mar 03, 2013 09:34 PM
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

Thank you Paula.  I'm glad your area is picking up too.

John.  We aren't yet at the thrill level for sellers, but at least they are seeing progress.  You're are sounds great.

Yes, Bart.  It took us here in Maine a little longer, but it looks like we are there now too. :-)

We see that sometimes too Inna.  Our inventory is definitely lower in certain ranges.  Downsizing buyers here are in the best position, since more folks in out area want to go in the other direction.

Exactly Lloyd!  A lot of folks here see the press releases and figure they can now raise the price of the home they tried to sell a year ago.  We still have overpriced homes on the market and those just sit there with sellers who are not willing to budge.

I hear you Sabrina.  Our short sale inventory is starting to clear out.  The ones that needed to sell, sold there homes over the last 3 years.  We have also finally seen investors come in and start moving the foreclosure inventory.  Some people don't want to sell yet since they bought at the top of the market.  Others are finally realizing that they may not make big bucks when they sell, but they will save more on the buying end.

Thanks Debbie.  It is true.  We even have huge differences county by county.

LOL Scott.  The pronounciation of some of our counties would surprise you too.  :-)  Those numbers are skewed a bit too.  SOme of the more rural counties were pretty hard hit with foreclosures, and it is taking longer for investors to move in and buy them there.  So in some areas, they have the opposite problem with median sales prices.  It was skewed by a high number of REO's in seriously rough shape finally moving that brought the median down and not enough high end homes moving.  Around here, banks tend not to winterize in time and it takes so long to foreclose that pipes burst and mold takes over.

Great point Mitchell...and thank you.

Very good point Nina. 

Mar 03, 2013 09:52 PM
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

You are right on the money Michael.  Right now, it is easy to see in the actual neighborhood and town sales data.  The homes that are priced right are going fast, and the others just sit there on the market.  Now that sales volume is up, we finally have more actual comps that we can show to sellers.

Mar 03, 2013 09:56 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

 

Places are trading in Real Estate. The Real long term value is one everyone should be concentrating on...No quick $$$..but security and longevity

Mar 03, 2013 11:00 PM
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

So true Ritchie.

Mar 04, 2013 12:32 AM
Richard Dolbeare, R(B)
eXp Realty - Wailuku, HI
R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist

It is so true that many assume an increase in the median sales price equates to the same increase in home values.  As you point out, it's the median of what sold which can change for reasons other than changes in home values.  Still, an upward tick is a good sign for sellers.

Mar 04, 2013 01:41 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

A whisker over $81,000 to a high average of $200,000 mean average shows Maine is a big state. With lots of variations so where in Vacationland you are talking homes, houses makes a big difference!

Mar 04, 2013 03:05 AM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Very accurate assessment of the overall market picture, Kristen.  Thank you!

jl4  Phil Leng

Mar 04, 2013 06:38 AM
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

So true Richard.  We'll take all the good news we can get.

You said it Andrew! 

Thank you Phil.

Mar 04, 2013 10:07 AM