2015 started off slightly down with January and February both 4% under the number of sales compared to 2014, but the area rallied last month and took off. March had 202 residential houses close which was around a 27% gain compared to March 2014, and bringing the total number of sales at around +9% compared to the same period last year. It’s always difficult to put a finger on just one contributor to these types of fluctuations, but I personally think the travel barriers caused by weather in many other part of the country this winter was a significant contributor.
Interestingly enough cash was not “king” this year. Among the various pay types for residential house sales in the area cash, which is typically over 50% in recent years, dropped to around 47% . This can be attributed to improving consumer credit scores and lending becoming more accessible to more who want to take advantage of great interest rates.
Outlook For Sellers
Sellers recently have seen themselves with more of an upper-hand with inventories remaining low and demand constantly increasing, but sellers need to be very careful and especially when it comes to pricing smart (i.e. based on comparable sales). The average days on the market for sales so far this year has dropped to around 85 which is about a 12% drop compared to the same period last year. More houses selling, less houses available for sale, and houses selling quickly might seem like all of the ingredients to price higher right? Wrong. Price should never be taken lightly and should never be based upon pure speculation. There is far too much risk and often cost sellers a great deal in the long run. The bottom line is price it right the first time.
Outlook For Buyers
As many buyers have found out in the area over the last few years, playing around when it comes to offers often costs them the houses they had their hearts set on. A few years back with homes staying on the market longer and less competition with other buyers for less homes for sale, buyers had the luxury of time. Today it’s important as ever to not only move quickly on homes that meet your wants and needs, but to come with smart offers (i.e. based on the comparables). The practice of “low balling” initial offers is what often shuts down negotiations, wastes valuable time, and allows another buyer to come in and bring an acceptable offer. Making smart offers the first time may not mean that it is accepted by the seller, but it is the best strategy to get good dialogue started in negotiations and buyers and seller to come to an agreed upon price quickly. So just as a seller should price right the first time for a successful sale, buyers should offer the right price the first time for a successful negotiation and purchase.
The area continues to see a great deal of positives for with the local real estate market. One of the biggest highlights is that short sale and foreclosed properties have become virtually non-existent. Taking into account all of the other statistics, we should have a very interesting and exciting summer season in the area.
For more local market statistics visit my Market Report page.
What questions do you have?
Disclaimer: Information based upon the Flagler County Association of Realtors MLS as of 4/18/2015 for Residential Houses. Information may be deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed