Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Current Absorption Rates

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period.  If you look at the number for New Haven you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 5.1 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market.  A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

Prices Finally Heading Up?

It's been depressing to read the national news, and to see how the real estate market around the country has finally begun to rebound healthily in most areas, while we sat in the state with 3 of the nation's 6 worst markets.  The latest report, however, shows a tiny (0.4%) gain in year over year prices in our area.  That still puts us significantly below 2006 levels, but we are headed in the right direction at last! 

I think I've written about most of the reasons for our lagging performance, and the states around us, with the exception of the Boston area, also pull down the national figures.  Eventually, though, demand will absorb the houses that exist on the market, and encourage owners to sell.  It still takes longer here--Denver measures its absorption rate in hours, while we are at 102 days--but it's coming.
And not a moment too soon for those of us in the real estate business!

I would be remiss if I did not once again remind buyers that the greatest appreciation tends to occur within a fairly short time after prices begin to rise.  Supply tightens, and people get nervous, so they start to bid seriously, and prices go up, and the cycle repeats until something happens to halt the spiral upward.  Those who watch historical trends know to act quickly, and the rest of you have now been warned:  Buy now for best results. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Property Taxes

Your House as seen by...



Your Buyer


Your Lender


Your Appraiser


And . . . Your County's Tax Assessor


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Real Estate Markets Are Like the Weather

As Mark Twain said about New England weather, "If you don't like it, just wait a few minutes."  The real estate market--unfortunately for us in the field--isn't quite so quick to change, but it does sometimes seem to go almost week by week.  We are learning that it's harder to tell what causes a shift than it used to be.  Hot weather, and the Fourth of July, used to mean a serious lull in activity.  This year, many agents were showing homes right into the holiday itself.  Others found that office calls were slow, and transactions sluggish. 

Hot weather doesn't slow the market down as much as it used to, before we had winters that were epic.  Now we need to use that time, because we lose so many days to snow and ice.  As I've written before, the school calendar affects sales much less than it used to, before so many jobs moved out of state.  So how do we know what's going to happen? 

We don't.  We can't tell you with certainty when to list, or when we should hold open houses.  We know certain things, like that Mother's Day is dead, while Father's Day isn't, but we aren't as sure of timing now.  There seem to be the equivalent of microbursts in weather, where one town will be slow, while others are booming. And that's not just the Shoreline in the summer, where people on vacation look at property.  It seems to be true throughout the region; one town's good year is another town's dip. 

Advice?  Follow your own internal clock, but don't wait for rates to rise, or prices to start spiking!