Forget an upturn, stabilization is the word of the day. We want the market to find an even keel for awhile, which is the natural progression of a market cycle after a downturn. Once things stabilize, the stage will be set as buyers regain confidence that their real estate investments aren't going to tank and home buying becomes fashionable again. Once we achieve stabilization, normal appreciation can resume.
Market Data Indicates Stability is Imminent
Here are some positive pieces of market data reported by the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS and compiled by Dominic Sacci, Senior Vice President/General Manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates:
- Active Listings (Market Saturation): There were 10% fewer homes on the market in March 2009 than in March 2008. Lower inventory is a good thing!
- Pending Listings (The Crystal Ball, aka predictor of future actual closings): The number of pending sales reported in March 2008 was down 26% from March 2007. The number of pending sales THIS March are only down 5% from last March. Interestingly, this 5% equates to only 20 sales! Once the percent change is 0, we are stable.
We Still Have Challenges Ahead, Of Course
The average sale price of homes that actually went to closing this March was down 13% from the same time period last year. The reason? Foreclosures. Foreclosure sales have accounted for 35% of the total number of sales in Monroe County so far this year. Since the average sales price of a foreclosure has been 23% less than a non-foreclosure sale, this has a big impact on home values. Home sellers are still competing with the bargain-priced foreclosure offerings out there.
For more information about real estate issues and market conditions in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 570.421.8950 ext 394