THE RESIDENTIAL MARKET OVERALL
The November single family home market wasn’t exactly fun. The wee bit of activity that was came at the price of, um, the prices: median list prices fell a timid 1.2 percent, but median selling prices dropped a hefty 8.3 percent. But that still did not buoy the market.
So who’s asleep at the wheel: sellers on 500mg Xanax, wishfully thinking their house is so much better than anyone else’s? Or real estate agents, desperately chasing any listing they can get, as overpriced as it may be? Probably both. Case in point: a house in my neighbourhood, fresh on the market and according to a quick analysis approx. 25 percent (!) overpriced. That’s either major brawn or what’s called “shooting with wet powder”. Good luck. – The November numbers:
* Inventory for sale: 27,538 (13 months supply)
* Median list price: $274,667
* Median list price per sf: $138
* Units sold last month: 2,136 (3.7%)
* Median selling price: $186,667 (-8.3%)
* Median selling price per sf: $105
(SFH data Nov 2009 to Nov 2010. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. Data source: SEF-MLS)
THE MODERN MARKET
The modern market in November went against trend, as this segment so often does: compare the selling price uptick in modern homes vs. selling prices of all homes (green curve). That doesn’t mean stellar performance and ecstatic sellers, but despite inventory going up and absorption rate down, median selling prices as well as selling price per sf managed a 15+ percent increase over the previous month.
Unchanged is the market segmentation: few good properties under ca. $1.3m - $1.5m, really difficult under $600,000, and plenty to choose from above ca. $1.5m to $2m. I do not foresee this situation changing any time soon. And with mortgage rates possibly rising – despite stubborn unemployment, a key factor in housing activity – more buyers may become active in the market.
Have a nice weekend!
Tobias Kaiser is an independent real estate consultant and licensed Realtor in Florida since 1990. He specializes in modern architecture and net leased investments.