Hands are not for sitting on…the state of the 2012 Sierra Real Estate Market   1 comment

An analysis of real estate activity in the Tahoe-Truckee area conducted by Coldwell Banker found the following:

For the Truckee, North Lake Tahoe, Alpine, Squaw and Donner Summit Areas combined the median home sales price in January 2012 was $331,500. This is a decrease of 13.8% from the $384,500 median price of January 2011. Meanwhile, the number of sales increased 10% between January 2011 and January 2012. New listings which came on the market in January 2012 were down 23.4% from January 2011. In fact with overall housing inventory for sale down 11% from January 2011, it’s the lowest inventory of properties for sale since February 2009.

Just in Truckee the median sales price in January 2011 was $400,000, while in January 2012 it declined 4.4% to $382,500. The inventory of properties on the market decreased 15.5% from January 2011 to January 2012, again leading to the lowest inventory of properties on the market since February 2009.

Want more of the numbers and even some cool graphs? Drop me a line and I can send it out to you. I can also provide you with a customized report just for your area and would be happy to discuss in detail what all this means to your particular situation.

Beyond the numbers: The thing about markets-whether we are talking about the stock market or the real estate market is that you don’t really have any idea when you have hit bottom, until the market has already started going up and you are no longer at the bottom. You just have to look at what is going on and anticipate what might happen in the future.

Over the last year prices have continued to decline, while sales were going up. This means that after several years of kicking and screaming, sellers finally came to the realization that if they wanted to sell they had to reduce their prices. Once those prices were reduced, previously reluctant buyers came into the market and started snatching up the best deals. Now well-priced properties sell quickly. In fact some of the good deals have received multiple offers, while properties which were not perceived to be such great deals have remained on the market for long periods without selling.

What does this mean for you as a seller? A low inventory means less competition for the buyers that are out there. Why would you want to compete against twenty similar homes when you can compete against only five? For some reason there is a fallacy that you should wait until summer to put your house on the market, instead of putting it on in the winter. Why? The reality is that there are buyers looking for houses all year round. More sales happen in the summer, because the inventory is low in the winter and buyers just cannot find the right house. If they could find the house and price that they want in the winter, they would buy it. If you put your house on the market in the winter or early spring YOU WILL HAVE LESS COMPETITION FOR BUYERS THEN YOU WILL HAVE IN THE SUMMER. When you do put your house on the market: Price it right. You want to strike while the iron is hot. If your house is the only one like it on the market and your price it too high, it will languish on the market until several other similar homes come on the market and then you will have to compete against them. Not good.

Are you thinking of buying? There are some great deals out there, but some of you are still concerned that prices have not reached bottom yet. Remember, you do not know that the market has bottomed out until it has already started to go up. Interest rates are still incredibly low (but may go up if the economy and the real estate market heats up) and while the inventory of houses is lower than it has been in three years, be patient because new houses come on the market regularly. If you do find the house you want at a good price, be sure you are prepared to pull the trigger by having your finances in order in advance.

ImageSo there you have it. Hope to hear from you soon.

One response to “Hands are not for sitting on…the state of the 2012 Sierra Real Estate Market

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  1. Thanks for the lesson in the positive side of current reality in real estate. 🙂


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