March 11th, 2008 Categories: Crofton Real Estate 3
Crofton Real Estate is still doing better than most of the country, yet the market is quite different from two years ago – at least when it comes to “days on market” and the number of “homes sold”. Now it’s more important than ever for home sellers to have realistic expectations when they put their Crofton-area homes on the market for sale. Those boom years for sellers are a thing of the past. Buyers, this market is YOURS!
Crofton home sellers often ask me “When is it going to get better?” or sometimes they say “I’ll just wait it out”. My reply is simply this: The market today is the market we can expect to have for the foreseeable future, possibly years. It will take more than a Fed rate drop or a new President for the housing market to correct – and it could be decades before we see a housing “boom” like we had a few years ago. Again, as I mentioned earlier, the real estate market in Crofton is MUCH better than many areas of the country, since our prices are holding relatively steady and we have all those new households moving to the Fort Meade and BWI areas with BRAC relocations. We really can’t complain, when so many other areas are experiencing a true real estate “bust”. And let me repeat, this market is a GREAT opportunity for home buyers in Crofton or anywhere in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
The bottom line is this:
Today’s market is today’s reality!
There’s no point in getting upset or depressed about it - home sellers, buyers and real estate professionals must adjust to today’s reality. I’ve been in this business since the 70’s, and I’ve seen distressed markets before - homes still sold, even with inventories like this and interest rates at 16 and 17%… and they are selling now. In fact, this market doesn’t hold a candle to what we’ve experienced in the past!
When you used the FREE MARKET SNAPSHOT tool on my website during February, you saw the real estate market unfold from week to week in your own neighborhood – homes for sale, new listings, new solds. Addresses were listed, properties briefly described and they were mapped, so you could follow the Crofton real estate market in the immediate area around your home. You probably watched the number of homes grow, and saw very few sales.
Now, here’s a summary of the month’s real estate activity for the entire Crofton zipcode (21114):
Home sales dropped by more than 58% from last year;
The average sold price held relatively steady, and the median price even went up 3.28% from February 2007;
Average days on market increased 54.02% over last year;
The average list price of sold homes is actually up, in spite of all the gloomy news, by 2.81%
Average percentage of sold price vs. list price is down to 93.61% – perhaps that is a result of the higher average list price.
As of February 29, there were 152 homes for sale in Crofton. With home sales of 18 per month, that gives us an eight-month inventory of homes, even if no new listings come on the market during that time. Of course, we know that won’t happen, since new listings last month out-numbered sales 3-1.
What does all this mean to you?
It means home sellers have a lot of competition and home buyers are in heaven, with a huge inventory of homes to select from. It means home sellers and buyers alike need to carefully choose an experienced real estate professional (only 1/3 of real estate agents nationwide have been licensed more than five years) to represent their best interests. (By the way, old-timers like me CAN be tech-savvy!) It means sellers have to carefully price their homes and make sure those homes are in top condition, and buyers don’t have to settle for anything less.
Based on past experience, I believe another important number to watch is the mortgage interest rate, because those 17% interest rates in the 70’s DID have a negative impact on housing! That’s why I provided a tool at Focus On Crofton for you to track interest rates by simply clicking on Mortgage Interest Rate Update on the left navigation bar at any time.
As you can see from this chart, rates are down a tad from last week, but up from last month. It is not unusual to see activity like this – in fact, rates sometimes change several times in one day.
Rates hovering around 6%, as they have for many months, are “good” in the grand scheme of things. In fact, with the combination of a huge housing inventory and low interest rates, it IS a good time for anyone to buy Crofton real estate – and it’s not really a bad time to sell, if you have a little patience.
For more information, or information about another zipcode in the area, please contact me directly.
INTEREST RATES: Mortgage Interest Rate Update
OTHER RELATED LINKS: Buyers and sellers alike may want to check out the report by FNMC Vice-President Chris Washburn on the New FHA Mortgage Limit for Crofton Real Estate. Some articles that may be of interest to home sellers are Why Hasn’t My House Sold? or Crofton home pricing – Cost vs. Value of Improvements; and finally, read How VA Can Help Sell Your Crofton Home. Buyers interested in foreclosure properties should visit FocusOnCrofton periodically to view the Freddie Mac foreclosures often posted there, since I sometimes include homes not yet listed on the mls. Read this press release by the National Association of REALTORS regarding February: Existing Home Sales Rise in February