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Crofton Real Estate Update – November 2008

November Market Update for CroftonEach month, between the 10th and 15th, I take the real estate statistics released by our regional MLS system and try to make sense of them for you.  After all, who doesn’t want to know the TRUTH about what’s happening in our local real estate market, instead of relying on the media.  These are the real deal – numbers based on actual listings and sales, according to the Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS).

Active Listings:  When I compile a chart of the numbers for November 2008 and put it into perspective with the three previous years, we see first that the number of active listings was down last month compared to the same month in recent years. While this is good news, it doesn’t mean that lots of homes in inventory have been selling – it’s more a case of homeowners deciding to rent, rather than sell, or simply taking their property off the market to wait for things to turn around.  Whatever the reason, a smaller inventory is a good thing.

Units Sold: In fact, only fifteen homes sold in the entire zipcode last month including detached homes, condos, and townhomes.  That’s less than one third the number of homes sold in November 2006. 

21114 Overview

Total Sold Dollar Volume:  The number of homes sold is the primary reason why this number is down.  Few home sales = lower total sold dollar volume.  It’s as simple as that.

Average and Median Sold Prices:  Much to my surprise, and probably yours, both of these figures were up from the preceding years.  It’s right there, in black and white, based on actual Crofton home sales.  This is not to say that anyone’s home value has gone up – it’s more a case of higher-priced homes changing hands.  But these numbers do present a “feel-good” moment on this chart. 

You can see a year to date graph of the Median and Average Sold Prices in Crofton on my Maryland Relocation Blog.   

Average Days on Market:  That “100” figure speaks for itself.  It’s taking longer to sell homes in Crofton, as it is all around us and across the country.  Yet it’s still less than the four months that was considered “average” for most years of my career.  So yes, it’s more than three times what it was in 2005, but it’s not disastrous.  We’ve all just gotten a little spoiled in recent years by how quickly homes were selling.

Average List Price for Sold Properties:  As you can see, this number is up – which you might have expected after seeing that the average and median sold prices were up.  Again, this does not mean that the home value has gone up for anyone – only that more higher priced homes have changed hands.

Percentage of Sold vs. List Price:  Let’s put this in plain English – A home listed for $100,000 is selling for $92,100, on average.  You do the math and multiply these figures so they represent the price range of your home.  For example, if you own a Crofton townhome listed at $300,000, multiply $92,100 by 3… if you own a detached home listed at $500,000, multiply $92,100 by 5 to find out the likely sale price.

Why so low?  It’s very simple… Many Crofton homeowners are listing their properties TOO HIGH.  I understand it’s hard to face the reality of today’s market, but listing your home at last year’s price won’t make it sell at last year’s price.  The best way to sell your home quickly and close to full price is to list it at today’s likely sale price.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, remember that some homes ARE selling.  If you’d like yours to be one that does, it’s up to you.  Many of the factors which impact home sales are within your control – pricing, terms, condition, access, and your choice of real estate agent.  If an offer comes in on your home, no matter how low, it’s probably closer to today’s value than your list price.  I recommend you make a counter-offer and find a way to make it work, because the next offer could easily be lower.

Your immediate neighborhood:  The figures in this chart are for the entire zipcode – condos, houses, townhomes….  40 year-old homes and 10–year old homes.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to find out exactly what’s happening in the immediate area surrounding your home.   Just enter your address and a few facts about your home (number of bedrooms, detached or townhouse…) and I’ll email a free Market Snapshot to you within about 30 minutes.  This will have a list of homes, along with links to their MLS listings and a map showing where they are located in relationship to your home.


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