I have been meaning to write a market update for some time now, but have been so busy with selling real estate that I am just now finding the time! That is DEFINITELY a good problem to have and as I will point out in this Blog, the market conditions here in Rapid City reflect my busy Fall months.
According to the Black Hills Association of Realtors (BHAR) stats, taken from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) through Sept. 2009, we are down slightly on the number of listings on the market from last year, but our “under contract” numbers are up 26% over last year. That’s HUGE in my book! I would say that is a definite sign that our real estate market is remaining strong. The fact that we are down on overall listings may well be attributed to the fact that fewer people are deciding to move unless it’s a high priority, but those that are making the decision are finding their houses selling more successfully than last year.
The average Days on Market (DOM) for single family listings is down 1 day overall compared to 2008, with 72 DOM as the average. New construction homes are taking longer to sell than in previous years and townhomes and condos are sitting on the market 37 days less than in 2008.
Now, what everyone really wants to know, and that is regarding house values. In my opinion, pretty good news here as well. We are down just 3% over last year in all types of housing. However, a further breakdown reveals that we are down just 1% in single family homes. The areas that have taken a harder hit are townhomes and condos, which are down 7% and new construction homes, which are down 9%. Really though, those numbers are not bad at all compared to national averages and some markets that are down over 50%!
One important thing to remember though is that in the past year or two, housing values HAVE NOT INCREASED. So, if you are looking to move and are counting on selling your house for the usual 4% increase per year that was accrued in our previous market (pre 2007) then you may be disappointed. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have had to tell people that they may not even break even if they have lived in their house for 2 years or less.
The good news is that if you have done improvements to your house, finished a basement, added a garage, replaced siding and roof, etc., those things are still adding value to homes and may help you see the increase in value that you are hoping to find.
So, as we all prepare to “settle in” for the winter, remember that there are still good deals to find out there in real estate, and with talks of the government extending the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit and adding a possible $6500 tax credit for all other types (non-first time buyers) of homebuyers, don’t think that it’s necessary to sit tight and wait for market conditions to improve. I always tell my clients that the winter is not a bad time to buy and sell. In fact, the colder months often bring out more serious buyers.
If now isn’t the right time for you to sell and buy, then remember to continue to work on your house and add upgrades that will increase your value so that your home price will increase in the upcoming years.
And, of course remember to call me if you have any questions about real estate, market conditions and when you’re ready to make a move! My cell phone is always on: 605-431-5810.