Chances are you have read about the national housing market and the significant ?over supply? of homes for sale.  In some parts of Florida there is a 40 month supply of homes for sale, which means at the existing pace of sales it would take more than three years to sell all of the homes currently for sale.  The National Association of Realtors reports that even the nation as a whole has a 10 month supply. 

 

A seller?s market is defined as having less than four months supply, while a buyer?s market has more than six months supply.

 

Our local market certainly stands out with just a 5.92 months supply of homes, but it is a far cry from our hot seller?s market in 2003-2006.  At the peak of our seller?s market supply dropped below a two months supply.

 

We are fortunate that our market did not stick its neck out as far as places like Florida, Arizona, California, and Las Vegas.  Those markets were all betting on far too much demand.  Over-building resulted and now those markets are paying with huge price corrections.  Contrast that with our market where we have seen modest price gains, from $282,000 last year to $300,000 this year.

 

The number of homes sold in Thurston County this year is down 17% from last year.  However, based on historical growth patterns we are still seeing a healthy amount of homes sell. 

 

Over that past 30 years, our market has averaged 6% annual growth in the number of homes sold.  In fact, if we project 6% growth each year since 2002 - the year before the seller?s market began - we arrive at virtually the same number of sales as we have actually sold.

 

The supply of homes in our market will continue to pressure our market.  Currently, there are over 2,100 homes on the market.  That is nearly 25% higher than a year ago, and three times the number of homes for sale in 2005.

 

Still, we are seeing well priced homes selling at a reasonable pace.  Of the homes sold from August through September, those that did not require a price reduction sold in an average of just 44 days.  Those that required at least one price reduction sat on the market for an average of 125 days.  Many unsold homes have been on the market much longer than these sales figures show.

 

The challenge right now is finding that ?right? price.  With so many homes on the market, buyers are being more selective and are looking for value.  For their part, sellers have the challenge of determining what a reasonable expectation for price appreciation is.  Each of the past four years saw an average of 13% price gains.  It is tough to let go of that number.  However, our market has historically returned 6% annual appreciation. 

 

Given the significant run-up since 2002, we should expect a leveling off of prices for awhile.  In fact, the market is already taking that breather, with prices leveling out over the past few months.  The good news for most sellers is that they are still achieving a nice, if somewhat more historically appropriate, return. 

 

 

COLDWELL BANKER IN THE COMMUNITY

 

Our company is proud to sponsor the upcoming performance of EVITA at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.  This Tony Award winning musical is Wednesday, November 28th.  For ticketing information contact the Washington Center or log on to www.WashingtonCenter.org.

 

PROPERTY TAXES

 

The latest tax assessments arrived in the mail recently.  Many homeowners were shocked by the increases.  The county reports that assessments increased by an average of nearly 19%.  Property taxes, however, have not yet been set.  Initiative 747 placed a cap on the amount that regular levies may increase.  That cap means that some homeowners? taxes may actually go down even if the assessment increases.  Still others will pay more in taxes.  If you have questions about your assessment or property taxes, contact the Assessor or log on to www.co.thurston.wa.us/assessor.

 

 

MORTGAGE MARKETS

 

Percentage of Total Mortgage Market that are

Sub-prime or Non-conforming Loans

 

Nationwide

20%

Washington State

6%

 

Percentage of Total Mortgages under Foreclosure

 

Nationwide

1.40%

Washington State

0.49%