Yes friends, the holiday season is in full swing. There are presents to be wrapped, baking to be done, holiday parties filled with revelry and the joy of the season filling each heart. And even with all of the hustle of post-Black Friday events the real estate market is usually expected to be slow this time of year. While we do generally see a bit of a drop in sales, this is definitely not a slow market.
2012 has been a banner year for the market recovery. Inventory levels started off strong and then began to drop at the end of the first quarter. As I've been telling you for most of the last six months, the inventory levels are spurring rising prices. While conditions still favor buyers, sellers are seeing a strong market as well. It is my opinion that this trend will continue into the near future as the shadow inventory that’s been rumored to be held by the banks has yet to materialize. I have heard the rumors that the banks will begin to release inventory slowly in January, though I do not expect a flood of properties at one time. As the economy begins to equalize and the inventory increases at a manageable rate, the market will continue the upward trend of true recovery. I’ve seen a good amount of new construction starts in the last several months, and that too is a sign of a healing market.
Of course, all of this means that buyers face stiff competition as more buyers are vying for fewer homes. For sellers, this is a great time to get into the market. My average sales price has increased approximately $20,000 in the last six months and will continue to do so as long as the inventory remains low. If you’re interested in selling, I’d recommend contacting your real estate professional to determine your options. And right now, your options are better than they’ve been in several years. I’ve personally worked with a client that purchased a home in the spring and sold the property for a profit of $25,000 in late summer. I also recently closed a transaction for a buyer where the seller held the property for one year and left the table with a $15,000 check. That’s good news for weary sellers.
After the turmoil of the great recession that began in 2008 and a very contentious political season, consumer confidence is high and the recovery is well under way. We all deserve a little holiday joy and a pat on the back for enduring the hardships that we’ve faced in recent years.
C. Mark Willix is affiliated with Maximum One Realty Greater Atlanta.