Is it a good time to buy?

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on January 9, 2009

Is it a good time to buy?

We are often asked, “Is it a good time to buy?” There are many factors to be considered when buying, including the much discussed direction of prices.

The best way for us to address a question like this is to say that it is a really great time to be a buyer. Prices on many homes and mortgage interest rates are two reasons compelling a great many buyers — more than 3,000 in our marketplace last year.
House prices have started returning to more sustainable levels. The average sales price of a home in Thurston County is now $283,907, which is $16,000 less than 2007. That is great news for buyers.
However, broad price discussions are a difficult thing. Averages are just that – averages. It means that some homes have declined more than the 5% average in our market, while others have not dropped as much if at all. Some are well priced and others still need to be reduced. The trick is finding the former and avoiding the latter.

We are seeing a great many well priced homes in our market. Each month, we undertake a study of all sales in the county. We separate them into two categories: (1) those that did not require a price reduction before selling, and (2) those that required at least one price reduction before selling.

In December 2008, homes in the first group spent only 33 days on the market, which is 10 days faster than the peak of our hot seller’s market. Those are well priced homes and the buyers are jumping on them.

In the second group of homes, those that required a price reduction, the average days on market was more than four months longer – at 158 days. With these homes, buyers simply waited for the price adjustments to be made before they saw the value. And the buyers jumped fast when they saw value, with these homes going under contract in just 30 days after the final price adjustment.

And the price adjustments were significant. Those homes sold for just 83.9% of original list price (compared to 97.7% for the well priced homes).

Our market continues to present great opportunities for buyers to find value. It is very important to have a good professional helping you evaluate the options and find the right fit for you.

Statistics compiled by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. from the NWMLS database. Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS.

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