I'm starting this month's report of data from the Milledgeville/Lake Sinclair MLS with the only good news to be found. The average days on the market is down from last month and same period last year to just 127. It's not much, but I'll take good news where ever I can find it some days. Basically it means the homes that were sold on average were not "linger on the market homes". The highest days on the market was 485, but the lowest was just 9. How do you sell your home in just 9 days... price it to sell. There is a lot of "testing the waters" listings out there and today when looking for comps I ran across one that has been on the market for 3000 days. I really hope they take that one off the market, if it sells it will totally ruin the average for the month it closes. But frankly they are holding on to that 2006 price they listed it at in 2006 and that's just NOT going to happen.
Now on to the not so good news for July 2014.
Down from last year and down slightly from last month's ($207,000) average sales price July's slipped to $205,707. I predicted we'd be on a roller coaster for a while with our prices and it seems that prediction was correct. The occasional foreclosure happens or a home that has been neglected and needs a lot of work. The highest selling price for the month was $376,000 with the lowest being $107,000. The lowest was a 900 sq foot condo built in 1974 and the $376,000 was an 1800 sq. ft recently updated with new double boathouse. The difference in price per sq foot went from $118/psf at the low end to $209/psf on the high end. $141.00 was the average price per square foot. With lake properties a lot goes into that price including things not at all connected to the size of the house. Boathouses, garages, seawalls, docks, amount of shoreline, view, water dept off dock and numerous other "lake" things that are part of the value. Sometimes it's hard to find that value in black and white on the pages of the data alone without knowing the properties that have sold. Of the homes that sold last month I had been in 75% of of them and have a good idea what was extra value.
Again by the numbers we're down with sales. 15 homes sold on Lake Sinclair in July. With the current amount of listings (365 on water homes) it would take 24 months to sell them. A good market contains about 6 months of inventory, so we're still clearly in a buyers market with so much inventory still on the market. Same period last year had 23. But it's just a slight drop from last month's high of 18.
January to July of last year we had 98 total Lake Sinclair sales. Same period this year is only 87. That's about a 12.5% drop in sale over the first 7 months of the year. Not the direction we'd like to be moving, but at the same time not a drastic drop like we saw back in 2008 to 2012. 2012 was what I consider the absolute bottom of the market. Prices and numbers were at their lowest and days on the market were at their highest and real estate agents were finding other jobs.
We are constantly having potential sellers come into the office to inquire about "where the market is going". I can't tell anyone "where the market is going". I can tell you where it is, the most recent trending direction (currently slightly down), but my crystal ball is actually missing from my desk. I do have a crystal egg, but it's not very good at telling the future of Lake Sinclair prices or sales rates or even the days on the market. It's pretty though, right?
And of course there is the other paper weight on my desk too. It's a shamrock. Because a little extra luck never hurt. I occasionally rub it on contracts when they need a bit of extra luck to get the closing table. Does it help? I don't know, but it can't hurt can it?
So many things factor into the real estate market. Milledgeville recently had a new nursing facility that will bring an additional 150 jobs to our area. Perhaps a few of those people will buy homes and help things along. The new facility is slated to be open by late 2015. Every job created in the area will help. Before the facility is open perhaps it will also employee some people in the construction industry locally as well. And of course we can hope they will purchase building materials locally as well.
It's really a "what's happening right now" market at Lake Sinclair. And I can tell you that I am on the pulse of what is happening right now. Currently with 365 homes actively on the market at Lake Sinclair there are also 18 pending sales in our MLS. 10 have closed already in August, so this month may turn out better than July and that would be good news. Prices will however most likely remain pretty flat until some of the current inventory is reduced to a less than 12 month supply. We're going to just ride the roller coaster with some small adjustments in price and sales both up and down until there is less inventory.
I can tell a seller what an approximate likely sales price is for there home based on the most recent comps in like home sales. I can tell buyers what they most likely will have to pay for any given home on the market based on the past recent like home sales. As for the future, only time will tell where the market is going.
I'd be happy to email you monthly market reports if you are "watching" the market to determine if you are in the market to buy or sell. You can call me with your email address to get added to my monthly newsletter that includes our market reports. It also includes some neat other things as well. You can also email me with "please send me market reports" in the subject line to email@example.com
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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner
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