Every day I am asked the same questions over and over by anxious buyers and sellers, by friends and family and by my community so I decided today to answer some of those questions for you. This market is changing on a daily basis and the answer to many of these questions may be different next month, so keep that in mind as we talk about some of our recent market stats.
QUESTION #1: How is the Real Estate Market in Statesville NC?
MY ANSWER: That depends. If you are a buyer, my answer is this "It is the best market a buyer has EVER seen!" As a home buyer, all the pieces to the perfect puzzle are all in place right now.
Historically low interest rates have made homes affordable to millions of people that were not able to purchase homes in the past. In the last quarter, interest rates have been hovering right around 4.5% (see chart). Although may buyers are financing homes through FHA and having to pay additional Mortgage Insurance premiums, the low rates have given the “breathing” room to affordable payments.
The existing inventory is plentiful in Iredell County: As of the end of August 2010, there were a total of 1722 Active Single Family Homes for sale and 622 Single Family Homes for Sale in Statesville. Foreclosures and Short Sales have added considerably to our inventory with currently 165 distressed homes in Iredell County on the market and more being added every day. This has caused the sales prices to fall, offering more affordability to the buyer.
So my question is: Why are buyer’s still sitting on the fence? And the short answer to that is Fear of Job Security. I hear it over and over again that people are afraid of losing their jobs and are holding off purchasing a home until they feel more secure. It is a tough place to be in….High unemployment in the best buyer housing market ever. Do you take the risk? I say, yes. It is a great opportunity to purchase a home and get out of that rental and time to build equity for yourself and your future.
Now…to answer that question for Sellers. My response to them would be “What is your current situation?’’ Are you moving up to a larger home? Are you relocating? Are you downsizing? Is it that you can no longer afford your current home? There are many scenarios for sellers and many different answers to that question. Each individual circumstance will get a different answer.
For example: If you are considering a larger home. If you can afford to sell your home in the current market conditions and price you property to move in this market, you may take a small loss but you have to factor in the gains you will make on the buying side. In many cases, you may come out ahead because your savings will be larger on a more expensive home. For many, it may no be the right time to put their homes on the market. The worst thing a seller can do is list their home for sale “hoping” to get a higher price for their home. If you are not able to compete with the existing homes that are comparable to your home, keep it off the market and wait it out. A shop worn home does not do you or the market any good.
Right now in Statesville NC our YTD market stats are improving. We are seeing a lower number of units being sold but the average sales price is increasing. Since January there have been 1029 Single Family Sales in Iredell County and 373 in Statesville (averaging about 46.5 per month). The average list price in Statesville (not including the Lake Norman region) was $125,841 and average Sales price was $134,284. IF we add in the Lake Norman area the average list price as $270,761 and average sales price was $253,400 (all figures taken from Carolina MLS).
QUESTION #2: Should I wait a little longer to buy?
ANSWER: This is a tough question because no one had a crystal ball to see what will happen to the market 3, 6 or 9 months from now. What I do know is this. If you are considering FHA financing, the monthly mortgage insurance premiums will be increasing in October and reducing the amount of home you can qualify for due to increased debt ratios. USDA 100% financing has funding for now, but who knows when they will run short again and if their upfront fees will increase.
Will house prices increase? Will interest rates increase? Will the inventory decrease? I say if you want to buy a house and have the means to do it, then just do it. This market is prime for buying now and any other “incentives” and unknown.
QUESTION #3: Should I put in a “low ball” offer?
ANSWER: My advice would be to know the whole story about the property before making a low offer. If it has been on the market for an extended period of time, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. If the property is distressed, you may get a lower price or other concessions. Most of my recent research on homes in the Statesville area have shown through comparative market analysis that the majority of homes are priced to sell in this market. Sellers have reduced their homes (sometimes several times) to keep up with what buyers are offering and to compete with Iredell County foreclosures and short sales. Most of the distressed homes are priced to sell from day one and do not offer a ton of “wiggle room”. In most cases, you will find that the banks do not come down on their prices by much but may pay some buyer closing costs. Today’s prices do not warrant “Low Ball” offers and in most cases, you will just get an outright rejection with no counter offer. Do your homework, work with your realtor and offer a fair price and you will come out ahead.
I hope this helps answer some of the questions you have been wondering about. If you have any others, feel free to ask and I will be happy to give you a honest answer (it may not be the one you want to hear but it will be honest). In the end, there are opportunities in this market and there are some pitfalls. Do what is best for you.
Statesville NC Real Estate Guide –Sonya Leonard, Exit Home Team Realty Agent Sonya Leonard of Exit Home Team Realty is your local real estate expert in Statesville North Carolina. The Statesville Real Estate Guide provides free access to individualized home searches for all homes in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman, Lake Norman and the entire Lake Norman Area. Explore buyer and seller reports, community resources, new home communities, and be sure to sign up for you’re my exclusive FREE Weekly Distressed Sales List. Let Sonya help you INVEST in Real Estate and your Future! (704) 450-0588. Exit Home Team Realty