Monday, January 9, 2012

January 2012 Real Estate Update

The lake area home market continues it’s slow, steady progress. The number of homes sales are up slightly with 50 more units sold from January 1 to December 20, 2011 over the same time frame in 2010 according to data from the Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors Multiple Listing System. Average sales price remains unchanged, a positive sign that the downward spiral has come to an end.
Nationwide existing-home sales rose again in November and remain above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The latest monthly data shows total existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.0 percent in November over October, and are 12.2 percent above November 2010.
With more people taking advantage of the buyer’s market sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34 percent above the cyclical low point in mid-2010 – a genuine sustained sales recovery appears to be developing. We are seeing healthy gains in contract activity, so it looks like more people are realizing the great opportunity that exists in today’s market.
Houses haven’t been this affordable since appliances came in harvest gold or avocado green. The benchmark of affordability—the ratio of median home price to median family income—has fallen to 2.6, below the historical ratio of 2.9. Another measure, the percentage of monthly family income consumed by a mortgage payment (principal and interest, using a mortgage rate of 4.1 percent), is 12 percent nationally, the lowest since 1971.
I feel the lake area prices will continue to hold steady through 2012 with some increases in certain property types then I expect a small increase to begin in 2013 assuming things are left to work themselves out and there are no further shocks to the economy.
Buyers who invest now or in the first few months of 2012 will be able to take full advantage of the bottom of the market. With both property prices and interest rates at historical lows, buyers will reap the benefits of this affordability as well as buying on the cusp of an increase in values.
If you would like a detailed sales report on your specific property type or neighborhood, or would like information on the best buys at the lake, contact C. Michael Elliott & Associates at 866.Your.Lake or View thousands of lake area listings at You can also log your opinions on Michael’s real estate blog,

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