This week I received an email from local Realtor Todd Manack regarding statewide real estate sales trends, and it had some encouraging figures, but a mixed bag at best.
The statewide statistics provided each month by Georgia REALTORS® show that through the first six months of 2012 pending sales are up 16.8 percent, closed sales have increased 10.8 percent, and days on the market are down 6.9 percent.
While these numbers seem to provide some light at the end of the tunnel for the housing market, median and average sales prices are still declining. Even though the statewide market sales numbers show three straight month-over-month increases, the year to date median is still 6.5 percent below the same six month period of 2011, as is the average sales price which 3.5 percent below the same six month period of 2011.
Translation — Prices are down, and activity is up. The question becomes, is this statewide trend true for Bulloch County?
My real estate numbers guru Shannon Grindler, real estate agent and managing broker of Coldwell Banker Tanner Realty, provided the following.
The average price of single family residence sold in Bulloch County for the first six months of this year was $130,805 — down 4.09 percent from the same period in 2011.
The median price of a single family residence sold in Bulloch County for the first six months of this year was $126,875 — down 5.50 percent. So it would appear that our numbers are trending commensurate with the state as a whole.
Even though the number of overall single family home sales in Bulloch County is up for that period (227 vs. 247), Manack feels the "jury" is still out on the real estate recovery.
"Sales seem to be up, in that we will have a pretty good month, and then there will be a retreat," he said. "It feels as if the market just can't get any traction that is meaningful. However, the last two weeks have been very busy for us."
Manack said his rental property division is doing very well, as demand for residential rentals continues to be strong.
"It seems as if families are choosing to rent for various reasons," he said. "They either don't have confidence in their job status, or their employer, and the down payment can be an issue for many. Someone like myself who is an independent contractor can be required to put down as much as a 30 percent to qualify for a mortgage."
Like many in his field, Manack feels that there may be other "shoes" poised to drop on the real estate market recovery.
"You may see mortgage companies getting aggressive again with foreclosures, now that the initial glut is behind them," he said. "Also, banks which have acquired the loan portfolios of failed banks might be nearing the end of their loss/share agreements with the FDIC which means more real estate may hit the market as well. We will just have to continue to work through this very tough cycle."
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org