Sales Declining, But Values Rising

By Lyndsey Garza

Wow! September is already here… summer is officially over. September is a month of transition and change for my family and I am sure many of you can agree. The early part of the month is a busy one for me.
Between trying to cram in a last minute weekend getaway with my family and handling sales calls from other families doing their last minute getaways to Pointe West here in Galveston and the Hollows on Lake Travis (the two resort communities in which I get to work!), I still need to find time for homework, schedules, making sure school uniforms are clean, and adjusting the kids to earlier bedtimes. School is officially be back in session, meaning Monday through Friday now are consumed with school, homework, sports, dance, and other extra-curricular activities. This transition from summer to fall also happens to be significant for my business and me.

Realtor.com just published a recent update on the status of the national real estate market that I felt was a very accurate depiction of what I am seeing and many of my fellow Galveston Realtors® are noticing Island wide. According the website, the past couple of months the number of home sales has been declining, contract cancellations have spiked unexpectedly, but the average sold price for a home is stabilizing, and even increasing slightly.

Many consumers simply see “declining” and “contract cancellations” and perceive these observations as negative. When I read that statement, I feel relieved and confident that while the real estate market looks to be making an upswing, the apparent stabilization of some local niche markets alone is enough good news for me!
Although the average numbers of transactions are declining, the sales prices are creeping up and helping values rise at a slow but steady pace. These trends tend to invoke a higher level of confidence in consumers considering a property purchase.

“Quality, not quantity” is a phrase that I feel describes our sales over the summer. Advice to sellers- if you can hang in there sit tight, work with a local Realtor® and keep an eye on values in your neighborhood. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. To all you buyers out there looking to purchase before the end of the year, work closely with your Galveston Realtor® begin your research.

Interest rates are predicted to go up by the end of the year and a good majority of the “pre-bubble” owners who were stretched too then have sold their properties if able or lost them in foreclosure. No buyer likes to pay more than the buyer that buys two months later, yet it’s always a good feeling to see an investment’s value begin to rise.

Enlist the help of a local Realtor® who specializes in your community to help you track sales even if you don’t plan on buying or selling right away.

The remainder of 2011 should be interesting to watch. Over the past three years almost every real estate contact I speak to asks if we have “hit rock bottom” or wonders if now is the time to become and seller or a buyer. This was always a tough one since I cannot predict the future. I have been wrong many times and thought that prices couldn’t go any lower. I love those questions lately.

Numbers, statistics, and their resulting trends don’t lie. These numbers also determine a property’s current value, not what you paid for it, or what other comparable properties are on the market for- these are still not sold and are not a valid depiction of what the TRUE value would be in a buyer’s mind.

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