As I reported yesterday, July was a shaky month in the College Station and Bryan real estate market. There was some positive information, such as the average sales price remaining relatively steady. Further, days a home was on the market before selling was at a record low. However, the overall climate (unlike our current Texas weather) was cold and slow. An astonishing number of new homes were listed (450) but of those homes, only 98 went under contract. This trend is not simply affecting our local communities; it is one that can be seen on a larger scale across the United States. As rough as this may seem for our area, we are still seeing better numbers in College Station and Bryan than the rest of the nation is experiencing. For the country on the whole, existing-home sales plunged to their lowest level in 15 years in July as inventories soared. The main factors affecting the current housing market include absent government support and a shaky economy.
According to the National Association of Realtors, home resales dropped a record 27.2%—nearly twice as much as analysts had expected—to an annual rate of 3.83 million in July. Meanwhile, inventories rose to 12.5 months from 8.9 months in June, pressuring already depressed home prices. Inventories are at their highest level in more than a decade. As I mentioned yesterday, we are used to seeing a drop-off in sales towards the end of summer. And historically, July is the peak inventory month in any given year – whether it is a slow market or not. However, the combination of an early drop-off in sales and an unheard of peak in inventory flooding the market places pressure on those trying to sell.
NAR analysts suggest that unemployment, foreclosures, and the increase in inventory is preventing many potential homebuyers from making a purchase. Some are most likely worried about the huge financial obligation, while others are simply waiting for the prices to drop even further.
On the whole, July existing-home sales dropped 29.5% in the Northeast, 22.6% in the South, 25% in the West and 35% in the Midwest. The Texas economy, though affected like the rest of the nation, has remained stronger than most. Additionally, our unemployment numbers are lower and locally, Texas A&M employment offers some respite for these issues. This is a large part of why our housing market is less affected than the rest of the nation.
As I noted yesterday, the College Station market experienced much good news that was unparalleled in the rest of the country. This brings me back to my statement made: if a home is priced correctly and marketed well, it will sell at a great price within an average of 3-4 months. So if you interested in selling your home, but are worried about the current state of the market, remember that no market is impossible. Let me devise a plan to assist you!
Clay Lee – Realtor
Century 21 Beal, Inc.
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