I read just about every real estate related article that comes out, both locally and nationally, and if I was a consumer I’d be extremely confused. There’s still tons of doom and gloom out there, but now we’re getting conflicting reports, too. CNN Money just put out a local forecast ( http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/homepricedata/index.html?iid=EL ) that claims Seattle home prices will start to rise later this year. MSN posted video footage this week telling home buyers to act fast because there’s no better time than now. Who do you believe?
I believe in numbers. So, I wanted to give everyone in the neighborhood a glimpse into just how the February real estate market went in north Seattle this year. 96 homes closed in February, with an average sale price of $374,365 and an average square footage of 1,687. How does that differ from years prior? Well, number of sales barely differs at all – in 2010, there were 111 closings in February. In 2009, there were just 90.
BUT, was that difference caused by a 10% price drop in the market? I don’t think so. At least, not entirely – I think it was also a combination of the fact that the average square footage sold this year was smaller, and the amount of bank foreclosures that were sold at a discount this year compared to years prior. After all, the highest price home sold this past February was almost $1 million.
Ready for some good news? February 2011 was better than January 2011 – I expected this due to a huge uptick in new sales over the holidays that I personally saw. In January, just 89 homes closed, at an average price per square foot of $231 compared to February’s $240.
I’m going out on a personal limb here and saying that we’ve seen the bottom. That doesn’t mean that we’re climbing back up, but it certainly means things can’t get any worse.