The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the most prominent leading measures of the housing market, nationwide. The good news is that the index shows that the annual growth rate in 15 of 20 major metropolitan areas rose in May 2010, compared to April 2010. However, this is due in large part to the home-buyer tax credits that were being offered and the fact that this occurred during what is our normal home-buying “season”. What is going to happen now that these temporary stimuli are gone? Where is the market headed? David Blitzer, chair of S&P’s Index Committee, says “While May’s report on its own looks somewhat positive, a broader look at home price levels over the past year do not indicated that the housing market is in any form of sustained recovery. It still looks possible that the housing market might bounce along the bottom for the foreseeable future, before showing any real improvement that will filter through to the rest of the economy” Robert Schiller, co-developer of the Schiller-Case home price index and professor of economics at Yale, said yesterday “For me a double-dip is another recession before we’ve healed from this recession…the probability of that kind of double-dip is more than 50%…I actually expect it.” A recent article in the Wall Street Journal proposed that home prices are back to 2003 levels nationwide. I took a look at several homes that have recently sold here on the Main Line and found this to be true. Moreover, in the 1 million-and-up echelon, we have a 9 year supply of homes. That means two things. First, if no other new million-dollar listings come on the market, it will take 9 years to sell all the ones that are currently available. Second, many of those million-dollar homes, quite simply, are not. Main Line sellers have a bitter pill to swallow in that our area, despite being highly desirable and prestigious, is not immune to nationwide trends. Wanna sell your home? Don’t “test the market” because clearly it has already been tested, by many, who still haven’t sold or their listings have expired. Don’t adopt the attitude of “my house is different”; that usually means it will be HARDER to sell, not easier. Get real about your house and your goals. Choose a professional Realtor who will show you the reality of the market and help you choose an aggressive listing price. If you don’t have the stomach for an aggressive listing price, don’t sell. If it hasn’t sold in 60 days (many of my colleagues will argue 45, or even 30, days!!) your price is too high. Period. Lower it. You’re not “giving it away”, you’re doing what needs to be done in response to the market. Make sure your agent has a 95% (or better) list-to-sale ratio; these are the agents who are getting the job done in this market.
My list-to-sale ratio is 96% and I’m working very hard to get it to 97%! Search area homes and/or contact me via www.MainLineHomeTeam.com