Montgomery County - 2011 YTD Market Statistics

It has been the best of times, it has been the worst of times...

Depending upon who you were (a Buyer, or a Seller), 2011 was the year to remember, or the year to forget!

Since the majority of my business is in Eastern Montgomery County, I wanted to provide my clients with the relevant data as it relates to the market conditions for 2011.  Below is a summary of the year, and "Scott's Predictions" for 2012.

For Buyers

It is likely that you will look back and say... "I wish I had purchased our home in 2009"!

It appears that 2009 was when the market "Hit Bottom" in Montgomery County!  From February to November, the highest level of inventory was available and the Median prices of sold homes were at their lowest.  Spurred by the federal tax credit for First Time Home Buyers (and its extension through April of 2010), there was a 75% increase in settled homes during the month of November 2009 (when the original tax credit was scheduled to expire) and nearly a 50% increase in Pended homes in April 2010 (when the extension expired). However, 2011 has been kind to Buyers.  Interest rates have hovered around the 4% mark for most of this year. Median and average sales prices for Montgomery County have dipped again in 2011 however inventory has decreased by about 5%.

For Sellers

The height of the market was in August of 2007 when the median sold price was $309,000. During the past 2+ years, sold prices have decreased steadily, with the worst month being February of 2009 with a median sold price of $237,000 (a 23% decrease from the height). In 2010, there was a decent uptick in average and median prices, while in 2011, overall county-wide values have come down somewhat. While still higher than the worst month (February 2009), the Median Price in September 2011 was $255,000. Fortunately, inventory (the number of houses on the market seeking Buyers) is down about 5% compared to last year.

2012 - What can we expect?

It is difficult to predict the future, so please accept my apologies in advance if what I am suggesting does not come to fruition.  I simply am attempting to continue to educate my current clients & future clients on how best to navigate through the next year.

For Sellers, it will continue to be a tough market to sell, but things will sell.  Pricing appropriately, professionally preparing your house to sell and fixing material defects prior to marketing the house will be more critical than ever.  What I've seen time and time again is that Buyers do not want to purchase someone else's problems, they'll just go find another house.

For Buyers, while I expected interest rates to rise in 2011, that did not materialize due to the continued weakness of the economy.  At some point in time, these historically low interest rates WILL DISAPPEAR! While prices will likely remain within a tight price range (not up, not down), any increases in the interest rates will automatically reduce your buying power.  NOW is still the BEST TIME to buy your first house or trade-up to a new place!

Median prices will continue to see modest gains between 1% to 3% with larger gains realized on lower-priced homes.

The "move-up" market (houses priced between $300,000 and $500,000) will continue seieng forward momentum.

The "jumbo-loan" market (houses priced over $525,000) will continue to struggle to gain a foothold, but will likely also start seeing a small rebound in units sold.

As you contemplate your options for the coming year, I will continue to provide relevant information to help you make wise decisions as it relates to what is likely your largest single financial investment, YOUR HOME! With a recovering market out there in the not too distant future, I look forward to continuing to invest in my business with new marketing options for my Sellers and new tools to help my Buyers.  As always, please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions.