The latest numbers for home sales in the Shelby county and Birmingham area confirm that 2008 saw a significant downward slide in the market.Â A report by the Birmingham Association of Realtors shows home sales down by 29% for the year, compared to 2007.
Average prices slipped by 5%, and the average number of days homes stayed on the market stood at 100 for 2008, up from 96 in 2007.Â Home sales for December, 2008 totaled 798, which is down by 32% compared to December, 2007.
It’s interesting to compare these statistics with other markets.Â While home values in Birmingham lost 5%, prices dropped closer to 11% when averaged nationally, and 32% in California.Â So, as we have stated before, while our local market does wind up seeing most of the same trends that occur elsewhere in the country, the undulations in Birmingham and Shelby county home sales are typically nowhere near as extreme.Â And for that, we can be thankful.
While our local market numbers aren’t what homeowners or people in the industry want to see, there is reason to be optimistic that home sales will pick back up.Â As people knowledgeable about real estate market trends are well known for saying, it’s only a matter of time.
With our climate of 24-hour negative news these days, a number of homeowners who would like to think about selling are having to deal with fear.Â Â You may be uneasy, wondering how long it will take to sell your home.Â And then there’s the question of whether you might wind up with as much money in your pocket as you’ve been hoping.Â And if a foreclosure pops up in your neighborhood, what then?Â Would you wind up feeling even more uneasy about selling?Â So, what to do?
Look carefully at homes that are selling in the area, and those that are not selling.Â What’s the difference?Â Price is certainly a huge consideration, but so is appearance.Â A third factor—that is making more and more difference in whether a home sells these days—is how it’s marketed.Â Not all homes for sale get the same exposure.
The fact that homes continue to sell—even in the middle of the constant barrage of negative news—clearly demonstrates that the local market continues to beÂ healthier than many people realize.
Here’s another reason to feel that better times are ahead:Â Inventory—the number of homes for sale—fell by 19% during 2008.Â At the end of the year, there were 10,201 homes for sale, compared to 12,642 at the end of 2007.Â If that trend continues, then it’s safe to conclude that the ‘Buyer’s Market’ is beginning to shift more back into balance.
If you’ve been thinking of selling your home, but are perplexed or somewhat uneasy about the current market and your prospects to sell, there’s an easy solution:Â Â Give us a call.Â We will be glad to take a close look at the history and trends of home sales, targeted to your neighborhood.Â We’ll then be able to present you with a projection of how long your home might need to sell, and at what price a buyer would consider reasonable.Â This could be valuable information to help you with selling during this around-the-clock negative news era.
Colleen and David