Real Estate Market News: Mixed reviews

Well the news from the local Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky boards was mixed last week.  For the 5th straight month Cincinnati has seen increased sales month over month, meaning once again we sold more homes in June than we did in May.  But the Cincinnati market was down 20.5% this June compared with June 2007 and overall we are off by 17.8% for the year with 9,509 homes sold. 

Across the river in Kentucky the news was also mixed.  Northern Kentucky showed improvement in sale prices for the first six months with the average sale price growing 6.2 percent to $169,284 and the median price up 1.5 percent to $137,000.  But home sales were off 15.1% with 2,644 homes sold so far this year.

So what does this mean for you and me?  Real Estate is local, very local.  I do see difference in the market from Cincy over to NKY.  In my markets, the competition seems even fiercer in Northern Kentucky, where lots of new construction over the past decade has saturated the market with lots of similar homes.  In Florence, for example, I did a quick search for a client last week and there had been 17 sales over the past six months and there are currently 57 on the market!  Whoa, that’s a lot of inventory. 

So what do we need to do?  We have to find a way to make your house stand out in the crowd.  Price is the most important factor.  I know this is hard to hear but you need to be realistic.  Next, marketing, take good pictures and lots of them.  Almost all buyers shop online first and they find pictures most helpful.  Finally, spread the word, ask your agent to do an agent tour, have an open house, tell the neighbors. 

In Cincinnati I think the response to the housing crisis has been different.  In my market many homeowners have already gotten the memo and thus are dramatically reducing their expectations and their price.  I think the facts and figures from CABR reflect that, with the median price of homes falling 5.3% through the first half of the year.  Since January, local inventory levels have dropped from a 13.3-months supply of homes to 8.5-months- meaning homes are selling and sellers who can wait for better prices are taking their homes off the market and waiting it out. 

I know this may seem like daunting news to many sellers but don’t get discouraged.  Homes are selling, rates are low, and there are buyers out there ready to buy.  If you’d like more tips for selling or if you’d like to know what the market value of your home is, give me a call, I’d be happy to help.

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