Georgetown Stats - Week of October 11 - 17

According to the MRIS (Multiple Regional Information Systems, Inc), the following real estate transactions have taken place in Georgetown real estate during the week October 11 - 17.

6 new listings: 3 Single Family-SF ($1,249,000 - $1,875,000) and 3 Condo/Co-op-C/C ($435,000 - $3,250,000)

2 properties came under contract: 2 SF ($910,000 - $5,495,000) and 0 C/C

1 property went to closing during this time frame: 1 SF ($1,150,000)


Beware of BIG furniture!

Houses Get Smaller but Furniture Remains Big...from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The declining size of U.S. homes hasn’t resulted in a decline in the appeal of plus-size furniture.

Online retailers such as Oversize Furniture, Living XL, and Brylane Home specialize in outfitting the homes of large-size customers, providing extra-wide seats and increased support. Other furniture makers are subtler, making furniture that is a little bigger without calling attention to it, retailers say.

This trend won’t last forever either, predicted Jerry Underwood, director of marketing for HOM Furniture. He said big traditional furniture appeals to baby boomers, but their echo boomer children like cleaner lines and smaller scale. "The big overstuffed [look] is going away rapidly," he said.

Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kim Palmer (10/20/2010)


Social Benefits of Homeownership

Over the years, research has consistently shown the importance of the housing sector to the economy as well as the long-term social and financial benefits of homeownership to individual homeowners. NAR (National Association of Realtors) Research recently released a report on The Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.

Homeownership and stable housing go hand-in-hand. Homeowners move far less frequently than renters, and hence are embedded into the same neighborhood and community for a longer period. According to the the Current Population Survey's report, Geographical Mobility 2008-2009, while 5.2 percent of owner-occupied residents moved from 2008 to 2009, nearly 30 percent of renters changed residential location.

The key reason for the higher “mover rate” among renters is the fact that renters are younger – that is, changing and searching for ideal jobs, not yet married, and hence, literally, less committed. The mover rate or percentage of people changing residence, among 20-to-24 year-olds was 27 percent, and for 25-to-29 year-olds it was 26 percent. The mover rate then declines rapidly from 14 percent for those in their early 30s to less than 5 percent for those 65 years or older.

As to why people move, the predominant reason given by Current Population Survey respondents in 2009 was housing-related. Almost one-third said they moved to a better home, a better neighborhood, or into cheaper housing. The second most popular reason cited was family-related at 26.3 percent. Work-related reasons (new job, lost job, easier commute, retired, etc.) were reported by only 17.9 percent of respondents. Very few indicated change of climate and health reasons for moving.

Read more...Social Benefits


78% of Americans Believe Home Prices Have Bottomed

Beacon Economics analyzed home affordability and came away feeling optimistic.

Beacon Economics founding principal Christopher Thornberg, whose firm advises a variety of business clients, says the high level of affordability is likely to drive demand and reduce the stock of excess inventory, ultimately resulting in the need for new housing, a rise in prices, and a pickup in new construction.

"While prices may fluctuate modestly over the next several months, we believe the worst of the housing crisis is behind us," says Beacon Economics Research Manager Jordan G. Levine. "We expect prices to stabilize around current levels and likely be higher in the next 12 months."    Source: Beacon Economics (10/11/2010)

Worst is over?


Fannie Mae has conducted a poll of both homeowners and renters to gauge consumers’ attitudes toward housing in the U.S. The results indicate that Americans have become more cautious about buying a home, though most believe the market has bottomed out.

Rents are expected to increase more than home prices, and Fannie says mortgage borrowers and underwater borrowers are less discouraged about homeownership, while delinquent borrowers and renters are more pessimistic.
Of the respondents to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, 47 percent believe home prices will hold steady over the next year, while 31 percent expect them to rebound.

Seventy percent of Americans think now is a good time to buy a house, compared with 64 percent in a similar survey conducted in January 2010.   Bottomed out?

Georgetown Stats - Week of October 4 - 10

According to the MRIS (Multiple Regional Information Systems, Inc), the following real estate transactions have taken place in Georgetown real estate during the week October 4 - 10.

8 new listings: 5 Single Family-SF ($817,000 - $4,750,000) and 3 Condo/Co-op-C/C ($469,000 - $1,695,000)

5 properties came under contract: 4 SF ($999,000 - $2,495,000) and 1 C/C ($545,000)

3 properties went to closing during this time frame: 1 SF ($1,399,000) and 2 C/C ($575,000 - $2,300,000)


Why do we have overpriced listings?

I guess this begs another question immediately, i.e. "How does one know a property is overpriced?"  Of course the only certain way to know is put it on the market and see if someone will pay the listing price.  That almost never happens.  The buyer generally pays more than or less than the asking price.  The job of the Realtor is to help the owner determine a price based on location, amenties and condition...and using the sale of other properties as a guide.  Even with a lot of research it is difficult to get the price exactly right.  What we do know, however, is that when a house sits on the market for months, there is no buyer who is willing to pay the list price, and the process is generally painful for both the agent and the owner.

I've linked an article here which I find interesting and maybe a bit harsh, but in most ways, on the money.  (I disagree with one of her conclusions that agents don't care whether the property sells or not... that's not my experience during my 27 years of this.)  But it is interesting and informative reading.  More at:
Overpriced Listings

Georgetown Stats - Week of September 27 - October 3

According to the MRIS (Multiple Regional Information Systems, Inc), the following real estate transactions have taken place in Georgetown real estate during the week September 27 - October 3.

6 new listings: 3 Single Family-SF ($949,000 - $5,990,000) and 3 Condo/Co-op-C/C ($849,000 - $4,750,000)
2 properties came under contract: 1 SF ($1,225,000) and 1 C/C ($699,000)
3 properties went to closing during this time frame: 2 SF ($800,000 - $1,525,000) and 1 C/C ($559,000)