Looking back on the last four months since my November report, not much has changed in Real Estate. The market as a whole is still struggling and activity seems to be sporadic.
We have just gone through a very difficult winter. Bad weather and cold temperatures have helped keep buyers at bay. The same problems continue to plague the market. The economy, political environment, job market, foreclosures and high inventories continue to put downward pressure on area homes. Consumer confidence was on an upswing, at least prior to the conflicts in the Middle East and higher fuel costs. Taxes on area homes are also a problem. Many buyers I talk to, who are from areas south of us, are surprised to learn how much we are paying here. Some are choosing to look elsewhere, like in Connecticut.
With the spring season now on our doorstep, I expect to see more homes coming on the market. I can’t stress enough the importance of proper pricing. Keep in mind there should be more buyers out there this time of year, but more listings as well – meaning more competition. The key is to make your home look like the best value when compared to other homes in your price range.
Houses are still selling but they must be priced well. Now is not the time to test the market. If a home is overpriced it is just going to sit on the market and become stale. Currently we are looking at historically low interest rates even though they have moved up slightly. So if you price your home aggressively, your chances of selling are much better.
If you are a buyer with good credit, I think now is the time to buy. There should be new inventory on the market in the coming months and sellers who have been on the market have seen very few offers, if any. There are some great deals out there if you know where to look!
Here are some statistics from Westchester Putnam MLS regarding the number of homes currently on the market in Pawling in a given price range, and the number sold in the last 6 months as of March 7th:
$200,000 to $300,000 21 Active on the market and 12 Sold
$300,000 to $400,000 24 Active on the market and 7 Sold
$400,000 to $500,000 12 Active on the market and 3 Sold
$500,000 to $600,000 10 Active on the market and 1 Sold
$600,000 to $1,000,000 15 Active on the market and 1 Sold
At this point the future is unclear. All other areas of the economy seem to be improving but the Real Estate market continues to lag behind. I still think that we are bouncing along the bottom. I am however a bit more optimistic than I was four months ago.
Todd Kessman is an agent with Prudential Serles in Pawling, and resides in Wingdale with his family.
This article is sponsored by a generous donation from M&S of Pawling. http://www.mandsofpawling.com/