How's the market, Nancy? Like all Realtors, I get that question everywhere I go.
Our region, primarily in Madison and St. Clair counties in Southwestern Illinois, didn't experience the extreme rise in home prices that affected so many places across the country.
That means the market drop in our part of the nation has not been as precipitous. Remember that all real estate is local. If you're listening to CNN's anchors talk about Florida or California, it has no bearing on Edwardsville, Glen Carbon or Maryville, Illinois. So don't let them scare you.
From January 1 through the end of March 2009, 1,107 resale homes have closed in our area, down 16 percent from the number sold during the same three month period in 2008.
About 29 percent of those sales have been priced at $49,999 and under and more than 53 percent of the homes sold in January, February and March were priced at less than $100,000.
New construction is a different story. Year to date through the end of March 2009, 94 new construction homes have sold, down 44 percent from 2008.
Three-bedroom homes were still king (or queen) in our region, outpacing the sale of both smaller and larger homes by more than two to one in the first quarter of 2009.
Forty-six percent of homebuyers here in Southwestern Illinois are closing with conventional loans. FHA loans account for 24.4 percent of home loans and cash sales accounted for 18 percent of home sales in January, February and March.
What does this research tell our customers who need to buy or sell in Madison and St. Clair counties?
Homes are selling. They may not sell as quickly as they did in boom years, but they are selling. More telling will be sales figures for the traditionally busier time of year from May through August. I will continue to update the figures on this blog.
Investors appear to have come back into the market, picking off homes priced at less than $50,000. Anecdotally, I have noticed that my investor clients who don't act quickly on the properties they identify are losing them to other buyers.
For sellers, correct pricing the day your home comes on the market is critical. Your property needs to be the best value in its price category or you need to drop the price into a range where it is the best value. Know your competition and take a hard look at what your home offers in a head-to-head comparison. Check the net sheet your Realtor has provided you and think about your bottom line. If you didn't get a net sheet calculating your expected proceeds from the sale, ask for one right now.
Buyers, the market is screaming at you. It's yelling, "What are you waiting for?" I've covered this in more detail in other posts, but the combo of low mortgage interest rates, choice of available homes, and lower prices should be all the incentive you need. And, if you're a first-time homebuyer, don't forget the $8000 federal tax credit. Call a Realtor, talk to her about your home ownership goals, get your loan pre-approval and then pick out your new place. It really is almost that easy if you have a good real estate consultant by your side.
Enjoy life in the (618) area code in Southwestern Illinois, St. Louis' Illinois suburbs. SEARCH FOR HOMES HERE.
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I help good people buy and sell good homes in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs, with special emphasis on the Metro East communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy and surrounding areas in Madison County, Illinois.
Are you a teacher, firefighter, law enforcement officer, medical professional or active duty or retired military? Then ask me about Homes for Heroes, offering substantial savings on home purchases. Learn more at Homes For Heroes.
For more information or to search for homes, visit my sites at NancyMilton.com, 618Life.com, or GoshenRealtyGroup.com or send an email to me at Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com. Text or call Nancy Milton Holtzscher, your Edwardsville Realtor, at 618-791-8007 any time.
REMAX Preferred Partners is located at One 157 Center, Edwardsville, IL 62025, 618-791-8007 (direct) 618-655-1188 (office). We're easy to find on IL-157 in Edwardsville between Pasta House Co. and Shenanigans. Each office is independently owned and operated.