As a real estate agent, it is amazing how many times I get asked how the real estate market is doing. I suppose it is no different with any profession – the oilfield people get asked how the oilfield is, the restaurant people get asked how the restaurant business is. Do people ask a doctor, “Are more people sick than last year?” Or does a lawyer hear, “So I hear law suits are down this year.” I digress. The half way mark of 2015 has passed now, Swift Current’s statistics are out and I know several people follow this just to know these snippets of information.
Sales for the first 6 months of the year have been just fine. Yes they are down about 24% from last year’s highs, but in perspective IF we double for the next 6 months, we will be on par or better than 11 of the past 15 years. So considering the difficulties some markets are in, that isn’t too shabby.
When you combine that with the rest of the numbers, it gets even better. While new listings are finally catching up to previous year’s figures, they are selling quicker, higher and closer to asking price than this time last year. Current inventory is still down almost 20% as we try to catch up to demand. And for those of you who paid attention in economics class (yawn) when supply is down and demand is strong, then prices continue to be strong. And that is what is happening in our market right now.
Our median sales price this year has increased over 12% from $232,000 this time last year to $260,000. Now that doesn’t mean everyone’s price has gone up that amount. With fewer homes under $100,000 and some selling over $500,000 the median price does get drawn up, but that is not the only factor affecting that number. Remember that real estate values are a range, not a specific number. So if a home’s value is between $250,000 and $255,000, a strong demand market means that the home would sell closer to the 255 mark. In a slower market it might sell closer to 250. Hence the increase in median price. Homes are selling at an average of 95.6% of the asking price and are doing it 12.5% quicker, with the average days on market this year dropping to 56 days from last year’s average of 64.
Not every house is selling, not every buyer is finding what they are looking for. And with the reduced supply, there are people who perhaps want to find something different but don’t want to put their property on the market because they can’t find a suitable replacement home. So inventory becomes key, we still need more homes on the market and, yes, our market is alive and well in Swift Current, thank you very much.
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