Our View: Housing market down, with a little ‘up’ sideThree area real estate agents had an interesting presentation at Monday’s Rotary Club of New Richmond noon meeting.
Three area real estate agents had an interesting presentation at Monday’s Rotary Club of New Richmond noon meeting.
The trio provided a snapshot of what the real estate market looks like locally at the present time. The numbers are enlightening.
Since St. Croix County’s peak real estate year in 2005, when 1,088 residential sales were completed from January through September, the numbers of homes sold has steadily declined.
Last year the number of sales dropped to 863 through the first three-quarters of the year. This year just 742 homes had been sold through nine months.
Not only have fewer homes been selling, prices for those houses have dropped.
According to figures prepared by Realtor Mike Sager, approximately 167 residential units have been sold in the New Richmond School District so far in 2008. The average home price has been about $169,000.
That compares with 191 residential units sold in 2007 at an average price of $196,000.
Realtor Jay Fletch reported that the decline in the local real estate market is the result of “fat” being cut out of the industry.
He said the double-digit increases in sales and escalating home prices couldn’t be sustained forever. Now a serious correction is taking place.
Realtor Troy Boe said there’s plenty of blame to go around when evaluating what’s led to the current crisis.
He said homeowners who buy homes that they ultimately can’t afford are as much to blame as bankers, sub-prime mortgage brokers or real estate agents.
While none of the Realtors who were part of Monday’s presentation held out much hope for a speedy recovery, they claim things will begin to improve over the next few years.
The good news is that homes continue to be bought at a decent rate. Homes may stay on the market for longer periods of time -- mostly because buyers have become a bit more cautious about signing on the dotted line -- but there are still young families out there looking to get into a home and families looking for a bigger home.
The Realtors agree it might not be a great time to sell a house, but for those people in the market to buy, it’s the perfect time to find a good bargain.