The common theme during a state-of-the-market report by Coldwell Banker broker-owners on Tuesday is that there is no such thing as a common real estate market.
A limited inventory, controls on new development, and a strong job market has kept the Seattle real estate market booming — with home-price appreciation at about 12 percent in the Seattle area and even higher in outlying suburbs. Price appreciation is steady and slow in some Midwest and Southern markets, while prices reached a peak and have begun to retreat in the Hanover, N.H., region.
Coldwell Banker broker-owners from across the country shared real estate statistics and trends that are unique to their metropolitan areas, and painted a picture of a national housing market that is more of a patchwork quilt than a solitary banner.
Ned Redpath, of Coldwell Banker Redpath & Co., Realtors in Hanover, said, “Overall I anticipate an across-the-board decrease in real market value of 10 to 15 percent. This is very close to what happened in 1989 and 1990, when the upper value lost about 30 percent in value.” Redpath also said that “inventory is increasing as we speak” and prices had increased “at an unrealistic pace” before reaching this period of adjustment.
“For sure, it’s a solid buyer’s market. The inventory is allowing the buyer to be more selective. I think prices were getting out of hand and we needed this adjustment to settle us out and it’s very good.”
Median and average prices were all over the board for the 11 market areas that were discussed by the Coldwell Banker broker-owners. Presenters included: Bill Riss of Coldwell Banker Bain Associates in Seattle, Wash.; Doug Fowler of Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley in Napa, Calif.; Peter Parnegg of Coldwell Banker Legacy in Albuquerque, N.M.; Tom Burk of Coldwell Banker Wachholz and Co. in Kalispell, Mont.; Karen Bergin of Coldwell Banker Advantage in Overland Park, Kan.; Carolyn Helmlinger of Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, Realtors in Des Moines, Iowa; Phil Sveum of Coldwell Banker Sveum Realtors in Madison, Wis.; Harry Caparo of Coldwell Banker Preferred in Conshohocken, Pa.; David Barnes of Coldwell Banker Barnes in Brentwood, Tenn.; and Wallace Perry of Coldwell Banker United Realtors, Carolina’s Region, in Charlotte, N.C.
Fowler said that while sales and price appreciation has slowed in the Napa area, some homes are still getting multiple offers, and those homes that are at the lower end of the price spectrum — the median price is about $685,000 — are in demand, as well as homes in the $1 million range. “Seller’s need to exercise a little more patience than they would a year ago but they’re still selling,” he said.
Broker-owners from several markets said there is a trend in developers building new residential and converting old commercial buildings into residential units in downtown areas — these loft and condo spaces are popular with young professionals as well as baby boomers, they said.
Bergin of Coldwell Banker Advantage in Overland Park, Kan., said the median price of homes in her market area is about $168,000, and it is considered one of the top-10 affordable markets in the country. Inventory has crept up slightly in the area, and homes spend about 65-85 days on market, on average, she said. Price appreciation typically hovers in the 4 percent to 6 percent range, she also said. “(That) doesn’t seem to change much no matter what’s going on in the economy.”
Helmlinger, meanwhile, said business is booming for her company in Des Moines. “Our company this year is up approximately 18 percent over last year’s business. We’ve been on very strong growth for our particular company.” She said there are two new housing developments in her market area that feature “cradle to grave” housing — a mix of flats, town houses, single-family houses, active-adult units and a full-care medical center.
In Tennessee, Barnes said that the bustling night life, including musical venues, are attracting the “honky tonk” crowd and others to live in downtown areas. “Shopping is coming back into the downtown area, so typical living is coming into there as well. There are lots of people that like to go to downtown and enjoy the nightlife. A lot of those people are buying condominiums. Slightly rising interest rates really had no impact on the movement in our market,” he said.
Speculators and investors are present in several of the markets that were presented by the owner-brokers, and to a higher extent in some areas.
Tom Burk of Coldwell Banker Wachholz and Co. in Kalispell, Mont., said that there is definitely some land speculation in parts of Western Montana. “There’s no question about that,” while in other cases it is a shortage of waterfront and lakefront properties that is escalating prices.
“Overall I think we’re in a real seller’s market though buyers tend to be more prudent here now (than they were),” he said. The resort market tends to drive the rest of the real estate market in the region, he noted.