How’s the Market?

By on 22 May, 2013 in Real Estate, Sandra Nickel with 3 Comments

Because I am involved in a national REALTOR professional group, my husband and I just spent a week in Washington D.C. attending meetings. The best part of any gathering like that is the chance to talk to my peers from all over the country and to take the temperature, so to speak, of the residential real estate market.

This trip reminded me once again that — like the weather — real estate is local … often hyper-local. Remember that when the national media are expounding on the health of “the market.” How’s the market? Well, that is the question. And the answer is, and always has been, “That depends!”

Yes, there are markets that are appreciating like crazy: Las Vegas, 28.5%; Phoenix, 23.3%; the Detroit suburbs, 18.0%, just to name a few. Were I to list the 10 U.S. markets with the highest year-over-year change in home prices, I’m betting you could remember seeing not just one or two but nearly all of them on similar lists a few years back but with the problem being not rocketing prices, but prices dropping like rocks!

A recent report from indicates asking prices in these ten markets are up 8.3% from the same time last year. And reprinted a report showing that selling prices are also up, 5.2% over the same time last year.

So where does Montgomery fit in all this? Montgomery is doing her “usual thing,” recovering more slowly from what has been a much gentler recession than experienced nationally (caveat:  Yes, I know that if it’s your job that was lost or your home value that really fell, there’s nothing gentle about it!). Our median sales price peaked in 2007 at $142,500; and the bottom came in 2011 with a median of $125,000.

The $17,500 drop between 2007 and 2011 works out to just under 14%. And my agent friends from larger markets would have killed for such a small decrease.  Most of their neighborhoods were dropping that much each year! That’s why I call our decline gentle.

And now for the recovery information: Year-to-date, home sales in Montgomery are up 3.79% in number of homes sold and 4.8% in value. Those numbers won’t grab any headlines, but they are a sure indication that the worst is behind us and better days are ahead.

As a matter of fact, in the almost 32 years I’ve been selling real estate here, 3-4% annual appreciation has been pretty much the norm. So, how’s the Montgomery real estate market — really? It’s back to normal. Let’s hear it for normal!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 29 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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There Are 3 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Alan Todd says:

    Hopefully with this news when it comes time to sell the house I bought this year I can make a profit then.

  2. cas127 says:

    Interesting that the 14% fall from *2007* is the same *14%* that Kiplinger is reporting as the most recent year-over-year fall.

    Perhaps Kiplinger screwed up and reported data from 2007 to 2013 instead of 2012 to 2013.

    Something to think about.

  3. Sandra Nickel says:

    Probably. And as a journalism major, I feel very strongly that a reporter using stats MUST check and double-check for accuracy.

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