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Market Statistics and Monthly Message - Clark County WA

December 2010

December 15, 2010

November Residential Highlights  In November, sales activity continued to fall behind totals from the same month of the year prior. However, November 2010 closed and pending sales levels were above levels in November 2008. Compared to November 2009, closed sales decreased by 36.7%. Pending sales and new listings also fell by 9.1% and 19.6%, respectively.

When comparing October 2010 with November 2010, closed sales fell from 320 to 297 (-7.2%). additionally, pending sales decreased from 390 to 370 (-5.1%), while new listings also dropped from 680 to 594 (-12.7%).

At the month’s rate of sales, the 3,479 active residential listings would last approximately 11.7 months.

Sale Prices Comparing November 2010 to November 2009, average sale price grew 3.5% and median sale price also rose 0.8%. Comparing October 2010 to November 2010, the average sale price increased from $215,500 to $228,900 (6.2%). The median sale price also increased from $192,000 to $200,000 (4.2%).

Year-to-Date  Comparing January-November 2010 with the same period in 2009, closed sales went down 3.3%. Pending sales fell 9.3% and new listings also decreased by 3.4%.

Clark County

New Listings

Pending Sales

Closed Sales

Average Sale Price

Median Sale Price

Total Market  Time**

2010

November

    594

    370

     297

  228,900

  200,000

    147

Year-to-Date

  9,200

 4,704

  4,462

  236,500

  209,000

    135

2009

November

    739

   407

     469

  221,100

  198,500

    151

Year-to-Date

 9,522

 5,189

  4,616

  237,300

  211,900

    157

DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT TAKING YOUR HOME OFF THE MARKET FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Every year, it’s the same old story. The real estate market drops during December because everybody makes an ages-old assumption that there’s nobody out there buying.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Serious buyers are still out there, searching amid the twinkling lights and mistletoe, for the perfect property. Knowing this, smart sellers keep their homes on the market during the holidays. They embrace the fact that the holiday season drops their competition nearly to zero.

During all the other months, there is fierce competition out there for sellers. December is the one time of year that smart sellers know for a fact that their listing will stand out.

Why? Because most sellers take their homes off the market in December. They mistakenly assume that it’s a waste of time. What they overlook is the fact that not everybody drops everything to hang tinsel and wrap presents.

December’s serious buyers are often people who have been overwhelmed for most of the year. The holiday season provides them with a respite (less business and more time off) so that they can focus all their energies on finding a new home before their lives go back into overdrive in January.

Additionally, many real estate agents do not take new listings during December. They too make the mistake of assuming that there is no business to be had and close up shop until January. But the serious, experienced agents are working hard in December—meaning your transaction may be easier than at other times of the year.

How will it be easier? In December, very few people are clamoring for the attention of agents, title companies, and appraisers. That means you and a smart buyer can negotiate and close a deal much more swiftly and efficiently.

Here’s another fact: The sellers that do stay on the market usually limit showings. This is mainly due to holiday parties, family gatherings, and making time for shopping. This is a huge advantage for smart sellers to offer extended viewing hours.

If a smart buyer is out looking but can’t get in to see any homes because of limited showings, then who will make their day? You will! Because you stood out from your competition by making your home available for showings while they didn’t.

If you’re on the market, don’t even think about taking your home off for the holidays. December is a fantastic time for smart sellers to sell to smart buyers.