Average Sales Price Versus Reality

So I was reading the latest statistics prepared by our Association, which is an amazing service they provide, and I started to get a little excited!  The report is that Average and Median Sales Price are up!  I looked deeper into each Town and area, and noticed a few really bright spots in our market…according to the Median sales price.

One challenge with the data is the comparison is for the entire year of 2015, to just the first 4 months of the year.  Not exactly apples to apples.  However, a few locales are showing significant increases in Median Sales Price.

Does that mean prices are finally starting to go up?   Sadly, not really.  What it does mean is that consumer confidence is strong, so there are more homes selling in the upper price ranges than the previous time period.  That is still a very good sign.  If that continues, and inventory levels have a chance to straighten out, we could then see prices rising again.

The bottom line truth is the basic principle of supply and demand will always dictate our pricing structure.  There is no way around it, I’m afraid.  So if you see reports of our market prices rising…just remember it means more homes in the higher price ranges are selling, not necessarily that prices are going up.  When our area still has 17 months of inventory, it’s hard to imagine that environment producing rising prices.

One other item I considered was, are there fewer homes for sale in the lower price ranges, causing people to buy in the higher price range?  Take a look at a few of the examples below.

For example:

Duck reporting a 13% increase in Median Sales Price

2015               2016

13                       8                      Homes sold under $500,000

7                       11                      $501,000 – $900,000

4                        3                      Over $901,000

Currently 167 homes for sale, 7 sales a month = 24 month supply of homes for sale

Currently 71 homes for sale $500,000 and under

Corolla reporting only a 2% increase in Median Sales Price

2015               2016

33                   30                      Homes sold under $500,000

22                   15                       $501,000 – $900,000

10                   14                       Over $901,000

Currently 370 homes for sale, 17 sales a month = 22 month supply of homes for sale

Currently 147 homes for sale $500,000 and under

*Also important to note the difference in pricing of the over $901,000 – in 2016, there were 6 sales over $1,200,000 versus 2015, only 2.

In 2015 the lowest home sale was $218,000 and 6 under $300,000.  In 2016 the lowest sale was $102,000 and there were 8 under $300,000.  Hard to make a case for a 2% increase in price with that data.

Kill Devil Hills reporting a 14% increase in Median Sales Price

2015               2016

49                   38                       Homes sold under $300,000

8                     15                       $301,000 – $500,000

6                      3                        Over $501,000

Currently 180 homes for sale, 18 sales a month = 10 month supply of homes for sale

Currently 80 homes for sale $300,000 and under

So…As you can see from the numbers above, the higher end sales are seeing a nice surge.  I promise, as soon as prices start to rise, you’ll be the first to know!  Meanwhile, I’m still very excited that consumer confidence is increasing, and Jumbo loans are clearly not an issue.  Rates are still under 4%, which is amazing.  The bottom line is, as always, if you want to sell your home, we can do it!  If you’re thinking of investing, the time is right!