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Home sales drop in the month of August
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Ahhh, fall is in the air. The pumpkins are on sale at Wal-Mart, football is in full swing, the days are getting shorter, and so is your opportunity to take advantage of the Federal and State tax incentives to buy a home.


Make no mistake, buyers are using this tool to purchase homes. Last month, the 400 North Board of Realtors reported 28 sales in the month of July for Dawson County.


In August we dropped to 21 sales going on the books.


Let’s break those numbers down and see what is really happening. Out of the 21 transactions, there were 10 bank or lender owned homes sold, four were new homes, and seven were traditional resale homes sold.


Last month we discussed the price points of the homes that sold and determined that a good portion of the sales were under $250,000. This is a key point, so this month let’s discuss the trends for the next 12 months of Real Estate for our area.


First, look for the amount of foreclosed homes to rise substantially over the next year. This year, the Federal government has been reporting an average of 900,000 homes nation wide in some stage of foreclosure at any given time. For 2010, Washington is forecasting an estimated 1.2 to 1.3 million homes will be in the pipeline. Georgia is now ranked ninth in the nation for the amount of foreclosures and about 15 percent of all homes with a mortgage are in default of their loan terms.


Next we’ll look at new home trends. Look for builders/developers of projects to redirect their pricing towards more affordable housing over the next 12 months.


In addition, as the lenders foreclose and renegotiate unfinished developments, look for the price of homes to follow the same trend.


As an example, if a subdivision that was previously selling homes in the $350,000 to $400,000 price point and has slowed due to lack of buyers, look for those developments to restructure their prices to a more affordable $250,000 to $325,000 price point for the same home. What does this do to the homes already sold in the development? Ask the appraisers, they won’t give you the answer you’d like to hear.


Lastly, let’s look at traditional resale homes. Look for pricing to continue to be flat. In fact, a good majority of the resale homes last month were at 2003 pricing. Short sales are going to increase as more home owners that have bought homes in the last 4-5 years find themselves in a negative equity position if they bought with 100 percent financing and are trying to sell.


Let’s hope that Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson can spearhead a bill through the administration to increase the tax incentive to $15,000 and open this up to all home purchasers and not just new home purchasers.


So let’s get down to the August numbers:


There were a total of 21 home sales in August.


The average home sold for $227,787.


The average days the home was on the market was 208.


At the current rate of sales, there are 15 months of inventory available.


These figures were provided by First Multiple Listing Service and reflect all home sales that changed hands through the assistance of a Realtor.


Scott Whelchel

Public Relations Director, 400 North Board of REALTORS