Named the Forbes.com No. 1 pick for Best Places to Raise a Family in 2008, Hamilton County, Indiana continues to garner awards as one of the top places in the nation to live. Affordable housing, excellent schools, low crime, plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities, and easy access to the big city life of Indianapolis make Hamilton County real estate attractive to young families, retirees, and everyone in between.
Within Hamilton County, the towns of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield have all earned individual recognition on CNNMoney.com’s list of 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S. , which is impressive enough by itself. But there’s more. In the past two years, Fishers has also won the No.1 spot on the lists of Best Suburbs for Retirement and Top 10 Cities for Families, and placed on the lists of Best Affordable Suburbs in the U.S., Top 100 Places to Live in 2010, and Best Places to Move in the Country. Sperling’s BestPlaces.net recognized Carmel as one of the Best Cities to Relocate To, while Noblesville has been named a Best Town for Families and an All-America City Finalist.
But all this well-deserved recognition doesn’t mean real estate in Hamilton County has escaped the housing market havoc endured by the rest of the country. The July Local Market Update released by the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS shows improvement in some areas for Hamilton County real estate, and some struggle in others. Most notable was a 32% increase in Closed Sales for the month of July 2011 as compared to July 2010. Most other numbers were down from a year ago, including a 5.2% decrease in Median Sale Price (220,000 in July 2011) and a 1.9% decrease in List to Sale Price. Inventory was up 10.3% to a 9.2 month supply.
In the July 2011 to July 2010 comparison, Fishers real estate fared the best of the Hamilton County towns noted as one of CNNMoney.com’s Best Places to Live, making gains in Closed Sales and Median Sales Price, and holding steady in Average Days on Market (85). Carmel homes Closed Sales increased by 16% as compared to a year ago, while the Average Days on the Market decreased slightly from 86 in July 2010 to 82 in July 2011. Closed Sales for Westfield properties were up 19% from the same time period a year ago. Noblesville real estate lost ground in all categories, although minimally in most, including a 1.6% drop in Closed Sales and 4.02% decrease in Median Sales Price.
As with most real estate markets throughout the nation, there’s still much progress to be made before the Hamilton County real estate market fully recovers. But in the meantime, you can be sure Hamilton County will remain a great place to live, work, and play.
American Dream Realty an Oahu based real estate brokerage in Kailua in Hawaii just launched their new website with the best Hawaii property search I have ever used. It is very easy to use and the search results are served up really quick. It has a great interactive map search that is one of the most user friendly ones I have used. The detailed property pages actually Ajax in where the map is when you click on them. Then you can page from property to property very easily. Not like other map search I have used in the past. It always has a refine search tab so you do not get lost or can refine your search at any time. You are able to save multiple searches, save favorite properties and best of all it sends you new listings and price changes daily from your saved searches.
This website is so easy to use that it makes looking for properties a joy! The IDX solution and website is powered by Real Geeks. The company was created by real “real estate brokers” that actually sale real estate and run their businesses online. That is why it is so user friendly.
The Myrtle Beach housing market has been performing more strongly than the rest of the state and the country, according to several local experts and a number of recent reports. Despite a continually high proportion of short sales and foreclosures affecting the market, the general consensus seems to be that the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach real estate markets performed well in 2010 and can be expected to continue that strength into the next year. Throughout the entire United States, there were a total of just less than three million properties sold into foreclosure during 2010. Specifically in Grand Strand and the Myrtle Beach region, foreclosures and short sales have had a substantial impact on the market, edging up the quantity of sales and the median sales price. According to one local expert, the effect of foreclosures has been to depress average sales price to the level they were at nearly seven years ago. The consequences of a foreclosure in the Myrtle Beach region extend beyond the physical borders of the property being foreclosed upon. For instance, if a number of properties in a given area are sold in a foreclosure property, that foreclosure decreases the appraised property value of every other home for sale in the area. The Grand Strand region saw an increase of about one thousand foreclosures in 2010 relative to 2009, rising from around one thousand five hundred to approximately two thousand five hundred. It appears that the strong pace of foreclosures will continue into 2011, and that it will be a considerable period of time before the market is no longer driven largely by distressed properties.
There were considerably more Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand homes for sale purchased in 2010 while signs seem to indicate that the market’s sales figures will continue to improve for several months at least. According to the local Multiple Listing Service, 2010 saw twelve percent more homes sold than 2009, while condominiums sold increased by more than twenty percent. Interestingly, year-over-year single-family home sale figures for the month of December 2010 saw a decline relative to December 2009. Single family properties saw a four percent decrease, although condominium sales increased by eighteen percent over the same time. One possible reason why there was a year-over-year decline for single family properties is the federal housing tax credit, which was still positively affecting the number of home sales last year. The median sales price of a single-family property in 2010 was $172,625, while the average purchase price of a condominium was $119,990. These represented a decrease of approximately one percent and six percent, respectively. Local real estate developers have started to adapt to the new conditions of the real estate market, according to The Sun News. A January 15, 2011 article indicated that the Lennar Corporation was planning to build a series of town homes in Myrtle Beach, which will be priced below $200,000 in an attempt to cater to the lower median price of the area.
The San Carolos real estate market, a subsidiary of the larger Bay Area housing market, saw a substantial decline in median sales price and a larger number of properties in the market according to a number of real estate tracking services. According to statistics provided by the S&P/Case-Shiller index, the San Francisco area had the worst performance among all West Coast cities examined during the month of October 2010. The group recorded a decline of almost two percent during October, the largest decline among the communities of Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, and San Francisco. Although the S&P/Case-Shiller index normally lags behind the calendar by a couple months, many experts have speculated that these figures may indicate an upcoming “double-dip” in the housing market. Basically, because property values are on the decline once again, it appears that the nationwide real estate market may fall into another slump. In the broader economic picture, consumer spending rallied strongly even as consumer confidence saw negative news in a new report from the Conference Board. Like the housing market, it is possible that confidence has been adversely affected by less than stellar numbers from the labor market.
The decline of median sales prices among San Carlos and San Francisco homes for sale was accompanied by an increase in the inventory of properties. According to the home listing tracking service ZipRealty, the month of December 2010 saw a considerable increase in the number of homes for sale. Their figures indicated that inventory had increased by more than fifty percent between December 2009 and December 2010. Among the twenty-six markets surveyed by ZipRealty, the only market to post an inventory increase as large as San Francisco was another California city, San Diego. The composite figure for the entire index also saw a year-over-year increase, although it was forty percent smaller than the rise reported for San Francisco. It is unclear how heavily the local housing market was affected by the expiration of the federal housing tax credit, although some experts have suggested that the initiative essentially cannibalized future home sales in exchange for a temporary boost in properties sold.
The market in Wilmington, North Carolina remains relatively stable. The average list price as of December 1, 2010 was $362,224 with the median sales price of $175,000. This represents an increase in sales price from the previous year of 1.7%. There are currently 3,288 homes for sale with 688 of them being foreclosures.
We have found that foreclosures and some short sales are being priced very closely to the bank’s bottom line and have had several clients in the past few weeks miss opportunities to purchase one when they waited too long to make an offer. We’ve also had some clients lose deals lately because of their belief that placing a “low ball” bid is the best strategy. In the current market, people with cash are keeping an eye on foreclosures in the coastal areas such as Wilmington and Carolina Beach because they know there is value in water-oriented properties.
Although the winter season is considered “slow” in our area, there will still be deals available as sellers who have to sell place their homes on the market. If you are interested in all the local MLS listings you may want to try this Wilmington NC Homes website for daily updates or sign-up for automatic email alerts.
Rancho Santa Fe real estate, a primarily residential and upscale section of the San Diego County housing market, may be facing a ‚double-dip‚ if the current downturn in the local market continues. According to a November 11, 2010 article from the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego County, as well as other metro areas in the county that had been improving, may be experiencing a double dip in home prices, new reports showed Thursday. The turnaround from recent quarterly increases came in spite of homebuyer tax credits and low interest rates intended to boost the housing market out of its five-year slide. The National Association of Realtors ranked San Diego as the 51st best market out of 155 in terms of home-price appreciation in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year. But the group also reported a downturn from the second to the third quarter, a trend also picked up by Zillow.com, which estimates home values after excluding foreclosure sales. The Seattle-based company said San Diego as well as four other California markets, were the only ones nationally that posted price declines in the third quarter after five quarters of an increase. Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said the turnaround may reflect the fact that state had offered homebuyer credits on top of those at the federal level and thus pulled in more buyers who sped up their purchasing decisions. Now demand is down, even as inventories rise.
However, the sales rate of Rancho Santa Fe homes for sale may be adversely affected by two weaknesses in the local economy, identified by Mark Cafferty, the CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Mr. Cafferty stated that ‚ in terms of our economy and our work force, San Diego differs from the rest of the state and country in many ways. Some aspects of our economy exploit our strengths, while other aspects present challenges that must be addressed‚ First, too many jobs in San Diego were tied to the now-devastated housing market. The unemployment rate among those employees working in real estate and residential construction is almost 50% higher than the full unemployment rate. Second, too many of San Diego’s lower-wage earners lack the basic skills needed to take advantage of the available education and training opportunities, and they are struggling to maintain in a fragile labor market.
The Milpitas housing market, a subsidiary of the larger Santa Clara County and Bay Area real estate market saw a substantial decrease in the number of foreclosures over the latest tracking period. According to a November 8, 2010 article from the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers and the Mercury News, The number of Santa Clara County homes in the first stage of foreclosure dropped by 44.4 percent in the third quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2009, according to a real estate information service. Lenders sent default notices to 2,244 Santa Clara County homeowners in the third quarter, down from the previous year’s third quarter total of 4,035. While all counties in the Bay Area saw a drop in notices of default, Santa Clara County had the largest drop among the nine counties. Notices of default in neighboring San Mateo County were down 31.2 percent from the same time the previous year. Foreclosures in Santa Clara County also decreased from the same time last year. The number of trustees deeds recorded, which reflects the number of houses and condos foreclosed on, totaled 1,036 in Santa Clara County during the third quarter, down 16.2 percent from 1,237 in the third quarter of 2009. The counties of Marin, Solano, San Mateo and San Francisco saw foreclosures rise compared to same time a year ago, ranging from a significant increase of 25.5 percent in Marin, to 1.4 percent in San Mateo, and just 0.6 percent in San Francisco.‚
Milpitas homes for sale were sold for a higher median price during the month of September. According to an October 22, 2010 article from Bloomberg News, San Francisco Bay Area home sales fell in September to the month’s lowest level in three years as high unemployment diminished buyer confidence. Sales in the nine-county region plunged 20 percent from a year earlier to 6,334 houses and condominiums, the smallest number for any September since 2007, data provider MDA DataQuick said Thursday. Transactions decreased 5.4 percent from August. Prices gained the most in Santa Clara County, where the median climbed 11 percent to $500,000. The only counties with price declines were Napa, where the median dropped 6.4 percent to $337,000, and San Francisco, where it fell 4.6 percent to $620,000, DataQuick said.
The Placerville real estate market, part of the larger Sacramento area and Central Valley housing markets, has seen mostly negative but mixed signals in the most recent tracking periods. Specifically, the number of foreclosures has declined but both the volume of sales and median price trended back into negative territory. According to a November 1, 2010 article from the Central Valley Business Times, “Foreclosure rates in metropolitan Sacramento, which includes the unincorporated Arden-Arcade area as well as the city of Roseville, decreased in August over the same period last year, according to CoreLogic. The rate of foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 3.21 percent for August, a decrease of -0.23 percentage points compared to August 2009 when the rate was 3.44 percent. Foreclosure activity in was higher than the national foreclosure rate, which was 3.20 percent for August 2010, representing a 0.01 percentage point difference. Also in metro Sacramento, the mortgage delinquency rate increased. According to CoreLogic data for August 2010, 10.47 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 10.15 percent for the same period last year, representing an increase of 0.32 percentage points.”
Placerville homes for sale were purchased at lower prices and at a lower volume in the month of September, according to an October 22, 2010 report from the Sacramento Business Journal. The article from Ron Trujillo noted that “Sacramento-area home prices and sales declined in September, the latest evidence that the local housing market continues to struggle — and is losing ground when it comes to recovering prices in other regions. The four-county region’s home sales dropped 12.3 percent last month compared to September 2009, while the median home price plummeted 12.3 percent to $181,780, according to a California Association of Realtors report released Friday. The current price is an 8.6 percent increase from the so-called bottom — or “trough” — price of $167,340 in April, a much-smaller gain compared to numerous other regions in the state. All four counties endured lower prices, including a 13 percent drop in Yolo County….Placer — Almost a tale of two counties, as home prices barely budged in Auburn, Granite Bay and Roseville, but Rocklin had an 8.6 percent drop, the largest in the county. Overall, the county’s median home price was off 3.2 percent.”
The Fountain Valley housing market, found in the midst of the larger Orange County real estate market, saw a decrease in both the number of units sold and the median selling price. A September 14, 2010 article from the Orange County Business Journal noted that “The median price of an existing Orange County home in August rose to $440,000, a jump of more than $12,000 or about 3% from a year earlier, according to a report from San Diego-based MDA DataQuick, a unit of Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. The number of sales saw a 9% slide in August from a year earlier as the mix of nicer homes sold upped the median price. The evaporation of the federal tax credit prompted a two-month slump from a June high of 3,423 homes sold at a median price here of $445,000. Prices rose in July to $450,000 from June as some home sellers felt the hangover of higher prices, but corrected to $440,000 in August on relatively flat sales. Sales last month were 2,538, down from 2,790 a year earlier, but up slightly from the 2,527 sales seen in July. Overall, Southern California home prices and sales showed an even bigger disparity, with prices rising 4.7% to $288,000 in August from a year earlier, but with sales falling almost 14% in the same period. Southland sales totaled 18,541 in August, down from 21,502 a year earlier and 18,946 in July.”
This perceived uncertainty in the median price of a Fountain Valley home for sale was cleared up somewhat by a September 22, 2010 report also from the Orange County Business Journal. This piece, composed by Mark Mueller, stated that “The median price of an existing Orange County home slipped below the $500,000 mark in August, while sales here also saw a second straight month of declines, the California Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The median price for an existing stand-alone OC home sold in August was $499,580, a $14,600 or 2.8% decrease from July and about the same price homes here were selling at a year earlier. The area’s median sales price now is up 18% from the recent bottom of the market, seen in January 2009, according to the association’s figures. Prices here are still off more than 33% from the peak of the market, when the median sales price for an OC home topped $747,000 in April 2007. The number of sales here in August fell by 7.3% from a month earlier, the Realtor association said. Sales were down 11.2% from a year earlier.”
The La Mesa real estate market, found in the larger San Diego County housing market, faced a weakening but static situation in the month of August. According to a September 13, 2010 report from the San Diego Union Tribune, “After a particularly slow July, San Diego County home sales and prices were essentially flat in August even as interest rates hovered at historic lows, says a report by MDA DataQuick. The median home price for all properties — resale and new homes along with condos and townhomes — inched downward in August to $337,000, a 0.3 percent decrease from July’s median price of $338,000. On an annual basis, the median price rose by 3.7 percent. Also, the number of properties sold in August increased to 3,113, up about 1.4 percent from July but down 5.8 percent from August 2009. The housing market’s sideways performance will probably continue for the rest of the year, said Mark Goldman, a real estate professor at San Diego State University. He said inventory is up, sales are slowing down and days on the market — a key metric in assessing housing sector’s strength — are increasing. “We are expecting this softness to continue,” Goldman said. “The market is essentially reaching a new equilibrium….”
This general uncertainty for La Mesa homes for sale was mirrored by the property tax valuations for San Diego County, according to a September 21, 2010 piece from the North County Times. This article stated that “For the second year in a row, San Diego County property tax revenue will decline, officials in the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office said Tuesday. Total revenue in the 2010-2011 tax year, which began July 1, will be $4.5 billion, off by $48 million, or about 1 percent, from last year’s collections, the Tax Collector’s office said in a prepared statement. In 2009-2010, revenue was down $50 million. “We’re naturally expecting to see that decline three or four years in a row, and then we’ll climb out of it,” said Dan McAllister, the county Treasurer-Tax Collector. “All we can do is hope.” The news contrasts with sales tax collections, which rose this spring in all North County cities except Carlsbad and Poway. The San Diego County Assessor foretold the decline in property taxes when it announced in June that the assessed property tax value in the county fell 1.56 percent because of a drop in the California Consumer Price Index. Under Proposition 13, property taxes rise and fall with the index, though increases are capped at 2 percent.”