Data released this morning by Standard & Poor’s show that the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index declined by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, after having fallen 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. The national reading hit a new recession low with the first quarter’s data and posted an annual decline of 5.1 percent versus the first quarter of 2010. Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels.
...From DSNews.com, your Daily Dose of Default Servicing News, May 31, 2011.
My response is, so what? What does this have to do with your home? What does this have to do with, say, the sale at 2030 Estes Rd in Eagle Rock (closed April 21, the highest sale in Eagle Rock since September, 2009, for $176,000 over asking)? In the first place, this is first-quarter news and we have moved on (and up) from there. In the second place, once again, we have to note that national home prices have little to do with local home prices.
So why should we care at all about this depressing news?
Because the common, everyday, not-in-distress, regular, homeowner who wants to move is influenced to wait.
For prices to “get better.” For the market to “improve.”
I posit that by waiting, homeowners are creating the very problem they seek to avoid. The fewer “regular” sales there are, the more weight is given to “distress” sales, which often sell for a significant discount off market price, which lowers the average sales price, which lowers the comparables that appraisers use to value a home sale, and so on in a self-fulfilling prophesy downward spiral.
We had 15 offers on 2030 Estes. That means that 14 buyers did not buy a home and went looking for others. Other “regular” sellers missed a bet by not coming on the market right after that. But it’s not too late! Some of those buyers are still out there looking...I know, I’ve seen them at other open houses. Plus there are buyers looking in different price ranges for other kinds of homes. Many buyers know that this is an amazing time to buy. They will pay fair prices for good homes. If you own a home and want to sell it, consider doing it now. Make your own good news and thumb your nose at DSNews and Case-Shiller!