In 2010, we had 22% short sales (28) and only 12% (16) foreclosures of the 130 sales recorded (according to the itech Multiple Listing Service). So 34% of all sales were distressed properties. The average sales price was $468,000. It’s good to see an improvement, but we certainly haven’t “bounced back” as many hoped that we would.
A big difference is that there were a lot more foreclosure sales in 2009 than in 2010. I credit the increase in short sales and resultant decrease in foreclosure sales to the change in lenders policies toward short sales. They became much more amenable to granting short sales. I closed more short sales this year (3) than the year before (0), all of them listings.
It looks like we are doing a bit better in 2010 with somewhat more sales and higher average sales prices as well as fewer distressed properties sold overall. Another way to say it is that 66% of sales in 2010 were “regular” sales as opposed to 47% in 2009. It’s interesting to note, however, that the highest sales price in 2009 was over $200,000 higher than the highest in 2010. In my opinion, the reason there were more distressed sales in 2009 than regular sales was more because “regular” sellers wanted to wait out the downturn and sell later when the market recovered. This year, some of those people either couldn’t or decided not to wait any longer to sell. Price is of key importance, as well as the perceived desirability of the property for sale. Buyers are not as reluctant to make offers much lower than the asking price today, which is helpful when they are sincere offers that can be negotiated up. One of my sales this year started off with a $165,000 difference in offer vs. list price, and we eventually ended up at $65,000 less than asking. With no predictions or indications of a quick return to prosperity in 2011, it will be interesting to see how sellers and buyers deal with that. I have noticed that the uptick in interest rates has encouraged an end-of-the-year flurry of business.