Comparing Changes

An update on the current state of the local real estate market

By: Dr. Coral Dworaczyk

Every phone call seems to start with “How’s the market right now?” and for very good reason. We have seen some significant changes in the local industry, a new year and a new president of the United States in the past several months. But as people settle in from the election (happily or not), and as many get ready to receive their tax returns, many are contemplating buying or selling their homes or other properties.

The January 2017 market data was just released from the Corpus Christi Association of REALTORS, and the reports* may surprise you. These reports compare sales and market criteria from January 2017 to the same as previously reported in January 2016. The good news is that the median home sales price in Corpus Christi is up by 7.4 percent compared to last year (currently $197,000). Of these sales, 52.66 percent were $199,999 or less, 44.38 percent were $200,000 to 499,999 and the remainder were over $500,000.

Interestingly, although the median price is up from last January, the total number of homes sold in January 2017 is down by 9.6 percent (188 units sold in January 2017). The number of “active” listings (those not currently under contract to be sold) is also up by 17.2 percent. But the average days on market (calculated by counting the number of days from first listing a property for sale to the date of closing) is currently 74, which is six days less than January 2016.

Although some of this is worrisome, some is actually an improvement over the December reporting. When performing the same December comparison of 2017 to 2016, the total number of sales was down 13.7 percent and the average days on market was 83 (12 days longer than December 2016). As one would expect, the median sales price was similar in December at $184,900.

With all the activity and debate going on “Over the Bridge” in Portland, I have also had several calls from clients curious as to how the potential industrial influx is affecting the Portland market. Although we cannot definitively say that the Portland changes are due solely to the ongoing controversy with the potential Exxon Mobil interests, the reported changes are worth discussing. (Before reading on, please keep in mind that Portland boasts a smaller data pool than that of Corpus Christi; therefore, percentages can be more volatile.)

Like what was reported in the Corpus Christi review, the median sales price in January 2017 is $184,950, which is up 3.9 percent from January 2016. Of these sales, 78.57 percent were homes $199,999 and less and 21.43 percent were $200,000 to 499,999. There were no reported sales over $500,000.

Interestingly, the number of active listings is up 50.7 percent (110 active listings in January 2017), and the number of single-family homes sold is down 21.1 percent (15 total units closed in January 2017). On the bright side, the reported average days on market is 35, which is 45 days less than January 2016.

When analyzing the Portland December 2016 data, the median sales price in Portland was higher than January at $205,575 – with 41.67 percent being $199,999 and less and 58.33 percent being $200,000 to 499,999. But still, residents were showing an eagerness to sell with an increase of 67.7 percent in active listings; but buyers were less active with the number of single-family homes sold shown to be at a decrease of 31.6 percent (13 homes sold in December 2016).

At this point of the year, it is hard to determine if these changes will continue or ultimately exert any long-term forecast upon the local market in future months. When only comparing one month at a time, coupled with this being the historically slower and more irregular time of year for the real estate market, all of these results should be taken with a proverbial grain of salt. However, it will be very interesting to see how the first quarter ends for our regional market, especially as specific areas face and navigate a wide variety of challenges.

*Data reported was provided by the Texas REALTOR Data Relevance Project – a partnership among local REALTOR associations and their MLSs, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the Texas Association of REALTORS.

Please feel free to contact Coral Dworaczyk, Ph.D., realtor with Palm Bay Rentals and Sales,
at cdworaczyk@gmail.com or 979-229-2836 (cell).

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