Jefferson County Market Insights
for the month of February 2016
The one constant mainstay we can all set our clocks by in the real estate industry is that things are always changing.
The market fluctuates continually. Trends change as the needs and desires of the real estate consumer shifts to meet their lifestyle choices. One change currently attempting to gain a foothold is a reversal of the housing trend we call the “open concept”. If recent blog posts and new home build blueprints are to be trusted it appears home buyers are reexamining their preferences in this area.
For the last decade or so, NOT building walls, but instead blending the living spaces in a home has been all the rage. It is possible and probable that is changing, with the first space to be specifically separated from the rest of the home being the kitchen.
What about you? Open concept: love it or hate it?
There is one blog post in particular gaining popularity written by a happy homemaker, perhaps you’ve seen it? It states unequivocally that she can live without the pressure of having to clean while she cooks. They put the walls and the doors back up around the kitchen.
Her contention is that cooking is a messy business and the preference is to leave the cleanup for later while enjoying the company of family or guests sans a sink full of dirty dishes in evidence. Suddenly doors between the public area and private area of a home are once more welcome, delineating one space from the next.
Frequent change is no stranger to this industry that caters to the ups and downs and hopes and dreams of the average American. Like the hardwood floors that gave way to carpets that we ripped up to uncover the old style hardwood floors hidden underneath, everything old recycles back into vogue; eventually.
What kind of insight does this give us into the real estate market moving forward? And how can we best utilize this information?
It tells us how best to counsel sellers on remodels before selling, buyers what to look for and how to be an investor’s best source of not just information, but inspiration in the coming year.
It tells us what renovations will bring a higher return on investment. It indicates what changes need to be made to floor plans for new homes being built. It gives us a glimpse into what direction the market will head and how we can move ahead of those trends to gain advantage in pricing and marketing homes for sale.
Speaking of homes for sale…of the 514 homes available, January sales figures were impressive with 355 new homes sold and closed in Jefferson County. Those homes spent an average of 37 days on market, just 5 days more than January 2015. Last year, the median sales price of $287,000 reflected a nice bounce back from previous lows. This January, a median price of $320,000 sang an even happier tune for home sellers.
Mortgage rates played a large part in decisions when interest rates were high because those rates greatly affected the buying power of every dollar the real estate consumer had to spend. With interest rates remaining at figures so low they barely impact the monthly payment amount in any significant way, agents must turn their thoughts to, “what will impact clients’ future financial decisions?” What today’s buyer is looking for in a home is the single most significant consideration.