April 2014 -- If you're selling your condo you'll be pleased to see local condo prices on the rise as the number of distressed property sales trend downward. If you're looking to buy a condo, you've probably already noticed this trend and have drawn the conclusion that waiting to buy a condo may no longer be working to your advantage. Details are provided below.
The average price of condos sold the first two months of 2014 is the lowest of the past decade. While two months don't make a trend it is worth noting. The lower average price reflects buyers preference for lower priced investments, at least for the first two months of this year.
The value per square foot on the other hand continues to trend upward, but with only slight upward momentum.
The Condo market's bottom has passed, but prices remain historically low and there are still bargains to be found. Interest rates contiunue to nudge upward and will be worth watching this year. The actual cost of condo ownership is tied to lending rate as much as purchase price unless purchasing all cash.
While January and February buyers demonstrated a preferance for the lower-end of the condo investment spectrum the demand was alive and well with respect to demand. The first two months of this year outpaced last year by 5% in number of sales. The chart to the right also illustrates performance of the previous 9 years during the same period. Note the strong upward trend since the 2007 condo market bottom.
Condo inventory has fallen steadily since July 2006 when it hit its high of 5,047 condos for sale. The lowest number of condos for sale this decade occurred in February 2004 when condo inventory fell to 1,175 units. Current inventory is now only slightly above that record low. Looking at the graph on the left you'll notice an upward trend in inventory this year. Recent increase in condo prices has enticed at least a few additional condo owners to consider selling their units.
Continued low interest rates and falling inventory have initiated a slow recovery of prices and will sustain it in the foreseeable future according to national experts. Low Interest rates are critical to continued condo market growth. National economic forecasts say they are expected to remain at record lows for at least the next year, although they climbed slightly this year from their all-time low.
Distressed sales no longer control the local condo market. The number of foreclosures have been falling since last year and continue to shrink in number, with the exception of an occassional upward 'blip'.
If you're buying a foreclosure or short sale expect your offer to be one of several being considered. Also expect the process to be rigorous with a long wait for the sale to be final and no guarantee of outcome. For that reason, we always suggest you do your homework (we're here to help of course) to make certain you have a deal worth the additional wait and the risk. All of them aren't!
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