As we have headed into the 3rd Quarter, it is a good time to take a pulse on year-to-date real estate market activity in the Highlands-Cashiers area and discern what the numbers may indicate in terms of trends, market preferences, and guidance for future market direction.
I have studied and pulled data from the period beginning January 1, 2012 through June 24, 2012 and have focused on residential properties (homes, condominiums, and town homes) listed in the Highlands-Cashiers MLS (Macon, Jackson, and Rabun Counties) for the purposes of this analysis.
The data reveals there are 1,372 active listings, with an average list price of $756,416 and 439 average days on the market. The price range with the highest number of listings (and closings) is the $500,000 – $999,999 segment.
There have been 119 closings during the period, with the listing price average at $503,503 and a selling price average at $434,455. The listing price to selling price average percentage is 86%, with an average days on market at 368. While there was more activity in the $500K + range overall, it was heartening to see that all price points garnered activity. This indicates broad-based, market recovery health.
Compared to the very same time period last year, the data shows an uptick (albeit small) in market activity, with 119 closing in 2012, versus 107 closings in 2011.
Given the high levels of inventory and market competition, it is very important for Sellers to differentiate their properties with strong marketing to targeted segments of ideal Buyer prospects. Competitive pricing is one obvious avenue for accomplishing this, but by no means the only avenue. Understanding how your property lines up with Buyer preferences and then strategically highlighting same will help you garner desired market traction.
At White Oak Realty Group, we noticed atypically strong Buyer activity during Q1 of 2012. Winter months are usually quiet months for real estate, so we were pleasantly surprised by summer-like inquiries and showings. This trend continued into April, May, and early June, indicating to us that the summer and fall months will be quite strong for real estate sales.