by Tim Johnson
After 6 years of declining sales, 2012 reversed that trend in a big way. Rather than just inching above last year, approximately 712 more Peoria area homes were sold in 2012 than in 2011, a 16.9% increase.
The average sales price and median price were noticeably higher than the previous 9 years. Although home prices stabilized in 2012 and some areas saw increases, the sharp rise in the median and average sales price seems to be more related to the strong increase in sales in some of the higher price points as well as somewhat of a decrease in the lowest price point. The number of homes that sold for $20,000 or less actually went down in 2012 by 13% compared to 2011. The price ranges with the biggest increase in number of sales were $300,000-400,000 (up 45%) and $400,000-500,000 (up 82%)! New construction sales were up by 28.7% in 2012.
Foreclosure listings and sales have been on the rise. More foreclosures were listed and sold in 2012 than in previous years. Some of these foreclosures had been in the pipeline for quite awhile and were put on hold after the "robo-signing" scandal that came to light in the fall of 2010. January 2013 foreclosure listings will exceed 100, which is well above any month in 2012.
The unemployment rate for the Peoria Metro area continues to decrease. It averaged 8.8% in 2011 and estimates show it averaged just under 8% in 2012. Many people with predictions for 2013 have expressed cautious optimism. Home sales are expected to improve, but slowly and steadily.
BUYERS: Interest rates continue to be very low making this an opportune time to buy. Stricter lending standards have made it difficult for some people to get loans who would have easily qualified in the past. However, the Homeward Group can recommend some great lenders from local banks that will do their best to work with you and make getting a loan a smooth process. If you don't plan to sell for awhile and haven't refinanced recently, now would be a great time to do that.
SELLERS: While, the market has improved and is more balanced, sellers still have a good amount of competition and need to price realistically for their market. Besides pricing your home competitively, it is also very important to prepare your home for sale before you put it on the market. If you are planning to sell, do your best to make sure your house is the best looking one in your price range by doing deep cleaning, fixing needed repairs (even minor ones), and freshening up the paint or carpet where necessary. There are even staging professionals who can let you know exactly what you need to do to make your house attractive to the modern buyer at minimal cost to you. We would be happy to recommend a staging professional with experience and proven results.
Find us at HomewardGroup.com or Feel free to contact Tim Johnson Realtor at Move@TImJohnsonRealtor.com