Belmont â€œhit one out of the parkâ€ last month as 34 homes closed escrow. One has to go back to May of 2002 to see activity like that. Of course unlike baseball all the â€œteamsâ€ did relatively well as the last minute rush to capitalize on the $8,000 government tax credit lured at lot of new buyers to the closing tables.
But thereâ€™s sort of this snowball effect because many of the homes sold in Belmont didnâ€™t even qualify for the $8,000 tax credit. Only 12 of the 34 homes had sale prices below the $800,000 cap. Yet the attention the tax credit received in the media probably buoyed the confidence of fence sitting buyers.
(Click on the chart of a full sized window)
$848,800â€”Homeowners are you depressed? It was $967,500 just one month ago! Think backâ€”last year in May the median home in Belmont sold for $840,000 and for that you got an 1845 square foot home. This May you got a 1710 square foot home and in April it was 2418 but lest we not forget it cost you $967,500. The change in square foot may be a better indicator of valueâ€”hereâ€™s why: The change in square feet between May â€˜09 and May 2010 was 135 (7.3%) which is probably closer to where values dropped year over year. Forget about Aprilâ€™s $967,500 benchmark for the yearâ€”there were some big homes selling that month and it threw the numbers way off.
The Days on Market (or the time it took to sell a home) went from 45 last May, to 44 this April and only 26 this May. So homes sold faster. What does that mean? Sellers are getting more realistic about prices and more buyers entered the market. Thatâ€™s about all those tea leaves are telling you.
% Received of asking
Sellers in Belmont received 99% of their asking price (after price reductions). This is kind of a worthless statistic since homes invariably will sell close to asking once they are lowered to the right asking price. How about if we were to look at last May (98%) and last month (99%) seeâ€”statistically no change. Now letâ€™s look at what seller received before they lowered their priceâ€”what percent did they get of their original asking price? Turns out at 99.84% it tells us very little accept that not a lot of bargaining goes on in our market. What we do learn is that only 4 people had to lower their asking price to get a saleâ€”the reason for the small differential. But if we look at sellers who accepted less than their asking price we see a different story. Fifteen of the 34 sales received on average $26,000 less for their home while three homes received their asking price, the other 16 sellers received on average $21,000 over their asking price.
Now that the tax credit is over will the flurry of home sale activity be akin to radio silence? Stay tuned for our June update.