With the election behind us and the stock market rallying to the excitement and anticipation of more economic stimulus and legislative gridlock, Belmontâ€™s housing market continues to show signs of what could be viewed as stagnation at its best, or a double dip at its worst.
This October, housing sales for Belmont revealed a slower market and softening prices compared to October 2009.
Thirteen home salesâ€”one shy of last yearâ€™s 14, would not normally give great cause for consternationâ€”especially since the sample size in Belmont is so small. However across the board indicators are eluding to a reluctance on the part of buyers to commit to purchasing a home.
In light of comments like that of John Paulsen who made a fortune betting on the sub-prime market collapse proclaiming â€œthis is the best time to buy a home in fifty years, exclaiming that, "If you don't own a home, buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a homeâ€ clearly job security is the number one reason buyers are waiting before taking on any new debt.
MEDIAN HOME PRICE
The October median home price in Belmont was $864,200 and appears to have dropped only slightly from October 2009 when it was $865,000. Once again though larger homes sold this October. The median size home sold was 2010 square feet as compared to last year when the median size home sold was only 1760 square feet. Put another way, this year you could buy a home 250 square feet larger (14%) for the essentially the same price as last year.
The average time it took to sell a home in Belmont this October also went up from 38 days last year to 46 this October.
Sellerâ€™s also enjoyed getting 99.6% of their asking price last year while this October dropped to 98%.
Six of the 13 sales this year had lowered their price on average $92,000 to attract a buyer while last year only three sellers reduced their asking price for on average $40,000.
This October while three homes sold for on average $29,000 more than their asking, last October six homes sold over asking for on average $23,000.
The last thing any seller wants is to get less than their asking price and this year more sellers were disappointed as nine homes sold for on average $34,000 less compared to last October when only seven homes sold for on average $30,000 less than their asking price.
In October of both years just one home sold at the sellerâ€™s asking price.
This fourth quarter slowdown in real estate is not all that unexpected. Itâ€™s a fairly mild hiccup at this point which may be attributed in part to election jitters but certainly itâ€™s exacerbated by our own government when they announce they are re-visiting the home mortgage deduction. Of course every year some committee wants to reexamine if they could do away with it to be replaced by a flat t tax, but to do so in a year when the government is spending billions of dollars trying to stimulate the economy, and particularly the housing sector, one wonders why they wouldnâ€™t just table any further debates on the home mortgage deduction until after they economy was on track.