What 2012 Indicates for Wilmington Area Home Buyers in 2013

If you’re still wondering when the real estate market will turn around, you haven’t been paying attention.

One of the most significant leading indicators – the number of homes sold – has been on a positive trajectory for the past twelve months.  In fact, nearly 23% more residential properties were sold in the Greater Wilmington area in 2012 than the year before.

As the number of sales has increased, the average number of days it takes to sell a property has fallen from 153 to 143.

Based on those strong numbers, our office had been informing our buyers that the market had reached bottom and prices would soon be rising.  Those price increases materialized with a 14% average gain* in November.  In December, the average price rose 9%.  We’re still a couple weeks out from having January’s numbers, but we’re expecting similar gains.

What does this mean if you or someone you know is buying a home in 2013?

It doesn’t mean you need to panic and rush into buying for fear prices are about to skyrocket.  While our crystal ball is no clearer than the next, there are factors that cause us to believe prices will continue to rise, but at a modest pace.

We have excellent resources that keep us in touch with what’s happening in the bank foreclosure arena.  Our understanding is that the infamous “shadow inventory” that has been referenced repeatedly over the past couple of years is about to make its way onto the market.  Several local agencies specializing in bank-owned properties have seen an increase in listing assignments from their bank clients.  We expect that new bank-owned inventory will moderate price increases in the near future.

On the other hand, those buyers who haven’t noticed the changes in the market place and believe they can be successful with “low ball” offers are likely to be disappointed.  Don’t get us wrong.  As an exclusive buyer’s agent, we build our reputation by helping buyers get the best deal possible (which often involves much more than the purchase price!)  Further, in ANY market, there are good deals to be had for those who are patient and understand that the “hidden gems” are most often “diamonds in the rough.”

However, properties in good to excellent condition in desirable neighborhoods are not likely to sell for bargain basement prices.  Even so, we can help you save money in several ways, including, but not limited to…

  1. using all of the market information available to ensure you are not paying more than necessary.
  2. negotiating terms that could save you thousands of dollars on your mortgage.  (Ask us about “buy downs.”)
  3. making certain you are connected with well-qualified inspectors who will give you the straight story on the property you’re considering.
  4. Negotiating as many repairs (or upgrades on new homes) as possible.

Bottom line: the optimal time to get an “unbelievable deal” has passed, but we’re far from the top of the market which means home buyers still have plenty of opportunities to land good deals in 2013.

If you or someone you know is considering purchasing residential property in the coming year, we’d appreciate an opportunity to demonstrate how an exclusive buyers’ agent can give you a competitive edge for no additional cost. You can reach us at [email protected] or 910-202-4813.

*numbers compare Nov. 2012 with Nov. 2011, and Dec. 2012 with Dec. 2011.

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