Recent reports by many of the national and state realtor organizations reveal that property sales are on the rise. Being the curious broker I am, a look at Manatee County’s MLS data for the first two weeks of
November, versus the first two weeks of November last year, shows that our “season’s” start is looking good!

Although the number of sales from November 1-16 this year is 40% off last year’s same period, and although the average sale price this November is down 11% from last November, the great news is that in
the last two weeks, 174 residences across the County went into pending status. Unbelievably, not a single property went into pending status during this period last year (pending status is the point at which two
parties agree to an offer placing that property under contract.). In fact, MLS stats show that by the end of November, 2007, only two residential properties went under contract at an average listing price of $219,700, versus this year’s November average of $237,996 for the 174 properties under contract. Granted, we don’t know at what price these will close, but we can at least be relatively certain that they will close.

I’m confident that buyers may be getting back into the market sooner and in greater numbers than expected. I am also rather sure that although the average price of homes listed on the active market in the last two weeks is 7% higher than last year’s average list price of $362,000, sellers will still feel pressure to negotiate downward with their pricing, given that inventory is high: 404 new listings this November as opposed to 65 last year.

We’re out of the gate.

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