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While the real estate market takes a long needed pause to breath deep, the reality is that we have not yet seen significant reductions in the number of homes sold in Sequim and Port Angeles, at least not of recession significance. Sequim actually sold one more house in this time period in 2007 than it did in 2006, and Port Angeles sales dropped by only 12 homes. Pricing is more significant.
As this chart illustrates, in 2006 (for the six month period from March 1 through August 31), the median price of homes sold in Sequim was $285,000, and in Port Angeles it was $271,500, and in 2007 $280,00 and $255,500, respectively. The drop in average prices in Sequim is larger than the reduction in Port Angeles. The Sequim average sales price of a home in 2007 is down to $283,347 from $294,407 in 2006 (an $11,000 drop). During the same time period, Port Angeles homes sold dropped by only about $8,000.
I took the liberty of refining (weighting) the statistics to arrive at more meaningful numbers. For example, the majority of sales are within the price range of $200,000 to $400,000. There were a total of 185 sales in this range in Sequim in 2006 and 146 in Port Angeles. The total houses sold in the same time period (in that price range) in Sequim for 2007 is 186, and for Port Angeles 134. I excluded sales below $200,000 because that represents lower priced housing, some of which is not comparable to the typical 3 bedroom, 2 bath home that represents the majority of buyers’ preferences. I also excluded sales above $400,000 because that is a much smaller number of sales, especially those above $700,000 (only 12 in Sequim).
By excluding these lower and higher priced homes, 81% of the remainder of homes sold in Sequim are within $200,000 to $400,000. A similar result is obtained for Port Angeles sales.
Beyond the statistics, clearly buyers are still buying. Timing is everything in real estate, and even when the market takes a breath of fresh air before continuing its course, there are people at their 20, 25, or 30 year retirement calendar, and they are moving to Sequim or Port Angeles to purchase their retirement home. They are not concerned about the statistics, only purchasing their dream home. As Martha Stewart would say, “That is a good thing.”
From a sales perspective, one message a person could take home from all these numbers is that a seller would be well advised to be represented by a professional agent with strong negotiating skills, not to mention access to hundreds of potential buyers (the two MLS’s, out-of-state broker referrals, and other buyer sources not available to unlicensed individuals or FSBO’s). This is not intended as a sales pitch, but it does seem very logical in light of the importance of getting the highest possible price for a home in a time when prices are dropping, and getting the best price would be a partial function of connecting with the largest number of prospective buyers. Something to think about.
Last Updated on September 20, 2019 by Chuck Marunde