Reading or watching the news, we are inundated with newly released reports on the state of the housing market. These reports often contain conflicting information, and rarely do they focus on one geographical market. Case in point: the monthly Case-Shiller Index that came out last week. The latest Case-Shiller Index reported that housing prices increased by 1% from April to May. However, even with this price increase, housing prices are down overall by 4.5% from May 2010. This information is obviously important, but if you don’t understand exactly what you are reading, you could end up with a false image of the current real estate market in your city.
There are a few things to keep in mind when reading or hearing about market reports. First, these reports are historical information. Usually when a market report comes out, the information is 60 days old, sometimes older. In the real estate market, things change quickly and the climate 60 days ago might be completely different than what is going on today. Second, these reports usually use data collected from a few major metropolitan markets and use this data to establish trends for the entire country. Unless you live in one of these markets, the numbers you are reading may have no similarity to what is actually happening in your neighborhood. Even within the studied markets, trends can vary widely based on what neighborhood you live in. Third, you have to know what type of properties each report looks at when gathering data. The Case-Shiller report uses data on single family homes. If you own a condo, this report doesn’t really give you any useful information. In addition, the Case-Shiller incorporates data from Tacoma to Pierce County. Not exactly a localized perspective considering the economic conditions outside of Seattle.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, having current market information is necessary when determining the value of a home. Information from 60 days ago just won’t do. So how do you find out the latest market conditions for your neighborhood? Call us!!! The Team Diva Real Estate gals can pull current market data and let you know what is going on RIGHT NOW. And we won’t give you the market update for the entire city – we narrow it down by neighborhood and type of residence. We want our Diva Dwellers to have the most accurate and up-to-date information when it comes to pricing their home or making an offer. Being market savvy gives our clients an edge, and in this quickly changing market, having an edge gets you the best deal.