Here Comes MORE Rain
Looks like MORE rain is on the horizon; get ready for the next atmospheric river. It's officially the Spring market and surprisingly, it's both more robust and soggier than we'd anticipated. As of today, 12 properties in Piedmont have either closed or are pending sale, which is down from the same period last year when 19 properties had traded ownership as of mid-March.
Moreover, prices have definitely adjusted across the board. The median sales price in 2022 was $3,300,000; the average selling price was $3,033,415, and the average price per square foot (psf) was $1,067.41.
As of March 10, 2023, the median sales price in Piedmont has dropped to $2,555,000; the average sale price now sits at $2,738,833, and the psf is $1,028.80.
Granted, Piedmont is a tiny marketplace so these figures are just one small snapshot of the real estate market as a whole, but because it's small, it's easy to analyze, and worth looking at the BIGGER picture in our little corner of the world (the caveat being that a few BIG sales can skew the findings considerably).
As expected, inventory is down considerably (37%). Still, on the good news front, this scarcity has helped Sellers retain value in the face of rapidly rising interest rates (and yes, the Feds are doing their best to tamp down inflation, including housing starts). HOWEVER, Buyers are far more discerning than they were when markets seemed only to head north, (That's no longer the case.) and many more are betting that prices will soften further. (That's a distinct possibility.)
That being said, Open Houses have been fairly well attended and our 2023 listings thus far have exceeded expectations. However, Buyers remain reticent. With doom and gloom headlines that warn of "Cratering Real Estate Markets Nationwide," Sellers will need to reset their expectations accordingly and put out the welcome mat to those Buyers willing to step in.
Consequently, the ability to leverage interest has never been more important than it is right now. In other words, "value" is a moving target, which is why good Agents work the table. We know it takes more than one offer to bring in the best results. It takes two to set up a contest and three to create a race. Our goal is to get the transaction across the finish line.
So grab an umbrella, and don a raincoat and your waders; there's lots going on out there beyond the occasional downed tree, or wet basement, and it behooves all of us to understand the weather forecast ahead. (It's stormy!)
As interest rates are likely to go up once more in the coming months, we're probably going to be jumping our fair share of puddles.
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Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.