Archives: March 2008

2008 New Albany Home Sale Statistics – Not the picture the media would have you believe!

As I was reading the “Business Page” of the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday, I was struck once again, with how totally local real estate actually is. The article I was reading indicated that the decline of sales in Columbus was not as bad as those reported by the Ohio Association of Realtors for the entire state of Ohio. I decided to take it one step further and look at New Albany specifically. The Ohio Association of Realtors reported that sales declined by 9.6% in Ohio and the Columbus Board of Realtors reported a 5.8% decline in home sales in February. New Albany unit sales in February were actually up slightly over 2007 and year to date are only 2 units off the 2007 pace. I’m not saying that we have seen the end of this challenging market but there is some good news and I think it’s important to share it!

Absorption Rate in New Albany

Yes, absorption is the correct term for Sponge Bob’s ability to soak up water and the same holds true in the real estate industry. In real estate, the absorption rate is the amount of time, generally expressed in months, that it will take a market to “absorb” the current inventory based on recent history. In other industries, this measurement may be called turnover rate or simply weeks or months of supply.

As I’m sure most of you know, Kate and I have a background in retail where you live and die by turnover rate. If the inventory is turning too fast, you’re going to run out of stock and have empty shelves; too slow and it’s time to pull out the red pen and take a mark down!

In real estate, you often hear references to it being a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market. The National Association of REALTORs suggests that a market is in balance when there is a 7-9 month absorption rate. When inventory is six months or less – it’s a seller’s market as there is more demand than inventory. Homes sell quickly and for close to or sometimes above list price. When the months of supply exceed 9 months, it’s considered a buyer’s market. Homes take longer to sell and the list price sales price ratio slides.

How do you figure the absorption rate? It’s a simple formula:

Inventory ÷ # Units Sold x Time = Absorption Rate

For example, if the market you are evaluating (subset) has 12 homes on the market and 6 homes sold in the past six months, the absorption rate would be 12 months.

The key is to understand the subset. In New Albany, there are many subsets, defined by price, neighborhood, age, location etc. Remember, real estate is local…very local. The absorption rate of a $1M brick home has little to do with understanding the market or absorption rate for a $400,000 vinyl sided home in a different neighborhood.

If you are interested in the absorption rate in your neighborhood, try out our free MLS Market Snapshot feature and have a look. Of course you can always drop me an email at tonyt@newalbanyrealty.com or call 614-939-1234 and I can run some quick numbers for you.

National Real Estate News Is About As Useful As A National Weather Forecast

National Real Estate Scenarios Don’t Apply to Columbus, Ohio!

I just read an article from the Wall Street Journal’s “Real Estate Journal Today” – an online service sponsored by www.WSJ.com. The head line reads “Kimmel Home Listed for $81.5 Million“. That headline will definitely catch your attention, but is it really relevant in Columbus Ohio? I don’t think so. This article is perhaps good fodder for “Entertainment Nightly” but is in no way reflective of the actual real estate industry in New Albany, Ohio. The article goes on to talk about a home where a $3 million price reduction did not generate a sale.

The media would have you believe that since the luxury real estate market in Palm Beach, New York City, and Los Angeles is experiencing a necessary and significant correction, that it follows suit that we should experience the same correction in Columbus. When the Columbus Board of Realtors recently polled some of it’s members with the question “How’s the Housing Market”, one of the most perceptive responses came from Louise Potter with Keller Williams when she said:

“Our market is a matter of perspective vs. media spin. Interest rates are incredibly low and falling, 5.5% today, the supply is showing signs of realigning with demand and there are great opportunities to invest and own homes…the long term picture in our market is one of stability and conservative growth.”

As we know, not all markets in the country are seeing positive signs of a recovery but in New Albany, Ohio we don’t have a huge correction to recover from. As a matter of fact, I was recently working on a market analysis for a potential seller and in doing my research, there was only a 4.5 month supply of homes in their home’s price range which is very good news for that seller.

I guess my point is, get the local real estate facts as it applies to your home and don’t rely on the media for your information. Tony and I are always available to consult with and can help you put your home into the proper real estate perspective.