Trendy Thursdays – A Look at April

Trendy Thursdays – A Look at April

This is only a test… of our patience, our perseverance and creativity. In many communities right now, flowerbeds and lawns do not exactly look their best. The weather is like the economy; it affects all people equally, for all of us value what we have and want to preserve it.

Since the show must go on… a look back at March reveals some fluctuations in our local Real Estate market. As in previous similar articles, the data that follows pertains specifically to residential properties in Lamoille County and to all Real Estate establishments with listings in this county that also appear in the Multiple Listings Service system (MLS). It does not include any activity not listed within the MLS. To keep this simple, I have rounded some numbers and percentages.

62 new listings were added to the market in Lamoille County between April 1 and April 30. Though this is down from the 100 new listings at the same time last year, it is considerably more than in March. 49 new listings appeared on the market at that time. The rain did not dampen sellers’ resolve to move ahead with their plans to sell.

17 properties sold in April 2011, compared to 19 in April 2010 and 20 in March 2011. Again, not bad considering that most homebuyers, and most Real Estate agents as well to be honest, would prefer dryer, brighter conditions while house hunting.

In April, the list-to-sell ratio was 89 %. This is lower than in April 2010 and March of this year. Some analysts attribute this to weather conditions that required more home owners to spend more on repairs, and to the currently high price of gas. Both of these circumstances will change. It will be interesting to see how this month’s list-to-sell ration reflects hopefully brighter weather and better prices at the pump.

20 properties received an offer in April, up from 13 in March. This is especially interesting, for it shows a counter balance and brings to light the greater picture. It reminds us that not all aspects of Real Estate activity fluctuate in the same direction at the same time.

Properties that sold in April 2011 had been on the market on average 282 days. The average time on the market for properties that sold in April 2010 was 148 days, a difference of about 4 ½ months.

We are not alone. Loveland, Ohio, Real Estate Broker Evelyn Black recently made the following observations about the ways in which an unusually rainy April has affected the market:  “It’s also kept lawn care companies from being able to provide their normal lawn mowing and spring clean-up services,” she says, adding, “Painters and other outdoor service and repair work, which normally gets started up when weather allows after the winter season, has been difficult to squeeze in-between all the rain showers.”

I believe homebuyers realize this and understand that the current appearance of some properties that would otherwise present oasis-like landscaping and sun-filled rooms, is not a direct reflection of the actual value or beauty of a home; nor does it indicate lack of care on the part of the owner.

Home sellers and buyers stand side by side on the same shore, waiting for the clouds to part and the water to recede. Later, we will share stories and remember incidents that stand out because they revealed the strength of character that connects us.