Wilmington NC Real Estate-2006 Year in Review

By CB Johnson

After two years of 20 percent appreciation, the Wilmington NC real estate market took a healthy breather in 2006, helping Wilmington to avoid the crash felt by other hyperactive markets such as Las Vegas and Southwest Florida. Over the past 12 months, New Hanover County transitioned from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market, wrapping up with over 10 months of listing inventory available and setting the stage for a stable 2007.

Nationally, existing-home sales are expected to rise gradually in 2007, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors®. In Wilmington NC, home sales are also expected to increase slightly as spring nears and sellers adjust to the new market, according to Broker/Realtor CB Johnson.

“In the near future, I expect market activity to increase due to the normal seasonal pickup,” said Johnson. “This will be helped some by favorable interest rates. In the long run, home sales will continue to be fueled by baby boomers in the northeast who have indicated they intend to relocate to or purchase second homes between Tallahassee Florida and Virginia Beach.”

2006 began as a sellers’ market with home prices still appreciating in double digits. This marked the tail end of a two-year stretch with record appreciation. In April, HouseHunt’s Current Market Conditions survey showed that the overall US housing market was close to a rare balance between buyer demand and seller supply for the first time in eight years. This trend ran true in Wilmington NC as New Hanover County transitioned into a balanced market in June. A balanced market is defined as a market with 5-7 months of listing inventory available. In September, New Hanover County moved into a buyers market, with over 7 months of listing inventory available.

“This year has been a huge disappointment,” said Eileen Hoskins, who has had her 3 bedroom, 2000 square foot home in the Monkey Junction area of Wilmington for sale since May. “We got into a bidding war last summer while home shopping, but this year is a complete reversal.” The list price on Hoskin’s home has been reduced $65K over the course of seven months, and she has yet to receive an offer.

In 2006, Wilmington averaged a 50 percent absorption rate, which means two homes were listed for every home sold; leading to the huge selection of homes available and helping to explain why some properties, such as Hoskins’, were left without a buyer. However not everyone shared Hoskins’ disappointment in the market.

“This year was great,” said Tim O’Callaghan, Wilmington real estate investor and restoration specialist since 1990. “What slowdown? It’s as if this Coastal Carolina region is buffered from national trends. I expect the Wilmington market to stay strong due to demand from retirees and attractions such as the river, historic community and beach.” In 2006 alone, O’Callaghan sold three homes and purchased one in Wilmington NC.

Absorption rate is calculated by measuring the amount of listings taken versus the amount of listings sold. Learn more about Wilmington’s real estate absorption rate here. Listing inventory is calculated by comparing the current amount of available listings to the amount of listings sold in the past three months and then multiplying to determine the amount of time required to absorb the current inventory level. For example, New Hanover County currently has 2924 listings available. Eight hundred seventy five listings have sold in New Hanover County within the last three months; therefore it would take 10.025 months to sell 2924 homes.

Learn more about Wilmington NC real estate here or contact CB Johnson, Broker/Team Leader of Fine Coastal Living, at 910-442-2030. Fine Coastal Living was formed in the summer of 2004 with the goal of helping home buyers and sellers take full advantage of the Wilmington NC real estate market by providing exceptional service, extensive market knowledge and effective marketing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=CB_Johnson

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