After taking some time to look over the Augusta Georgia housing market statistics for the year and see if I could get a feel for what 2009 may be like I came up with the following assessment.
The 2008 residential sales figures were down 22% over 2007’s sales, but 2007 was the second best year ever in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). All in all, 5,011 homes sold in the Augusta area last year.
Townhome sales where a bright spot in a down year. With 529 townhome sales in 2008 – it became the second best year ever for “residential attached” sales. For comparison 2007 was the best year ever, with 532 total sales, while the third best year fell way short of both – 2006, with 393 sales. Proof positive that what we’re really going through is an affordability crisis rather than a mortgage crisis.
The “sweet spot” of the housing market was between $100,000 and $179,999. That sector accounted for fully 46% of all sales.
The luxury market suffered the most. Homes with a list price over $350,000 accounted for 6% of all sales.
The best news of the year comes from inventory reduction. The number of available homes dropped every month since June of 2008 at a high of 4,713. The end of December number of 3,955 represented a drop of 758 properties or 17% – the steepest drop in available inventory in MLS history. Since real estate is a supply and demand industry – this is a good sign we may be near the bottom of the trough of this Buyers Market cycle.
Despite all the gloom and doom, CSRA sellers still received – on average – 97% of the list price of their homes when they sold. This edifies recent media reports of Augusta continuing to see mild appreciation in a nationwide trend of negative appreciation. When you consider all the foreclosures that get lumped in with those statistics, it’s probably more like 98-99% on a regular Seller-Occupant to Buyer-Occupant transaction.
I’ll keep more market news coming as things evolve – please feel free to let me know what you think. I can also send you the reports that back up my data – just drop me a line and I’ll get them to you.
All in all the Augusta Georgia housing numbers were down, it is getting tougher to sell your home, and you need to have aggressive pricing and excellent terms to offer buyers if you intend to sell.