Checking in on the real estate market

How is the real estate market? Real estate agents get asked this question many times and my response is always: “glad you asked!”

How is the real estate market?

Real estate agents get asked this question many times and my response is always: “glad you asked!”

When reviewing all the numbers for North Kitsap home sales, (excluding Bainbridge Island) there is a glimmer of good news, statistically speaking.

In order to understand where we are sometimes we need to look back at history. In reviewing sales through the end of June for 2009, 2010 and 2011 in North Kitsap — including Poulsbo, Indianola, Suquamish, Kingston and Port Gamble; this is what I found.

• In 2009 the average price of a home was $320,605.

• In 2010 the average price was $284,662.

• So far this year the average price is $305,586

As you can see the average selling price has gone down by 11 percent and rebounded by nearly 7 percent. Since we are working with averages let’s keep in mind the numbers can be skewed by one high end home selling but over all I think that is a good indication.

On the flip side how many homes are selling? Well let’s go back to the stats.

• In 2009 there were a total of 219 homes sold.

• In 2010 there were 276 homes sold.

• So far this year there has been a total of 215 homes sold.

So the good news is that prices may have hit bottom and are bumping along. The next challenge is finding ready, willing and able buyers. There have very few buyers turned down for a loan that I am aware of. So it’s not that the banks are not lending, they are. In fact lenders are telling me they have plenty of money to loan.

I think it’s about people being concerned about the overall economy, what it’s going to take to resolve the debt ceiling issues along with job security. It’s going to take time to restore job security, consumer confidence and bring new jobs to the market.

Little things like the opening of Trader Joe’s in Silverdale are a good sign. Now if we can keep the momentum going.

Kim Poole is a broker with Windermere Kingston.