Housing Prices Decline Slightly - A Clear Picture Is Forming

Posted by Joe Manausa on Saturday, July 19th, 2008 at 1:44pm.

We do a lot of work in the relocation industry (corporate moves and affinity relationships) and recently we were sent a request for information that I felt would make a great basis for a real estate blog for Tallahassee housing.We are the principal broker for the Cartus Relocation Network in Tallahassee and they refer a lot of business to our residential office. They informed us that a customer is moving an employee from Pennsylvania to Tallahassee and was curious about price movements in the Tallahassee real estate market. Here is the message that we received: "lost in the web site move 12/27/2009" In an effort to offset any market value impact created by a relocation to Tallahassee, our client has asked Cartus to assist with some metrics. We have a transferee who owns a 3000 sq.ft home in Lakawanna PA. His January appraisal was $319K and his June appraisal was $282,500. Our client is asking if there has been a defined % of decrease in the sale price of a typical 3000 sq. ft home in Tallahassee between January and June.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

Best Regards

xxxxx"

This is a great question and really got me thinking about how to best answer and to provide the kind of information that the client is seeking. The quick answer would be to tell them that housing prices have declined slightly, but I wanted to give them a clearer picture of the market. I figured we could take a look at homes +/- 10% in size from 3,000 square feet and then graph the sales over the past six months (and beyond). Here is the graph of 3000 square foot homes in Tallahassee:

3000 Square Foot Homes Show Slight Decline In Value

The short answer to the question that we received is that 3000 square foot homes in Tallahassee have seen a very slight decline from January through June (less than 1/2%, much better than the Lakawanna market).

Of course, this exercise got me thinking about all the other information that could be derived from this type of analysis. I decided to take all the home sales in Leon County (Tallahassee real estate market) from the Tallahassee MLS and break them down into five size groups (1000,2000,3000,4000 & 5000 square feet). For example, the 2000 square foot homes in Tallahassee group was compiled from all homes sized from 1800 to 2200 square feet.

Category
Low End of Size Range
High End of Size Range
Homes Measured
1,000 Square Feet
900
1,100
1,539
2,000 Square Feet
1,800
2,200
4,710
3,000 Square Feet
2,700
3,300
1319
4,000 Square Feet
3,600
4,400
441
5,000 Square Feet
4,500
5,500
123

The first graph shows the unit sales trend, which basically means how many homes per month each category has been averaging over the past year. This graph does a great job of showing how dominant the 2000 square foot home category is in Tallahassee. It also shows that the number of homes selling each month continues to trend down and our current rate of sales is the lowest on this graph which dates back to 2001.

Home Sales Slowest in Eight Years

The second graph shows the average price trend of homes in Tallahassee. This graph shows the shows the price-running up for the years of 2004 to 2006, and the falling of prices since. Thus far, the average price has not dropped greatly.

Housing Prices On A Slow Decline

The next graph shows the price per square foot movement in each category. I believe this graph gives us the clearest picture of price movement in the Tallahassee real estate market.

Cost of Homes Lower Than Past

This final graph takes each of the three prior graphs and reports how each category has responded to the changing market from the top of the market forward. It demonstrates that since the market peaked a few years ago, the price and price per square foot trend is down from 2% for the average 3,000 square foot home to as much as 8% for the average 4,000 square foot home. Compared with the rest of the Country (and certainly with the rest of Florida, this is truly a slight decline in housing prices). It also demonstrates that unit sales are down from 25% for 5,000 square foot homes to as much as 46% for 1,000 square foot homes.

A Clear Picture Is Forming On Receding Home Prices

I hope these graphs give the reader a better understanding of what is going on in the Tallahassee real estate market. Sometimes the reports of numbers is just too confounding and it takes a picture to clarify the actual report.

This blog was the second blog posting in a row in which readers' questions determined the subject. Please continue to post comments and make suggestions as to how we can make the Tallahassee Real Estate Blog more valuable to our readers.

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Joe Manausa is a real estate investor and the Broker and Co-Owner of Joe Manausa Real Estate. He can be reached via e-mail through the Tallahassee Real Estate Website or catch his latest writings on the Tallahassee Florida Real Estate Blog , or by calling (850) 386-2001.

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Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.

1 Response to "Housing Prices Decline Slightly - A Clear Picture Is Forming"

Celia Wilson wrote: Dear Mr. Manausa,

I can’t thank you enough for your hard work in providing consistent and informative analyses of Tallahassee’s current real estate market. As the bulk of my retirement is in 2 properties in Leon County, it is a relief to know how the sales trends are being effected in our troublesome economy. Although I’m not at all pleased with the “slight” downward house sales trend, your graphs of sales and price per foot of the different sized homes since March 2001, has helped me see most clearly how I stand as a homeowner in this community. Your inventory graphs have also assisted in my understanding of how the competition is effecting sales through the classic economic “supply and demand” theory. It’s one thing to speculate, but another to see the actual numbers you have provided so clearly. Thanks again.

Sincerely.

Celia Wilson

Posted on Monday, July 21st, 2008 at 9:55am.

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