Walworth County Housing Market Shows Signs of Improvement

After more than 7 years the housing market is showing signs of improvement not only in Walworth County, but nation-wide. Even though it seems like we’re still in a miserable spot, the numbers speak otherwise and show a slight upward movement.

Walworth County home prices have shown  increases in many areas; while there are still foreclosures sneaking in, most have been purchased and they don’t seem to be affecting pricing on non-foreclosed properties as much as they did. Appraisers are finally not using them as straight comparables for sales, and even buyers recognize them for what they are.  Investors have also returned to the market, buying homes at rock bottom prices to rent out, a sign of confidence that the market has bottomed out.

A huge indicator in Walworth County is that the average days on market that it takes to sell a home has declined significantly compared to the same time a year ago, and the inventory of unsold homes has finally shrunk to a ‘normal’ level of six month’s worth; part of this lower inventory might be due to sellers holding onto homes until the market improves, but it still has the effect of taking competition away from those currently listed. Lastly, builders nation-wide began work on more single-family homes in May 2014 than in May 2013, and the stock of newly built homes is back to 2005 levels.

Although the housing market still has a long way to go, at least the numbers seem to be inclining instead of declining. Interest rates are also still at an all-time low, with rates in the 4’s for a 30-year fixed loan, and even lower for adjustable rate mortgages. Banks also seem more willing to work with sellers on ‘short sales’, where the price the home owner gets in a sale is not sufficient to pay off the mortgage and the bank agrees to write off the difference. This helps the seller avoid foreclosure (and bad credit ratings), and actually saves the lender the cost of going to foreclosure. In summary, this is still a wonderful window for buyers and is looking better for sellers all the time.