The Official Statistics are in for 2010, and we can now say officially what we already suspected — that it was a slow year in real estate on Whidbey Island!
We had 683 homes sold in 2010 on Whidbey Island, down from 754 in 2009, and 707 in 2008 (including single family homes, condominiums, and manufactured homes). The good news is that prices are remaining fairly stable, which may be a sign that we have finally reached the “bottom” of the market. The Median Sale price for Single Family Homes was $259,500 in 2010, down a statistically insignificant amount from the Median Sale price for 2009 of $260,000.
Another positive indicator for the market is that average Days-on-Market decreased to 124 in 2010 from 130 in 2009. This indicates that homes are selling slightly faster in 2010 than in 2009 (although an average of 4 months seems like a very long time to the sellers). This is partly because inventory is down by 5%, with only 1,478 homes listed for sale in 2010 compared to 1,555 in 2009 on Whidbey Island.
Overall, the summary leaves me cautiously optimistic for a housing recovery on Whidbey Island, although I expect home values here to stay flat or continue to decline very slightly over the year to come. I will admit to one surprise with these statistics: it turns out we actually had a stronger year than I realized as we were going through it! Part of the strength was undoubtedly due to record low mortgage interest rates, and the extension of the Home Buyers Tax Credit early in the year. With interest rates rising slightly, and no more help from the government in encouraging home purchases, it will be interesting to see how we fare in 2011.
This is a lot of statistics to try to make sense of in one sitting, so I won’t add any more for now. Over the next few weeks I’ll be discussing these statistics more in-depth, as well as including Parts 2 and 3 of my annual Whidbey Island Real Estate Wrap-up, where I will discuss the impact of Foreclosures and Short Sales on the real estate market around Whidbey Island.