2007 Year End Real Estate Letter

I hope this annual letter and calendar find you and yours doing well. Please note that your calendar starts on December 1st so go ahead and start planning next year today.

2007 has been an interesting year in real estate. The good news is the northwest has done very well in these turbulent times (except Tacoma Pierce). Even though we have seen our value increases flatten, our inventory grow and our market times lengthen we are still far better off than many other areas.

Some Stats comparing 2007 to 2004-2006 in Kitsap County (through Nov. 1 2007)
2004 2005 2006 2007

# of New Listings: 5038 5237 5634 6007

# of transactions: 3823 3871 3406 2836

Avg. Days on Market: 65 58 63 89

Avg. Sale Price $254,809 $307,235 $336,299 $367,730

You have heard a lot of talk about our real estate market. Much of the discussion has been framed by the media in a very negative light. When you add to it new highs for the price of oil, a lot of discussion about subprime lending and a falling stock market there is some room for jittery nerves. Real estate is a very local discussion. Sweeping generalizations of the real estate market cannot do it justice, you have to talk with local Realtors to get the straight scoop about their area.

Some facts about our area that make it a great place to live, buy and own a home. Our economy seems to be stable, unemployment is at 4.2%. Though subprime loans in the US accounted for upwards of 20% of the loans made in 2006, in our area only 8% of them were subprime. Money Magazine has listed Silverdale in their top 100 list of best places to live. We are close to the amenities of a large city without having to live with the drawbacks. The increase of population in Washington state for the foreseeable future will continue to outstrip construction.

As promised in last year’s letter, our market has shifted from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. Though sellers are having to be a bit more patient than years past, and cannot afford to be as aggressive with their pricing, homes are still selling. Buyers are in the best position right now. There is plenty to choose from, sellers are being a bit more negotiable and interest rates continue to stay low.

I believe this trend will hold through the first half of 2008, we should begin to see a shift next summer or early fall. If you are thinking of investing in real estate I would recommend doing so before the end of the first quarter 2008. As this cycle works through, the fed will feel pressure to increase interest rates.

I’ve included with this year’s letter a graph showing how our inventory has grown. Should you have any questions about the graph or other market statistics let me know.

Please have a wonderful holiday season and a safe, healthy and prosperous new year. Should you know of anyone thinking about buying or selling real estate in 2008 please let me know or if you just want a market update please feel free to call or check out one of my web resources. Web Page: www.FranklyRealEstate.com or my Blog: www.FranklyRealEstate.Blogspot.com.

PS....sorry for the formating. Blogger just has never done well with cut and paste from MS Word.