The real estate market, much the same but at least we are used to it.

Well here we are, almost through the first quarter of 2008. By now many thought we would be through the tough times. I think realization began to set in towards the end of 2007 or certainly by mid February as more and more sub-prime woes spilled out.

So...where are we now? I actually think we are better off this year than last. Even if it is a psychological factor of once you get past the shock you begin to acclimate. Sellers are becoming more realistic about their homes value. Agents are focusing more on sold data. Buyers are asking more questions about their loans and are actually much more informed than I think in the past.

Where we are is not all that bad, at least in this neck of the woods. I'll hear agents indicate it will be another year before we are done with they think someone will through a switch at 12:53 pm on April 18, 2009 and the market will return to what it was 3 years ago??? What we will be seeing is a slow increase in market health. None of us want it to shoot upwards, just a nice slow improvement.

What does improvement look like? 1)Reduced inventory, we currently have 2259 listings on the market in Kitsap County. Getting below 2000 will indicate we are headed in the right direction. I've seen a low of 700 or so. 2) Slight increase in sales. Last week we had 45 homes go into a pending state. This means we currently have 50 weeks of inventory, certainly a buyers market. Both of these items will help to bring down our "days on market" which is currently 98...which is not bad compared to other parts of the country that are well into the triple digits. It will also allow homes to begin a more sustainable value growth. A 3% to 5% increase in your homes value each year is a nice place to be.