Do you know that in our market area the number of listings is down by almost 31% when compared to the previous year?  And do you know the number of pending contracts is up by over 26% in the same area for the same time frame, year on year?  Do you also know that the number of homes sold in the same year on year period is up 11.27%.  And finally, do you know that expired listings, those that did not sell for whatever reason (usually because they were priced too high) is down by a whopping 40%?  These statistics were compiled by the Pinellas Realtor Organization.

Now here is the surprise for the above numbers, which seems to contradict the law of supply and demand.  Median prices in the last year compared to a year ago, despite the decreasing inventory and increased sales of units, have gone down almost 1%.  When one looks at the mean, or average, price, that has gone up by 0.8%.  This is pretty clearly stating that the prices are flat, even though there are fewer homes to sell.

In June 2011, the average time on market for a house was 158 days.  This year, the average time on market is 154 days.  So there is not a buyer's frenzy yet to pick up the "great deals".  In fact, for those buyers who are still waiting for the "great deal" due to still falling prices, here is a little bit of a surprise.  The percent of original list price vs. final sale price is going up.  For June 2011 sellers were getting 85% of the list price, and in June 2012 sellers were getting 89% of the list price.  All of the above numbers seem to indicate that the market is more or less stabilized and that prices are flat.  To buyers waiting to prices to continue to fall so there are even greater bargains available, this could be a flawed strategy.  For sellers waiting for prices to start to skyrocket, perhaps they should consider why they need to sell and not wait.  Moving on with their lives and getting the best possible price now is very likely a better option than holding out for a 1% increase six months down the road.

Bottom line, whether a buyer or a seller, don't procrastinate.