With hindsight being 20/20, we can confidently say it feels like our residential real estate market has stabilized and is now showing signs of modest improvement for all price points and more than modest improvement for properties priced under $300,000.
Last fall we had approximately 283 homes on the market equating to about a 9 month supply of homes. We currently have 225 homes on the market equating to a 7 month supply of homes. As I have mentioned before, anything over a 6 month supply is considered to be a buyer’s market. Interest rates have remained favorable for buyers. Our average sales price has remained consistent over the last year at approximately $226,000 and on average homes are taking about 90 days to sell. In short, the market has become more balanced and is no longer heavily favored toward the buyers. In regards to the upper end residential market , we have seen more market participants enter the market place, however, there is still an over supply of listings for the number of buyers buying in the market. Properties that are unique, in good condition and priced right are selling. We are thankful that CENTURY 21 BHJ Realty, Inc., has been involved in many of the transactions that have occurred in this market segment.
Building Sites—MY, HOW TIMES CHANGE
I reported several years ago that this was the most drastically effected part of our local market. In the fall of 2011 , there were 400 active listings on the market which equated to over a five year supply of lots held for sale in our area. The amount of active listings decreased to 309 lots last fall and this year the number is 242. As you can see, things are improving drastically and we saw more new housing starts this last summer than we have seen in the past 4-5 years. YTD lot sales are far ahead of last year and we are seeing some new developments planned, which has not been the case for the last 4-5 years.
Land and Ranch Sales
The Wyoming land and ranch real estate market segment has remained active. There is still a strong demand for working ranches and we have buyers looking for agricultural operations throughout northeast Wyoming. It would be fair to say there is a bit of a shortage of quality ranch listings on the market at this time. Ranch sales slowed in 2009 and 2010 then picked up beginning in 2011 and have remained strong since. Commodity prices and the recovery of the stock market have been major factors in the increase in ranch sales.
We saw an increase in demand this past year for nice working ranches and higher end trophy properties. Our firm was fortunate to be involved in many of these sales as well. The buyers were a mix of people from out of town and out of state. Some sales were influenced by our lifestyle opportunities, tax environment and the creation of new wealth from regional energy plays.
Commercial Real Estate
This market segment has remained flat with over a 5 year supply of inventory. It is nice to see some new commercial structures being built. I recently reported the addition to the west of Albertson’s grocery store will be home to GNC, Verizon, and one more space that can be rented. Additionally, the PETCO store NW of Albertson’s has been completed as well. Main Street suffered from the downturn with more open spaces than we like to see. Those spaces are being rented up again and several downtown buildings have changed ownership with buyers putting their money where their mouth is with being bullish on downtown property. A recent notable sale occurred on Coffeen Ave with the old LBM and Rent It Center property. That is an attractive piece of real estate that has been acquired by Farmers Coop and will surely be developed into something that all of us will benefit from.
Residential rentals remain in strong demand. It would be safe to say renters entering the market are disappointed in the selection of available rentals. Investor activities have increased in providing market ready rentals but demand still exceeds supply. It’s a good time to be a land lord.
Think About This
It’s a great time to be a buyer with low interest rates. Sellers are not getting beat up like they were and we are just thankful that we live in a beautiful community with area attractions that we have, along with great schools, etc., which makes Sheridan an attractive place to live. Sheridan is now finding itself in the middle of a regional economic expansion that will surely help our local economic conditions. As always, it would be a pleasure for us to help you with your real estate needs.