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Fayette home sales up, prices down

The good news for home sales in Fayette County during the first half of 2012 was that the number of home sales for 2012 appears to be on-track for increasing over last year.

The bad news is that the average list and sale prices are down again, with the list price down 33 percent since 2007 and the average sale price down 30 percent for the same period.
The slump in the sale prices of homes in Fayette County began with the recession. And though the recession officially ended in the summer of 2009, figures from the first half of 2012 show the list price and sale price of homes continuing to fall.
The numbers show the average list price down 33 percent and the average sale price down 30 percent, both since 2007. 
Multiple Listing Service (MLS) records provided by Leslie Edwards Realty showed there were 709 homes sold in Fayette County during the first six months of 2012.
Those homes carried an average list price of $258,035 and an average sales price of $220,639. Records show that those homes were on the market for an average of 106 days, or a little longer than three months.
MLS records also showed that 121 of the 709 homes, or 17 percent, sold during the first half of 2012 came with a sale price of under $100,000 and carried an average sale price of $69,176.
Those homes were on the market for an average of 91 days. That number compares to the total sales in 2011 when 188 of the 1,157 sold came with a sale price of under $100,000.
Also in the first half of 2012, there were 267 homes, or 27 percent, listed that remained unsold. Those homes had an average list price of $266,927 and had been on the market for 242 days.
As indicated below, the data from the past several years shows the average list and sale price continuing to fall far below the numbers seen prior to the recession.
Edwards said there are currently 718 homes for sale in Fayette County. They carry an average list price of $323,106 and, as of June 30, had been on the market for an average of 125 days.
Year    Homes sold      Avg. list price     Avg. sales price
2007     1,537                  $388,506             $314,342
2008    1,081                  $380,569             $297,239
2009    1,043                  $363,083             $266,228
2010      970                  $346,118             $255,183
2011   1,157                  $290,511             $227,767
2012    709                   $258,035             $220,639
(2012 figures are for six months only.)


mudcat's picture

It does look as if the housing market in Fayette has hit bottom - although I believe the Av. sales price will fall a little more. Make no mistake, the good old days are over and we have an entirely new reality. If nothing else the market is stable and predictable and those that choose to do so can learn a lot from these figures.

If we knew how many of the 709 sales were foreclosures or short sales, we could learn even more, but the real estate people and banks are not fond of releasing that info. My guess is between 2-300. But here's what I think

1. There is no real growth in terms of population, this is simply one family replacing another.
2. The sales that did not occur are families that have decided or were forced to decide to stay in place and these people are not having more children, instead they are aging in place as empty nesters.
3. Tax revenue on a $220,000 house is less than on a $314,000 house.
4. The banks either own or will own the majority of the houses that will be for sale in the future so the suppressed pricing due to the banks inefficiencies in handling their foreclosures will continue for a long time.
5.Until the banks realize that there are far more renters than buyers and get to renting their foreclosures - or better yet working with the homeowners who have too high a mortgage solely because of deflating values, no recovery is possible and no new growth will occur. Hint, the banks are not equipped to do this, so the answer is - never.

Here's what I hope others will learn:

We must address the declining school enrollment for the serious problem that it is. The crowd that is in denial about their favorite school closing is disruptive and needs to be ignored. Mr. Hollowell are you listening?

Revenue to the school system will continue to fall. So cut some staff, teachers included and sell some of the closed schools. And get used to this being a long-term trend. Before it is over you will be educating half the number of kids you did a decade ago, with even less than half the money. Face reality. Mr. Bearden?

Same thing for the county commission, city council and those pushing for another sales tax. Cut staff, cut services, charge user fees where appropriate, stop wasting money on pool bubbles, roads to nowhere and do the hardest thing of all - admit publicly that we have a problem and have to make many hard decisions that won't be very popular.

Any candidate that disagrees with any of this is not sufficiently educated or prepared to be put into an elected position of leadership. Come to think of it, any incumbent not up for election this time that disagrees with this should be retired next election.

Cal Beverly's picture

Mudcat, I don't usually do this on comments, but you get a tip of the pundit's hat. I haven't written nor have I seen a more compact or more correct assessment of our Fayette and PTC situation. And no, pithy is not my lisp.

Cal Beverly
The Citizen
Fayetteville, Ga. 30214

NUK_1's picture

Very good analysis from the Mudcat and it almost overrides my astonishment that he/she in another post today is wondering who Pat Cooper is? SERIOUSLY? She's only been around FC for a couple of decades now and is pretty hard to miss. I also think she's done a good job over the years under trying circumstances that any reporter in FC is going to face with the extreme divisions of "good 'ol boy network" versus the "anti-everything" crowd and sometimes not-so-open government. SHEESH!

mudcat's picture

Nuk as well. And Bruce Jordan. All this praise, I should quit while I'm ahead.
But reality is upon us everywhere and it isn't pretty.
I do think things like the housing market, employment rates, demographics, crime stats and job growth in the city or the county should have an awful lot to do with how our elected officials make decisions. Seems very basic to me. Sort of like how you are more comfortable if your doctor actually went to medical school. It used to be that we had confidence our leaders knew about all things relevant and had the ability and the desire to learn what they did not know. Not so today. Embarrassingly not so.

Maybe we should require all candidates to attend Peachtree City 101 (remember how wonderful and relevant that was) or Fayette County 101 before they are allowed to qualify to run for elected office.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Like to suggest a new metaphor for the competent and educated elected officials you are hoping for- it is kind of like taking a firearms safety course before you are allowed to receive a permit to carry a gun - or even purchase one.
Catchy, huh?

Good summary mudcat. County, city, school board are all in trouble, all in denial. It is worse elsewhere and we can recover from our troubles in Fayette County without declaring bankruptcy as some cities and counties have done. Let's shake off the voter apathy this time and next time get some mature, solid and educated people to lead us through the so-called new normal of the next several years.

Live free or die!

RKS's picture

I'd like to speak to that guy cuz my personal one isn't over.

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