The real estate market in Seven Oaks is a mixed bag – in much the same way as it is everywhere in Tampa Bay. Sales were up in January (4 more homes sold in January 2011 than sold in January 2010), and of course, more sales is a good thing. But the health of a real estate market is contingent upon two factors – sales and prices. While the volume of home sales is on the rise, home prices in Seven Oaks have taken a dive.
A few expensive homes sold in January 2010 and this has the effect of skewing the our numbers. But no matter how you cut it, home prices in Seven Oaks have declined by at least 25.6% since last year. That's a larger decline than what we're seeing elsewhere in Pasco County, where the median sale price decline across the county last year was 21.6%.
The problem for Seven Oaks residents continues to be distressed sales. 53% of all sales last year were short sales or foreclosures selling at a median price that's 15.3% below the median conventional sale price. In January there were no conventional sales – all 6 sales were distressed and 4 of the 6 sales were foreclosures which sell at a 28.7% discount. So clearly when more-and-more homes are selling for less-and-less money, this has a negative impact on the value of residential real estate in your area
Seven Oaks residents have got to get on top of their distressed sales problem. If we just look at conventional sales, prices are trending up steadily. The median conventional sale price in December – the last month that a conventional sale occurred – was $121.50/sq.ft. Conventional sale prices have risen pretty steadily from their low-point of $97/sq.ft back in March of 2010. So if all sales were conventional, you'd be on the road to recovery. But since less than half of your sales are conventional, the value of your homes keeps falling.
The good news is that once distressed sales do indeed drop to an appropriate proportion of the market, prices will start to climb again. And depending on how long the spike in home sales lasts, this could happen sooner rather than later. We just have to make sure that distressed sales don't climb in the meantime. Because as long as distressed sales stay high, the housing market can never fully recover.