NAR: Sales of $1M-plus homes rise 4% in February

According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of homes priced at or above $1 million were up 3.9 percent in February from a year ago, while sales of homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 were down 7 percent.

Million dollar-plus homes accounted for just 2 percent of national sales in the month of February, while homes in the $100,000 to $250,000 range accounted for 42 percent of all US sales.

Suffolk County Market Conditions

Below is chart of closed sales for Suffolk County. The bar chart shows the average closed price (AKA selling price) in October 2010 compared to October 2009 and 2008.The bar chart shows the October 2008 average sales price for residential homes was $422,679.The bar chart shows the October 2009 average sales price for residential homes was $404,612. -4.3%

The bar chart shows the October 2010 average sales price for residential homes was $392,991. -2.9%

The graph tracks the average sales price for ALL homes in Suffolk County over the past 34 months, January 2008-October 2010.

The graph shows the January 2008 average sales price at about $460,000. This number dropped to almost $355,000 in February of 2009. The average sales price of all homes recovered to $382,674 in October of this year.

We hope this chart and graph answer some of the questions you may have about the current real estate market.

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Nassau County Market Conditions

The most common question asked of any real estate professional is "How's the market?".

Often the response is short and superficial, such as "great" or "OK". But the reply most people are looking for is an in depth, insightful answer based on solid data.Below is chart of closed sales for Nassau County. The bar chart shows the average closed price (AKA selling price) in October 2010 compared to October 2009 and 2008.

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Moving Up in a 'Down Market'

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, while most Americans struggled, there were some who also amassed vast fortunes. A wealth of opportunity also exists is today's real estate "recession," a time which offers buyers and investors an unprecedented chance to "move up," according to Lawrence Finn, Jr., CEO of Coach Realtors.

"Those who believe that real estate is a tide that moves all boats equally are just plain wrong," says Mr. Finn "The fact is, we may very well be in the single greatest move-up real estate market in decades. Today's market represents a rare opportunity for some to move up to their dream home at virtually unprecedented prices. If you have longed to move to another community, purchase a vacation home or create income through rental property, now might be your best chance to do so."

According to Lawrence Finn, the following facts rarely appear in media coverage about the real estate market and are, therefore, unknown to most consumers:

* Prices of higher-priced homes have (generally) declined more, as measured in dollars and/or percentage of price, than have prices of lower-priced homes.

* Vacation property prices have also changed based upon their own local economics.

* If the price of your home has moved down less than the price of your ideal home, this may be the time to make your move.

Mr. Finn, advises consumers to answer the following questions before considering a move-up home purchase:

1. What price could my home bring if put on the market today?

2. What is the price of my ideal home in today's market?

3. What will the difference in monthly costs be should I decide to move up?

4. What will my net costs be after tax?

5. What is the potential for immediate lifestyle enhancement and for long-term financial gain if I move up?

"The answers to these questions are vital to making a more fully informed decision about the opportunities present in today's market," explains Finn, "A professional real estate agent, your attorney, financial planner and/or accountant can help guide you through this decision-making process."

What Home Sellers Need to Know Before Putting Their Property Back on the Market

You've probably noticed that in today's market, many homes aren't selling as quickly as they used to. This has created an increasing number of homes for sale that the real estate industry often refers to as "expired listings." When putting an "expired" home back on the market, therefore, home sellers must take into account a variety of factors in order to ensure their home sells in a timely fashion this time around, advises Lawrence Finn, Jr., CEO Owner/Broker of Coach Realtors.

"If the listing or marketing agreement you had with your real estate agent has expired and you are looking to re-list your property," says Mr. Finn, "make sure you are aware of the many critical factors that are involved in influencing the sale of your home."

According to Finn, many real estate agents will advise home sellers to simply lower the price in order to get their home sold. Price, however, is only one part of the reason why a home doesn't sell.

"While price is certainly one component in the timely sale of your home, it is certainly not the only component," says Finn. "As you re-evaluate the proper pricing strategy for your home, be sure to request an updated market analysis from your real estate agent, and make sure it details the current pricing trends for your overall marketplace."

Finn, Jr. advises that the market analysis includes:

1. Days on the market for properties in your specific price range

2. The list-to-sales price ratios for homes that have sold (the more recent the better)

3. The rate at which homes are are being sold, also known as the Absorption Rate.

4. The number of price reductions or, where applicable, the number of price increases

5. The number of homes currently active in your price point

Mr. Finn adds that when considering how to reprice your home, home sellers should be aware that a lower listing price can sometimes ultimately lead to a higher sales price due to the increased number of bids and competitive environment an attractive price generates. Finn advises that all home sellers discuss the current supply-and-demand metrics that are influencing home values in your neighborhood with any agent you're considering working with.

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