By Alain Pinel
General Manager of Intero Prestigio international
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

Anybody disagrees?… No?…Good!… I am glad we all agree…So explain to me why are we are still suffering from an acute lack of listings most everywhere in the US? As far as I am concerned, the best time to put a house on the market has been every single day of every month for the last 12 months or so. Sure prices are still edging upwards, but unless you are looking to buy down, you are going backwards: your next home will cost you more, incrementally speaking, than what you could gain by postponing the sale of your existing home.

It does not take a math major to figure this out. Today, if we can reasonably assume that a $900,000 property appreciates at the rate of 10% a year, you stand to put another $90,000 profit in your wallet. Nice. The problem is that your next home, at, say, $1,500,000, is appreciating even faster in this hot move-up market, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15%. That translates in an added cost of $225,000 or nearly $19,000 a month on average. It’s a no-brainer.

A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published very relevant and thought provoking stats in their Weekend Investor section. These stats, which derive mostly from ZipRealty, CoreLogic and the National Association of Realtors year-over-year studies, make a pretty compelling case for listing now.  Judge for yourself.

Let’s look, as ZipRealty did, at 3 objective indicators of the market conditions: Number of Homes listed, Median Days on the market, and Median selling price. The study shows very graphically how cities like San Francisco, DC, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Orlando…fared as of the turn of the new year compared to the same time in 2012.

1- Number of homes listed:

  • San Francisco:  -60% (can you believe it?)
  • DC:  -26%
  • Seattle:  -18%
  • Austin:  -21%
  • Chicago:  -33%
  • Orlando:  -22%

2- Median days on the market:

  • San Francisco:  -47% (no surprise considering the unbalance between supply & demand)
  • DC:  -32%
  • Seattle:  -28%
  • Austin:  -37%
  • Chicago:  -23%
  • Orlando:  -8%

3- Median Selling Price:

  • San Francisco:  +38% (that’s what you get when you plug in the 2 above factors)
  • DC:  +9.5%
  • Seattle:  +12%
  • Austin:  +15%
  • Chicago:  +15%
  • Orlando:  +20%

Convinced?… I am!  Granted, prices in many parts of the country have not yet caught up with their 2006 highs, but they certainly have jumped considerably since the beginning of the recovery. Time to sell?…