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Latest real estate numbers show slightly less decline


If you look really hard, there might be a little bit of good news in the county’s November real estate report. According to information compiled by the Douglas County Appraiser’s office, the number of home sales in November were down by 5 percent, compared to November 2007. That decline is far less than what’s been posted in other months. For the year, the number of home sales in Lawrence and Douglas County is down by 31 percent.But real estate watchers would caution that November sales typically don’t amount to much, and probably aren’t much of a bellwether. As I said, you have to look hard. The slowdown in demand in 2008 has led to a drop in home prices, particularly since July. Based on earlier numbers, Douglas County Appraiser Marion Johnson estimated most homes in the county would see a decline in value of 2 percent to 5 percent in 2009. He’s now revised that estimate slightly and now he's predicting most properties will see a decline in value of 1 percent to 4 percent, depending on the neighborhood. Other numbers from the report:

  • For the entire year, the average selling price on existing homes (everything but new construction) is $191,000 compared to $186,900 in 2007. But since July, the average selling price of existing homes has dropped by about 1 percent from $186,600 to $184,500.
  • Through October the number of foreclosures in the county stands at 194, compared to 134 for the same time period in 2007. That’s an increase of about 45 percent.
  • The average selling price of newly constructed homes continues to rise. New homes are selling for an average of $320,900, up from $304,300 in 2007. That’s an increase of about 5.4 percent. But on the flip side, there haven’t been many new homes that have sold. Countywide, only 51 new homes have been sold through November.
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