As of September 1, 2013 there were 1,249 residential single family homes on the market in the 12 communities covered by this report. The average asking price stood at $498,590 with a median price point of $259,800. The current inventory level represents just under 15 months worth of homes on the market.
The real estate industry and the way consumers look for real estate continues to evolve at warp speed. Pretty soon, there is going to be a Star Trek Home Shopper Mobile App that will "beam me up, Scotty" right to the exact location of the new home you want to see. That device will simultaneously beam your real estate agent without notice to the same locale despite the fact that he has just sat down for dinner with the family. That will be only slightly more inconvenient than it is today, but if he is sitting down for dinner with the in-laws at least he won't have to make excuses.
Real estate is going mobile in a big way. A recent study by Google and the National Association of Realtors reports that 48 percent of home buyers used a mobile device to look for a home and 45 percent used the device to request more information on a property. About a third of the visitors to my own site, lakesregionhome.com, are using mobile devices. As the tech industry produces more affordable devices, more people buy smart phones and tablets, those numbers are likely to increase substantially. It only stands to reason that consumers will use them to look for their new home from the comfort of their living room sofa instead of on their desktop PC.
The study reports that 90 percent of buyers use the internet to search for homes. That number rose to an amazing 96 percent for those under the age of 44. Searches for real estate on Google has risen 253 percent over the past four years. That's pretty amazing.
But, getting back to mobile devices, apps make it easy for you to search for property when you are in your car and find a neighborhood you would like to live in. I would strongly suggest that you pull over to the side of the road before using it or have your co-pilot be in charge of it otherwise you are more apt to have an accident than not. Most major real estate search sites have apps specifically designed for use on smart phones so that you can pull up to the front door of a home that's for sale, hit the search button, the phone's built in GPS does its thing, and the somehow Scotty beams you all the information on the house.
To get one of these apps, all you have to do is go to your favorite real estate website and download their mobile app and you're in business. Some apps even provide location and phone info on area attraction, restaurants, marinas, and where to find the closest gas station if you are running out of gas.
Once you have reviewed the homes info and looked at all the pictures on your mobile device there's a little button you can click to email or call the listing agent to see the property. Like I said, the next generation app will immediately transport the listing agent to your vehicle, but that's still a couple years off...
Please feel free to visit the new, updated www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 9/1/13. Roy Sanborn is a REALTOR® at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.