Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Home Buying - 20/20 hindsight analysis

Two and a half years ago I proposed to M and we began looking at where we were going to live. Also, we had to decide on whether or not we wanted to buy or rent. I was a big fan of renting for a few reasons, but I thought we should still do a little research on what houses were available. Interests rates were low and house prices had dropped from their peaks. Anyway, I found 17 houses listed that fit our criteria and kept that list on an excel spreadsheet.

Now, 2.5 years down the road I was cleaning up my computer and found that same excel grid. Being curious I decided to see what happened to those houses. I have the listing price from 2.5 years ago, so I wanted to compare what the actual sell price was to the listing price. From that analysis below is what I found:
  • 9 of those homes have not been sold in the past 2.5 years. Some have been taken on and off the market a few times and others just have been taken off the market completely. This was the biggest thing I found. Over half of the home buyers have decided for whatever reason not to sell their home. Are they renting it out? Do they think the market will rebound? Did the get no interest when they tried to sell it? It is kind of scary to think that such a high percentage would not be able to sell their home.
  • The 8 homes that sold were sold for on average 10% less than their listing price. This probably has something to do with the fact that the listing price is rarely the price people actually are willing to sell their house at.
  • The Zillow.com average price of the house has dropped 16% in 2.5 years. Now I don't know how accurate Zillow's estimate is, but if it is true than that is a pretty big drop. In the same time the SP500 has grown 38%.
Now did we not buy a house because we knew what was going to happen in the stock and housing markets? Did we do some great analysis that influenced our decision to rent, save money and invest it in stocks? No. We didn't buy because of a few reasons, but a clear understanding of the markets was not one of them. We were lucky.


Jenny said...

10% is a very significant number. You should have done this research in May when I was out searching for new houses.

Kevin Malphurs said...

10% is signficant and it ranged from -2% to -22%. The -22% was a home in Hopkins that was on/off the market for 2 years until someone finally bought it. The -2% was sold after only being on the market for 3 months and it looks like the sellers got a good deal.

I wish I would have done the research earlier, but I just stumbled across the excel grid.