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August Slump for Springfield Illinois Home Sales

Sep 8, 2008
Simply stated, August stunk for the local housing market in Springfield Illinois. Closed home sales down 17.5% by 73. Sales pending down 17.1% by 76. Median sale price down 1.7% by $2000. The average sale price down 2.6% by $3493.

Through the first eight months of 2008 closed sales are down 14.1% by 409. One month was up, one even, and six of the eight months sales declined.

For the year sales pending are down 13.6% by 490. The median sale price has fallen to dead even with 2007. The average sale price is up 3.8% by $4744.

The inventory of homes listed for sale continues to run at record levels with 1970 available today. That represents a 6.4 month supply of homes for sale at the current pace of sales.

There you have it, straight forward with no sugar coating. This is the slowest housing market for selling a home in the Springfield Illinois market since 2001, following four years of record setting sales.

What if you must sell your home? You had better do your homework, hiring an experienced agent who has proven marketing systems, and one who will be honest with you about price. The inexperienced agent will struggle with pricing, the agent needing a listing will tell you what you want to hear, and 99% of the agents won't know enough to recommend a pricing plan.

The homes that are priced the best for their condition, location, and amenities will sell. The others will have to wait until 2009. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, there will be a few lucky home sellers, which reminds me what car dealers say; there's a butt for every seat.

With consumer confidence lagging due to high prices, especially at the gas pump, and grocery store it sure doesn't help when the media continues to poison the well.

Thank God only 25% of people now receive their news from print media. The Business section of today's (9-6-08) State Journal Register would make you think it's 1929 with people jumping from the ledges!

Here's what I refer to: main headline, huge and bold; "Foreclosures not contained". Read the story. You'll notice the story includes people behind on their payments lumped in with actual foreclosures.

What a crock. And publishers wonder why newspapers are becoming extinct? Slanted reporting with an agenda is not what people want to read. What happened to objective journalism?

Oh there's more, second largest headline; "Jobless rate climbs to 6.1%, unemployment hits five year high". The truth it is, however nowhere will you read; "following five years of record low unemployment", or "unemployment less than half of other countries". Purpose driven reporting maybe?

Oh, there's more; small side article with bold but tiny header; "Oil price falls to $106.23". Read the article. The lowest price since April. This is good news folks. Why has the economy struggled? The pull back in consumer spending due to families paying the cruel tax of higher gas, energy, and food prices.

No where will you read about falling interest rates. With a record number of homes for sale, home prices trending down, and falling interest rates, now is a great time to be a buyer of Springfield Illinois real estate.

If the local paper had an inkling of desire to help the economy the main story should have been; "Falling gas prices and interest rates good news for consumers!".

This economy will rebound when people can keep more of their hard earned dollars to spend on something besides filling up their cars with gas, paying through the nose at the grocery checkout, paying the electric bill, and the soon to come natural gas bill. Who can blame families for pulling back? Some can't afford to buy anything else, while those who can afford to, don't. Negative headlines and slanted stories exacerbate the perception all is bad.

So congratulations SJR, in my opinion you are part of the problem, certainly no part of any solution to a slowing economy. The September 6 edition is proof positive.

If the State Journal Register continues to do everything they can to create a negative psychology within the economy, then they will be contributing to their own demise! Adios print media.

This is a shame. I enjoy reading the paper with my morning coffee. At least when there is objective journalism.
About the Author
Fritz Pfister is a licensed Realtor with RE/MAX Professionals Springfield Illinois.
Fritz is a leader in the local real estate market and hosts a live one hour radio program, now in its' 13th year.
Fritz's website is
Fritz hosts home buyer and home seller seminars. Fritz leads the local market with over 1100 closed sales since 2000.
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