Brunswick County home prices drop 29 percent

BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- If you're looking for a deal on home you might consider Brunswick County. Compared with other parts of the state home prices there dropped 29 percent from November to December. The average cost of a Brunswick County home in December was about $260,000. A year earlier the average cost was more than $364,000. Wilmington home prices didn't see nearly the same drop. They were only down one percent in December. Nationally, new figures show sales of existing homes plummeted last year. Horrible is one way to describe the 2007 real estate market. New data from the National Association of Realtors shows that sales of pre-owned homes fell by 13 percent last year. That's the biggest annual drop in home sales in a quarter century. But that's not the worst news. Prices for homes sold last year dropped by 1.8 percent -- the first time that the national average home price has dropped over a full year since the Great Depression. While the Realtors' Association is expecting residential real estate to recover this year, most analysts are saying real relief won't happen until 2009. That does not bode well for the broader economy. Poor performance from the residential real estate sector last year knocked a full one percent of growth out of the broader economy. Workers in construction, real estate sales and mortgage financing were let go due to reduced demand. And millions of American homeowners pulled back spending since they "felt" less rich as the value of their homes declined.

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According to the IRS the average citizen in New Hanover County only earns $32k for males & $27k for females. But the real estate industry, developers, speculators, investors, etc. have placed homes well out of the price range for the average citizen. I work in a local attorney's office that specializes in real estate, etc. earning a full time gross income of only $20k. I want the American dream but it's well out of my reach. Very little for sale under $90k. Plus it's very costly to relocate to BIG CITIES that pay more but the cost of living is also higher. When will these businesses realize that they could sell huge numbers of homes if they placed them in the price range of the average citizen plus with the tax bills multiplying by 2,3,4 times according to where you live is forcing many folks to consider selling because they are unable to afford the tax bill.
For at least the second time today, a local media outlet has gotten this story wrong. This time, WWAY is reporting that home prices in Brunswick County fell 29 percent BETWEEN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, to an average of $260,000. The correct period of time that should have been quoted is between December 2006 and December 2007! If you think people are flooding into Brunswick County now, just let them get the idea they could have bought, on average, a house in December for over $100,000 less than in November. They're not going to be too happy with you when they find out it's not true! Did you read your story before you put it on your website? Did it make sense to you? Not to mention the fact that the December 2006 average home price of over $360,000 wasn't a realistic number to begin with, since it covered only a one-month period of sales. Have you been to Brunswick County lately? It's a great area, and there are terrific communities throughout, but the average price of homes there is nowhere near $360,000. This story is based, inaccurately, on sales data provided by the NC Association of REALTORS earlier this week, and is the same report also misquoted in the Wilmington Star-News headline this morning. The Star-News headline said prices in Wilmington fell 21 percent between December 2006 and December 2007 -- when it should have said, prices fell 1 percent! Big difference! WWAY, you had all day to get this right, and you blew it. The Star-News blew it too, this morning, and you were aware of that. Is it any wonder we in the real estate business get frustrated by the coverage of our industry in this area?