I talk with clients, friends and associates every day and everyone wants to know what’s going on with the real estate market. There’s really no easy answer since 2014 has seen a market in full recovery in some areas of Louisville and still struggling for traction in others. With 9 months of data for 2014, I thought it would be good to compare this year’s activity to last year’s particularly as it relates to our primary markets and price ranges. For the record, 2013 was a very good year historically and certainly the best on record since the height of the ’06/’07 so it serves as a good benchmark for this year’s performance.
Nearly every price range has seen a shortage of active listings with the exception of Louisville’s high-end market (defined as $400k+ for this article) which has surprisingly posted a 9% gain in active listings over 2013 resulting in a 7.3% increase in sales versus a decline of 3.7% for the overall market. Geography continues to play a significant role in how the gains for the high-end are distributed around Louisville with the data confirming what most already know: the established neighborhoods inside Louisville’s major expressways (I-264 and I-265) remain some of Louisville’s most desirable and continue to attract the most buyers. The neighborhoods inside the Watterson Expressway (Indian Hills, Mockingbird Valley, St. Matthews, etc.) have seen an 11% increase in sales for high-end homes over last year and those along Highway 42 up to the Gene Snyder (Glenview, Northfield, etc.) are up 33%. Crossing the Snyder into Prospect brings a sharp decline of nearly 20% for homes in this price range. The same holds true along the Shelbyville Rd corridor with sales up 40% in Anchorage and the surrounding areas, but down over 23% along the same stretch of road outside the beltway. The notable outlier, both in location and trend, isOldham County which despite being well outside of the Gene Snyder has managed to attract 21% more high-end sales this year with their award-winning schools and bucolic settings.
The activity marks a change in buyers’ behavior from what we’ve seen the last few years. The recent phenomenon of value-driven purchases, with buyers shopping disparate locations in search of the most motivated seller has shifted back towards traditional location-driven purchases with buyers now showing a willingness to pay the premium associated with location. Of course, to have increased sales you need available inventory and the buying frenzy on the periphery last year cleared out many of the distressed listings leading to lower inventory levels in those sub-markets currently experiencing lower sales.