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    Over the past year, neighborhoods in Prospect, Kentucky have been affected in a variety of ways by changes in the real estate market. Driving these changes are three primary factors — low mortgage interest rates, high inventory and a limited number of qualified buyers. There remains in the area a perception that we are operating in a “buyer’s market,” however it is more complex than that simple description and it is critical that home buyers and sellers both understand the challenges that they face in the area where they plan to buy.

    Let’s take a look at four typical neighborhoods in Prospect and see what we can learn. I have selected Norton Commons, Glen Oaks, Hunting Creek and Hillcrest to research because they each remain popular with home buyers and have enjoyed enough sales to make valid comparisons.

    Here is a graph to review that compares the average sale prices from 2010 and 2011 in each of these neighborhoods.

    First off, how many people are surprised to see that average prices rose in the year over year comparison in most of these neighborhoods? It seems contradictory to what you hear in the media and the sentiments shared by many buyers. In fact, these numbers are great news for these neighborhoods and encouragement for the market in general. Never forget that once you buy into a neighborhood you become a potential seller, so it is a good idea to know the neighborhood pricing trends.

    Norton Commons is a unique development that has benefited from a great location and a creative design. Comparing the previous two years, we have actually seen a significant increase in the average sales price of the homes, from $380,647 to $419,756. One reason for this statistic is that Norton Commons benefited from a popular Homearama last year that drove additional sales.

    Glen Oaks is a popular neighborhood that features an 18-hole golf course as its centerpiece. This neighborhood saw a slight increase in average sales price year over year, from $382,824 to $386,199. Glen Oaks relies on its location, amenities and features to attract home buyers, and it has filled a housing void as an established East-end neighborhood. This has helped prices in the area hold relatively steady though the years.

    Hunting Creek in many ways sets the standard for a classic Prospect neighborhood. Primarily developed over the last 40 years, the neighborhood has taken advantage of beautiful terrain, easy access to U.S. 42 and loyal residents. Over the last two years, Hunting Creek has seen a slight decrease in average sales price, from $295,576 to $286,085. In my opinion, the neighborhood has suffered in pricing because of competition with newer neighborhoods in the area with similar price points.

    Hillcrest targets an upscale buyer, showcasing larger, more prominent homes close to Prospect shopping areas. This neighborhood, like Norton Commons, saw a significant increase in the average sales price over the previous two years, from $396,838 to $446,154. Such an increase bodes well for the market in general, and shows that there is still a market for high-end homes. Hillcrest, located in Oldham County, benefits from a great area school system, in addition to a well-designed neighborhood that helps to attract home buyers.

    Hopefully, these statistics will help you understand actual market trends over the previous two years. While the overall market in Louisville and across the U.S., remains uncertain it is a positive to see that pricing in several key neighborhoods in the area have held their ground.

    (Based on information from Metro Search, Inc. for a period from 2010 through 2011.)

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