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Quarterly Marketing Report

by Don Martin ~ May 24th, 2009

Its time to take a look at the market in Pickens County once again and so here is the Quarterly Report from the Broker and Owner of Torrey Mountain Properties, Inc., Ben L. Torrey.  Ben drafted this update for our clients, but they have had a few days to mull it over so now we’ll post it for the general public.  In the text of Ben’s report he invites clients to visit; I should point out that for Bent Tree, Big Canoe and Pickens County you can also search very effectively on my site

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Ben’s report or if I can assist you in any real estate transaction.

See you ’round the Mountains,



This report was delayed while waiting to see what impact President Obama’s
Stimulus Package might have. It was a long time coming. However, there are signs
that the investment market is getting its act together. The DOW has been above
8,000 for the last twelve days. It may bounce up and down but as long as it stays
above 8,000 the consumer confidence of the general public will began to rise and
purchases will follow. Another good sign for the investment market is that the
S & P 500 index recently took a 36% up tick. Fortunately for this market the bad
news from the auto makers closing of dealerships and the attendant layoffs did not
impact the financial market as I first feared. We need to remember that the biggest
impact of that event will occur during the first quarter of 2010 when the dealer’s
contracts are not renewed. Hopefully the recovery will be well under way by that
time so the possible increase in unemployment will not create a major downturn.

Another positive indication of the recovery is that the major banks came through
the recent “stress test” better than was expected. There is still room for
improvement through gaining increased capital to cushion the continuing impact of
more foreclosures. The foreclosure market stills needs much work.

I feel sure we all know how all of this affects the real estate market. There are signs
of increased sales of existing homes but those sales are mostly foreclosed homes or
“short sales of distressed homes. Until most of these foreclosed homes and
distressed homes are sold the normal real estate market will not show a steady
growth. Values of the other homes will remain depressed and will stay on the
market until the demand picks up which should begin in the latter part of the third

The biggest problem with homes for sale in Pickens County has been the fear of the
unknown with a new President, bank failures, and the inability of many buyers to
qualify for a mortgage. Consumer confidence is showing a slight increase and the
banks are now trying to find the correct balance for mortgage qualification. For
those of us in Bent Tree and Big Canoe communities, the problem has been the lack
of demand as demonstrated by few or no buyers visiting the properties. The interest
has remained extremely high on the Internet so we know there is a tremendous pent
up demand. Much of this is caused buy the inability of the potential buyers to sell
their homes in Florida and other areas. That, also, will change over time. From
January 1, 2009 to May 1, 2009 there have been only three homes sold in Bent Tree
and the average selling price has been 92 % of asking price. There are currently
three pending sales in Bent Tree with one of them a big house on the lake that was
listed at $599,000 but was sold for $505,000.  This will skew the percentage of sales
to listing price.

Let me remind you of the TORREY MOUNTAIN PROPERTIES, INC. marketing
programs. We are heavily involved with the Internet which has proven to be the
best way to get your listed properties in front of the buying public. It is also an
outstanding way for those of you looking to buy properties to preview the available
listings.  Test this by going to then put in the zip code for
Pickens County – 30143.   The listings will pop up for your review. One other very
successful program is organized and run by my Associate Broker, Don Martin. On
the first Monday of each month the Bent Tree Caravan previews the new listings for
the month. We have between 12 and 21 Realtors on each Caravan and that is the
best way to get the word out in the local market.

My forecast for the future real estate market in Pickens County, including Bent
Tree and Big Canoe, is for demand to begin up during the latter part of the
third quarter, unless there is another financial industry or a major
event of nature.

We must remain patient and wait for the right buyer or drop the price and move on.
That is your choice as I see it.

In the absence of a major event that will cause an impact, positively or negatively,
my next Marketing Report will be published in mid-July.

Please remember that we at Torrey Mountain Properties, Inc. appreciate the
confidence you have placed in us for the buying or selling real property. We will do
everything in our power to accelerate the process and we appreciate your patience
during the process.

Ben L. Torrey, Broker
Torrey Mountain Properties, Inc.
May 23, 2009

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