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Market Update – March 2014

Single Family Home Summary

As far as new listings for houses (single family homes and Planned Unit Development units) , this year we have only 143 new listings compared to last year at this time with 199. The number of pended listings for the month is also low compared to last year, but our overall inventory has been hovering at all-time lows.  Additionally, our overall closed sales numbers are much less; we had almost 30% less sales of houses in February than we had last year for the same month.  The only factor on the upswing is the median price for February which went up almost 5% from the previous year and about 16% increase year to date.

 

Condo Summary

Condo statistics are appearing a bit different.  There have been 80 new listings for condos this year compared to 70 new listings in the same time frame last year.  Interestingly, the number of pended listings is the same as last February at 37.  Overall closed sales for February are also the same as last year at 28.  The median is up quite a bit – 11% increase over the month and 21% increase year to date.   The one statistic that stands out is the number of active condo listings.  As of the end of February, there were 102 compared to last year at just 45 – more than twice as many.  Out of the current 102 active listings, 30 of them are priced over $1,000,000.

 

Overall Market Conditions

March 2014 Blog Post

What are the factors that the overall market is dealing with?  For an active market, with the number of houses for sale, we are still seeing historically low inventory; though for condos we are seeing just the opposite.  There are still quite a few properties that are receiving multiple offers in all price ranges.  Interest rates have been fairly steady, but are potential buyers concerned that these rates will start to go up?  If so, then we would expect to see more pended listings and closed sales than the previous year.  The economy is said to be improving, slowly, and this should also be considered good for the real estate market.

To see so few sales for houses compared to the last two years may raise a few questions.  But looking at our last “good market”, the number of sales is comparable to 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2007.  Maybe it is not so bad after all.  Maybe we are just having a slow start of the year, keeping in mind that many of the closed escrows in January and February initially went into escrow in November/December of last year.  Those months do tend to be slower sales months.

March 2014 Blog Post - 2

Watching the median price for houses going up makes us feel that the market is heading in the right direction. The year to date median for houses is reminiscent of the last good market; again comparable to 2007.  We should also keep in mind that the median for two months may not be a good benchmark in determining how the rest of the year will fare.

Generally, the market appears favorable. With the overall months of inventory (the figure that determines how long it will take to sell the available inventory) being at 3.1 indicates a fairly strong market.  We anticipate the market to continue to be favorable and look forward to seeing some increases in the number of sales.

 

 

*Data from SBMLS and Village Properties.