March market report…I told you this was going to happen.

Posted on April 11, 2012. Filed under: Home Sales, Market Update, Marketing |

Sales in March 2012 were 515 in Ada County, a decrease of 2.2% compared to March 2011.   Year-to-date sales are 1,353; 7.2% over the first three months of 2011.

Even though sales were down a little; dollar volume for March was up 7%…(more on this in the “Median Price” section below)

Historically, March sales outpace February by an average of 30%. March 2012 sales increased by 17% over January 2012…(more on this in the “Inventory” section below)

Nationally we know that one job is create for every two homes sold.  With 1,353 sales so far in 2012 we have helped to bring 676 jobs to Ada County.  We also know that for each homes sold there is a $60,000 cash infusion to the community; based on YTD sales we have added $81Million to our valley’s economy so far this year.

Of our total sales in March… 43% were distressed….down 1% from February 2012. In March 2011, 58% of our sales were distressed. REO sales were a little more than half of all distressed sales and short sales were a little less than half.

Pending sales at the end of March were 1,134; an increase of 16% from the end of February. In general pending sales increase in strongly in March compared to February; and should continue to increase all the way through April or May. The percentage of pending sales in distress decreased 8% from February, totaling 33% overall. This is our first month below 40% in several years.  Of Pending Sales in distress, short sales outnumbered REO’s 2 to 1.

At the end of March, we had 23% more sales pending than at the end of March 2011.

February median home price was $154,900; up 14% from March 2011; and down 2% from February 2012. Median home price is up 22% since January of this year.

New Homes median price for March was $201,558; an increase of 6% from March 2011.

The number of houses available continues to decrease. At the end of March our total active inventory was 1,879 homes. This is down 3% from February and 29% less than last year at this time.  The last time we had an active inventory this small was in December of 2001!  Interestingly enough…sales for that month in 2001 were 517…essentially the same is March 2012.

At the same time, the percentage of distressed active inventory dipped 1% to 33%. We have been hovering between 33% and 36% for the last year. We remain well below the 40% levels set last spring….when we were on the increase. Of our Distressed Inventory 91% is Short Sales and only 9% is REO.

In Ada County we  now have less than 4 months of inventory on hand…3.9% to be exact.

The price category in shortest supply is <$119,000 with 2.3 months. In the range of $120,000 to $159,999 we have 3.1 months. All price points up to $250,000 have less than 4 months supply. We have benefited for nearly two years from inventory levels much lower than national average. Now, however, we are seeing a measurable slowdown in sales as the inventory continues to fall. Multiple offers are much more prevalent; now becoming the norm.

REALTOR® Magazine online offer great insight into managing multiple offers with theirNegotiating Toolkit.

Based on March sold data, our most desirable price point is <$120,000 at 30% of all sales.  The next largest price point sold is $120,000 to $160,000 which accounted for 24% of total sales.  The biggest increase was in sales between $200,000 and $250,000; which were up 100% from January 2012 to 18% overall.

Comparing Sales to Inventory, for key price points… @<$120,000 we sold 50% of all that we had in March; for $120,000 to $160,000 we sold 33% of all that was available; for $160,0000 to $200,000 we sold 32% of the total available.

Translated to a retail metaphor…the shelves are getting pretty bare.

There is no longer any doubt that, in Ada County, we are exiting our “recovery” mode and are full into “acute inventory shortage” mode.

The challenge to our continued recovery is available product. To all of you builders out there…please come back.  Sorry about the last few years. We really need you now.

There continues to be broad speculation on the impact of REO properties coming onto our market in a way that would upset our continued recovery.   The level of consumer demand, and the nearly bare cupboards of home inventory suggest that we will be able to withstand the impact.


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4 Responses to “March market report…I told you this was going to happen.”

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The rise in median price can be explained by how much more you get for your dollar per sf than you were getting in 2007. As the highend homes continue to come down in price and more are sold the median price will continue to climb.

What I am seeing for my buyers waiting on the Short Sale lenders is, with the market change in the past four months, the lenders are coming back with counter offers as much as $20K over the original signed contract. That is in the lower price range, under $120k. This is a fairly significant increase and most buyers are choosing not to renegotiate to that higher amount. This means these Short Sales go back on the market at the higher lender price. We believe we will see quite a few more of these.

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