August 2011 - Monthly Indicators & Housing Supply

Despite some choppy waters in August, there have been noteworthy shifts on both sides of the closing table. Buyer activity is moving back in line with historical trends while sellers are making fewer concessions in order to sell their homes. Falling supply and improving absorption rates in many regions also suggest that market balance is realigning towards neutral. Locally, a few indicators posted positive movement over August 2010, but do the rest of the numbers provide reason for optimism?

New Listings in the CMLS region decreased 7.5 percent to 1,281. Pending Sales were up 19.1 percent to 667. Inventory levels shrank 5.8 percent to 7,855 units, a positive supply-side improvement.

Prices dipped lower. The Median Sales Price decreased 10.0 percent to $137,000. Days on Market increased 11.1 percent to 110 days. Absorption rates slowed as Months Supply of Inventory was up 17.5 percent to 14.6 months.

The economy bobbed along just this side of positive in August. Consumer confidence, which often affects housing demand, showed some slack even as personal income and spending both increased modestly. Low interest rates, declining supply and stabilizing prices are beacons of hope in the harbor, but the recovery still needs wind in its sails.

-Article Courtsey of CLMS

July 2011 - Monthly Indicators & Housing Supply

At the height of summer, we're finally beginning to move beyond comparisons to the 2010 incentive market. Even so, sudden changes in sales volumes are likely due to factors occurring at this time last year. Qualified buyers may find more attractive opportunities now than during either of the recent tax credits. Interest rates should hold their ground around five percent, though the shift in the federal credit rating could change that. Some indicators suggest improving conditions, but let’s see just how we’re faring locally.

New Listings in the CMLS region decreased 20.5 percent to 1,164. Pending Sales were up 3.6 percent to 625. Inventory levels shrank 4.9 percent to 8,015 units, but consumers are still finding terrific opportunities. Strong affordability is partly driving purchase demand.

Prices softened a bit. The Median Sales Price declined 4.5 percent to $143,340. Days on Market increased 9.0 percent to 117 days. Absorption rates slowed as Months Supply of Inventory was up 21.6 percent to 14.8 months.

Second quarter GDP growth was just 1.3 percent after a meager 0.4 percent gain in the first quarter. We added 117,000 new jobs in July, a stronger gain than expected after an embarrassing June. Even though a budget deal has been reached, several challenges persist. Changes to Fannie, Freddie and the mortgage interest deduction are still in play. As consumers absorb distressed inventory and labor market conditions improve, the wheels of recovery grind on.

-Article Courtesy of CMLS