Overall home sales activity continued to decline in 2011, but the rate began to recover toward the end of the year.
As of January 1 2012, available homes for sale declined slightly as compared to January 1 2011 while homes under contract rose - boding well for the housing market as we enter 2012. In addition, while yearly sales continued to decline to a rate 9% below 2011 and 19% below 2010, the gap in activity began to close as the sales rate began to rise toward the end of the year. (Check out the last Update in July here)
As of January 1 each year:
Year: Homes on the Market | Homes under Contract | Homes Sold
2012: :3133 464 4072
2011: :3210 414 4476
2010: :2750 495 5030
2012 Vs 2011
Change: -2.4% +12% -9%
2012 Vs 2010
Change: +14% -7.3% -19%
Positive News: With lower inventory and more homes under contract, we may be past the bottom of the market. There continues to be a large unsatisfied pent up demand with people who want to move and plenty of inventory available to satisfy the demand. In addition, the financing rates have never been lower for those who qualify.
Negative News: We still have a relatively anemic sales rate. The key will continue to be if anyone can "afford" to move. Both buyers and sellers continue to have problems selling their current properties, obtaining satisfactory appraisals on their sales and purchases, and, most critically, obtaining satisfactory financing to move.
Bottom Line: Today continues to be one of the best times to move seen in years. Prices are down across the board, inventory is up in most market segments, and financing rates are at record lows. Although existing homeowners may see lower prices on their sales, they continue to benefit from lower purchase prices. Investors can lock in the current low financing rates to earn higher income yields for years to come. When confidence returns to the marketplace, both prices and interest rates could rise quickly.
As always, feel free to contact me anytime with all your real estate needs and questions.
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc – Devon,PA/Bear, DE
Office: 610-225-7400/Direct: 610-618-0808