Friday, January 28, 2011

Closing out the year...with baited breath

We closed out December with 1,197 Homes being sold through our Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati and 16,903 homes sold in all of 2010.  How does that compare to last year you ask?  I'm glad you did!

Comparatively, we sold 9.80% fewer homes in December of 2010 than we did in December 2009.  I can try to dig into the bright side here but quite frankly, I don't have the energy for it.  Let's face it, that number stinks; now - let's get on with getting on.  As we look overall through 2010, we can see that home prices do seem to have stabilized a bit, and while inventory still seems a high for the volume (or lack thereof) of buyers in the market we seem to be moving in a positive direction.  As an added benefit, rent prices are increasing and with continued low rates and still depressed home prices it can quickly become advantageous for renters to buy.

For the year of 2010, we sold 16,903 homes which is 10.15% fewer homes than were sold in 2009 but as I said earlier the median price of homes is 0.88% positive over the median price of homes sold in 2009.  If you are a "glass is half full" kind of person this number is for you.  I could make it look better by reporting the "Average" - but I don't really like averages and I feel that the median numbers give us a much better view of what the market is REALLY doing.

Getting inside these numbers we see a few things. #1 - Lender involvement in the above numbers for 2010 is just above 30%.  That means that over 30% of 2010's sales where short sales, foreclosure properties, etc.  Believe it or not that number is down by -1.23% over 2009.  But don't expect that number to decline anymore through 2011 - in fact, it may approach closer to 40% again by the time the year is out.  #2 - Lenders are sitting on close to 3 Million properties that are currently over 3 months delinquent in their mortgage payments.  This is a problem that will not be going away in a year or two.  You could look at this foreclosure market a variety of ways.  For another view of this you can visit The Angry Capitalist and enjoy Dan's insight on the housing market - the economy and what's wrong with the world, and you for that matter!  There are some good reads there - I don't agree with all of them but he's a smart guy and I always enjoy a different perspective.  We've got a long way to go here and I expect 2011 will provide us with some ups and downs - much like 2010.  What this country needs right now are jobs!  Solve that quandary and you will be amazed at how quickly other things will follow suit.

My advice, if you are thinking about putting your house on the market - think long and hard about why.  And before you do, consult with a REALTOR® to find out what the market is willing to pay for your home.  A good plan, starts with good planning.

Chris Wood
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