Thursday, April 21, 2011

March Home Sales stink more than we want them too.

Ok...Don't shoot the messenger.

In a quick review of the March 2011 numbers compared to 2010 March numbers we can really see the effects of the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.  In an effort to "clean up" the numbers, the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors is releasing numbers using a 3-year rolling average.  This can be helpful to see what is going on - while attempting to take out some of the affects of the tax credit.  These numbers are below: 
Closings:
March 2009:  1,389
March 2010:  1,594
March 2011:  1,477
3 year Avg:  1,487
# Closings:  -0.7%

Now, for you purists out there, me being one of them, Let's just look at the straight up number compared to last year.

Closings:March 2010:  1,594
March 2011:  1,477
# Closings:  -7.34%
Gross Volume:  -18.93%
  (yep, that's pretty Gross)
Average Price:  -12.51%
(yeah, I see why they might want to Average those things out over 3 months rather than just a straight up comparison).  That's just Nasty.

 There are some trends that are looking up, like the local job market - Unemployment dropped last month to 8.9%, the best reading since January 2008, as well as Cincinnati's numbers on housing - we are out performing other major Ohio cities like Dayton, Columbus and the Cleveland/Akron area by significant margins.

So, while there are some items that we can cling to to improve our mood this Spring - until people start buying houses again, we will be grasping at the wind.  Rates on Loans are still quite impressive - if you can get one.  The number of hoops to jump through to get a loan have increased greatly with lenders continuing to be more and more cautious about where they put their money.  (Wouldn't you?)  

Meanwhile, Inventory continues to increase with an apparent lack of buyers on the market - this makes for once again some long marketing times for those folks trying to sell.  Hopefully some Sun will brighten those days waiting with an influx of buyers - the non-fence-sitting type.  (Hey, it's my dream I can see it how I want).  In the meantime - as it has been, PRICE will continue to be a driving factor in sales.  If you are thinking about selling - now is the time to talk to a professional so that you are aware of your options.  Give me a call and we get those options sorted out.

Chris W.
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