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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

March 2010 Real Estate Market Update & 1st Quarter Analysis

Dan Elsea
2010 1ST Quarter Market Update
From Dan Elsea, President - Brokerage Services
Real Estate One Family of Companies
March Market Update

Business has heated up in the past 45 days. The market activity certainly reflects the tax credit activity (up 40-50% from last year - but the first quarter of last year was really slow, so the comparison is relative). We had initially projected a modest level of activity since we felt about 75% of those who were going to take advantage did last year, but it appears we were light on that number and further, the move up credit, although still modest in comparison, does also seem to be stronger that we had anticipated. It looks like we may have had another 40% or so left to roll into this year.

A view of the Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) for the first quarter of 2010 shows the differences in the pace of sales within pricing segments. MSI represents the number of months it would take to sell the For Sale (or available) inventory at the current sales pace. A Buyers Market is a MSI of over 6 months; a Neutral Market is a MSI of 3-6 months; a Sellers Market is a MSI under 3 months.

We are seeing the first signs of pricing stability in the under $100,000 market and even in some segments of the under $200,000 market. For our five county market the under $100,000 the MSI is at 3.2 months, a neutral market. For $100-200,000 the MSI is 6.3 months, just above neutral and for over $200,000, 10.4 months, still a strong Buyer's Market.

We are anticipating a roller-coaster year, furious activity the first six months with a slow down in the second half. But keep in mind the hot first half is being compared to a really slow 2009' and the second half of 2010' is being compared to a really strong 2009'. So the stats will show a market looking much worse after June than it really is. None the less, it will be slower, since the core economy has not picked up enough to make up for the loss of tax credits and the possibility of rising rates. All that said, the web traffic increases we are seeing show that just as there is a shadow inventory of bank owned homes hanging over the market, there is also a shadow inventory of buyers just waiting for some consistent good economic news to jump into the market.

The Annualized Home Sales Rate graph gives you a relative feel for the strength of the market, by showing the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales for the five counties. You can see that the annual sales pace has been on the rise since the summer of last year. Most signs are good; however the value appreciation light is still not green, so sellers need to remain aggressive with pricing.

Here are our numbers for March and The Annualized Home Sales Rate Graph.

March Market Report

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