January has come and so have some buyers. Closings were up but the biggest story is the low number of available properties this year compared to last year. We entered the year with 5671 available properties to purchase. Last year at the same time we had 7773 properties for sale. That is a significant difference. What should happen is prices will firm as inventory declines and the demand increases. Additionally, some of the properties that have been slow to move should see more interest from potential purchasers.
Luxury housing did well which is always good, but this is a small section of the overall market. The weather has been fabulous and although this is not scientific, some feel that some of the buyers are taking advantage of the great weather playing golf, going to the beach, and boating instead of purchasing a new home. Conversely those who have been holding open houses this past month reported great buyer traffic. Interestingly, for those properties I held open houses, those looking consists predominantly by women.
Other good news include the median closed price rose to $343,000 and pending sales were up by 33 percent which should be a great indicator for February’s report. Lastly, the months of inventory dropped to 6.6 months. Those looking to purchase this year should move quickly on those properties they want because competition for these properties will most likely significantly increase. Additionally, it is a great time to list if you plan to sell. It is a Seller’s market.