I had to chuckle when I read that pending home sales "fell off a cliff". Not that the slump in the real estate market is funny, but the phrase was certainly catchy. And I couldn't help wondering why people seem to be so surprised by the fact that pending home sales are down dramatically after the tax credits expired.
In the Coeur d'Alene real estate market, we have known for many months that the uptick in sales has been fueled by the first time and repeat buyer tax credits. Nearly 70% of all sales have been under $200,000. And my observation is WELL under. First time homebuyers, for the most part. Yet we continued to hear a lot of positive spin of good numbers. I agree, anything positive to report should be reported along with all the doom and gloom.
Today came the report from the National Association of Realtors that pending home sales fell 30% in May. That is a measurement of new homes that went under contract after the deadline for the tax credit expired April 30. Apparently, no one expected it to be this shocking of a decrease. Really?
"The pending home sales report is a disaster," said Mike Larson, a real estate analyst for Weiss Research. "Sales fell off a cliff after the tax credit expired. It's the biggest monthly decline ever and the index is at its lowest level since NAR began tracking it in 2001."
Nation wide, pending home sales fell 30% in May from the month before, and are off 15.9% from May of last year.
A quick check of our Coeur d'Alene Multiple Listing Service showed that locally, our May pending home sales were down about 28%. But here's the deal. For homeowners whose homes were NOT in the entry level price ranges being snapped up by the first timers, their statistics were already down in the pits. They fell off the cliff when the bubble burst in 2007. They were unaffected by the tax credit-induced surge in sales. And their location relative to the cliff is unchanged. I'm just surprised that so many seem to be surprised about the post-tax credit numbers plunging.
I couldn't resist illustrating this post with these great pictures taken in Post Falls, Idaho. When I asked my talented photographer sister, Kerri thoreson, if she had a cliff picture in her file that I could use, she sent these over, with a smile. She, and my brother-in-law Bert, having a little cliff side fun, and a serious cliff dangler for good measure. Q'emilin Park has some of the best natural rock climbing walls in the region and attracts top climbers from all over.
Are you struggling with getting a SOLD sign on your house? Feel like you're hanging on the edge of the cliff about to come crashing down? Give me a call, sometimes talking it out will help bring a better course of action into focus.
Janna Rankin Scharf provides a superior level of real estate services to home buyers and sellers in Coeur d'Alene and Kootenai County, Idaho. Visit Janna.ServingNorthIdaho.com to search for homes in the Coeur d'Alene MLS for anywhere in spectacular North Idaho.
No matter how grand or modest your real estate dreams may be, you can turn to me in confidence. Give me a call today and let me know what I can do to be of service to you!
Janna Rankin Scharf AB, GRI, CSP, CNS, CLHMS 208.651.9700
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