It's probably too early to get excited, but the third quarter 2011 residential real estate results for Delaware Co. In are in and we may have turned the corner. Third quarter unit sales were up nearly 3% over the same quarter in 2010 and it was the first time in the past 4 quarters that units sold had exceeded the same period in the previous year.
Year to date is still behind due to very low activity in the first 2 quarters of this year. It does look like the rest of 2011 has a good chance to exceed the fourth quarter of 2010 and the improvement should carry on into 2012.
The number of reposessions has leveled off at around 25% of sales, down from over 33% at its highest level. Short Sales remain a non-factor, accounting for less than 3% of units sold.
Even better news is that average sale prices have improved by over 9% from the 3rd qtr. 2010 and over 2% year to date. Again, the YTD is not too exciting, but it's the first time a 3rd. qtr YTD price average has exceeded the previous year since 2005. In addition to increased sales of higher priced properties, our repos have been predonminately at the low end, so as the total number of those units has decreased, we have seen an increase in average sale prices. The list price to sale price ratio has improved slightly to just under 94%, very near our historical average.
Inventories of homes for sale decreased by over 2.6% in the 3rd qtr and that has carried through into the 4th qtr. The lower inventories come at a time of normally lower activity and so there should be less downward pressure on selling prices for the rest of the year.
Pending sales, a gage of future activity, were up slightly at the end of quarter. Average days on the market, the time from list to close, increased from 2010 but improved from the 2nd qtr. of 2011. It currently takes about 146 days to sell an average priced property.