first buyer impact

Industry Observer with Howard Sumner Consulting

Interesting market thoughts to ponder. What happens when the first time buyer credit is gone?

Yellowstone County as of this A.M. has 210 active single family homes priced between 100k to 200k

There are 159 single family pending sales for 75.7% percentage which indicates strength in that price segment

There are 486 active single family and 255 single family pending total in Yellowstone County so the 100k to 200k comprises 62.3 % of the pending sales and only 42.2% of the active properties

A question I asked my self after looking at the price segment absorption rates(sent out early) was why such a jump (almost double in the first step above 100k to 200k absorption103 days and  the 200k to250k absorption 204 days) where were the sellers from below going.

Well out of the 159 single family pending 92 or 57.9% of the sales the homes were not move up sales either vacant or estate or short sales that leaves only 67 possible move up buyers.

Above 200k there are 96 pending sales if 100% of the possible 67 are move up that leaves a possible 29 pending sales that are in migration sales. Roughly that would translate into population growth in Yellowstone county of about 1300 people this year or 9/10ths of one percent, believable and probable.

So back to my basic question what happens to the market sales when the $8,000 first time buyer credit disappears.  I believe you get a radical drop in sales caused by the market drawing on future first times into the market now. If we lose half of those 67 first time buyer sales and retain the 29 move in buyers that would indicate we would have approximately 141 pending sales right now or a drop of 45% in pending sales.

Now Billings is fairly healthy so you extrapolate this math nation wide and then factor in unemployment and underwater loans in the major markets and you have some very interesting scenarios upon which to ponder.


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