Front Lines

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Spencer Marker & Co. - Long & Foster

Well let's start off by saying Thank God the snow is almost gone!  It sure put a chill on the market.  We had come out of the gates strong in January but this stopped everything in its tracks.  The month however saw improvement, just not what it could have been in my opinion.  Sales of townhomes increased 54%, going from 46 sales in January to 71 in February.  Still below the 80 we sold last February but I think that is purely a function of there being far fewer homes on the market to choose from.  Last February there were 147 on the market and this February only 51.  The average Days on Market for townhomes was 28 days up slightly from 20 in January, a HUGE improvement from the 80 plus days of last February.  Single Family homes also showed improvement although not the same high numbers as townhomes.  The number of sales increased by 21%, from 23 in January to 28 in February.  This is 33% higher than the 21 sales last February so I think it is a good trend.  I also think this is a direct result of the bounce in the town home sector allowing folks to move up in housing market.  Lets hope that continues!!  Inventory only increased slightly from 34 in January to 36 in February, still less than half of last years available inventory in the same months.  Sellers that have come on the market are for the most part optimistic in their pricing.  That means they are pricing higher than even the most recent comps in hope that the market will come to them.  For town homes this is much easier to do than it is for single-family homes.  There is so much demand in the lower price ranges that you can try higher and then reposition if you have to and you will not have lost any ground.  This is harder in the mid and higher levels because there is just not the same amount of activity and there is more inventory to choose from.  If you miss that buyer they are not necessarily going to be there when you change your price because they are not a first time buyer or an investor, they are either relocating and have to buy quickly or they have their home sold already and have to buy quickly.  I expect, or maybe just hope, to see a "bounce" in the single-family sector or at least the bottom.   I base this upon incoming relocation levels and move up traffic that we have not seen in the past. As long as the surge in inventory is not more than what we typically get I think the stage is set to at least see the bottom.  As our market continues to unfold, I will as usual keep you informed.


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