April 29, 2011 Sarasota, FL - Every once and a while I run an MLS search to help me understand where the market is headed. For those who know me, I tend to be a bit of a pessimist about all of the media hype regarding the market is coming back and happy days are here again. I am into my own facts as I find them and see them. That being said...
According to the MLS, Sarasota county has 6112 active residential properties (including single family, condos etc). Of these, 205 are bank owned (REO). Yes, just 3% of the active properties are foreclosure/REO properties. 864 are short sales.
The REO number is consistent with the fact JP Morgan and Bank of Amerika (pun intended) have yet file hardly (less than 10) any foreclosures this year according to the clerk of court. My guess is, that little paper work "problem" from the end of last year is a bigger problem then banks want us to know. Courts are wising up to document manufacturers and those who would go to court making stuff up to get the foreclosures through. It probably won't work and if banks push foreclosures through with more bogus paperwork. Chances are courts are going to be even harder to BS their way through. We'll have to see how this one plays out.
Only 14% of the active properties are short sales. 1226 of the 2542 pending properties are short sales (about half). Over the past 6 months, 4643 properties have closed and of those settled properties, only 759 of those (or 16.3%) are short sales. 1021 are foreclosures (22%). I know you can't really run a straight line over these numbers because short sales can take 2,4,8,12 months or even more. If 50% of the pendings are short sales and only 16% of the total sales are short sales, then I think it safe to assume you have about an 8% chance of closing short sale. I have my own war stories and the advertised number back a year or 2 ago was only 20% of the short sales ever close. I still contend, why would anyone want to torture themselves with a short sale as a general rule.
82% of the active inventory is still just someone wanting to sell and someone wanting to buy with no bank intervention on the seller's side. 2863 of the sales over the past 6 months are normal sales (62%), followed by foreclosure homes with 22% followed by the 16% being short sales. Banks are not filing foreclosures so that side of the inventory equation in not being replenished. There are only 205 active homes on the market that are bank/REO. So much for wanting to get into the REO business.
I think we have the a strong foundation for a bottom based on the numbers I see today. Yea, I know the dollar could fall, gas could hit $6.00 and on and on. We always have those factors. For those thinking the market has more to go down, even my pessimist self has to say, don't bet on it.
John Woodward, GRI, CRS, SFR
Sarasota Real Estate Group
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