If a lot of stat-dork REALTORS(R) like me have been constantly fuming about the continually incorrect messages the media has been sending out comparing 2010 to 2011, it's good to see that now when we look back to last year we're comparing similar markets. For many of us in the industry we realized that over the course of 2009 and 2010 until August our market was heavy with incentives with the first time and "move up" home buyer tax credit. Due to these added incentives those markets could not be accurately compared to 2010's which lacked any government-backed incentive such as the tax credits. The deadline to close the tax-credit sales was the end of August last year.
We've now got nearly 2 months of market data in 2011 that we can compare to a "similar" 2010 that was similar in market conditions, consumer confidence, and interest rates. Sure loan programs are probably even a little more tight, interest rates are currently slightly lower, and the economy has added back some lost jobs, but overall the comparison is much easier to make.
Since my data lies in Missoula, MT - that's what I can look at. So going from 9/1/10 - 10/28/10 and comparing the same dates in 2011 here's what I get for residential sales.
- 120 houses sold
- $205,950 median sales price
- $27,130,247 in total sold volume
- 95.8% of median listing price to sold price
- 105 houses sold
- $211,000 median sales price
- $24,245,633 in total sold volume
- 93.8% of median listing price to sold price
There's some positives here and continued challenges as well. Volume is down 12.5% which suggests that we're seeing continued slowing in our market currently, compared to how the market was last year. Our median is up a bit, good news for homeowners showing that our values aren't falling based upon this small snapshot, however it's raising the barrier to buy in this market for those looking to purchase. Also we see that houses last year were not having to reduce as much to sell, suggesting that our buyer's market is getting stronger and sellers are becoming more receptive to having to make larger reductions to getting sold.