Missoula's good news with sales volume continues to roll in. Right now (5/14) within just our valley and not looking at further out communities Missoula is up 32 residential sales compared to this time last year which represents a nearly 14.6% increase in volume sold. Buyers are flooding the market with increased purchasing power and some more favorable conventional loan programs sneaking back into the scene.
We're still 45 days out from the end of the 2nd quarter however if you tally up the sold homes so far in the MLS plus what is pending sale we could be looking at a 2nd quarter of 2012 that's 15% - 17% better than last year at the same time. Our median price is still slipping, as it probably should be, but it's not as drastic as it was earlier in the year.
Fresh off some extensive training in forward projecting trends and using advanced excel features to look at forward projections I took swipe at what the rest of the year might shape out to be. Looking at 4 different models a weighted average returned the most favorable difference in error. Applying that forward I'm pulling a projected number of sales at 826, which represents a solid 6% gain in sales volume over the course of the year. Furthermore this would put our numbers almost on pace with the "tax credit" years of 2009 and 2010 - showing that Missoula's market without government incentives is fairing just as strong as it did in 2009 and 2010 when it was propped up with tax credits.
This is a real good sign of the health of our local market and people's confidence to continue to invest in Missoula. This last year many of us surmised that a realistic number of average sales per year for Missoula would be in the 800-900 range and then we're knocked out of the water with about 780 in 2011. Well, it looks like we could creep back up into the 800's and make a good recovery back into a more sustainable sales rate.
One last quick snapshot, inventory numbers, our total market absorption rate is about 16 months of supply right now - suggesting oversupply and lots of options. However when I look back at old MOR stat reports, I see usually spring inventory/absorption rates are at or over 20 months of supply. So while there are lots of options, we're still seeing less on the market than we've seen in years past.