I can only talk to my local market for homes sales in Plymouth MA & Cape Cod. For that just click on our website link below and go to my last blogs on local markets. I read the industry press lately and come away convinced no one really has a handle on the housing market or maybe it's just they are too busy wanting to build a positive picture that common sense gets pushed aside.
I refer to the national press questioning the housing rebound after poor national results of sales in January/February. The first time in many months where sales actually declined. With many Realtors voicing concern over lack of inventory, I think it was only a matter of time that sales and pending sales might slow. Prices continue to rise slowly and declining distressed properties continue to be the good news. But the "uncertainty" factors - usually a basket of economic issues - employment, credit, financial market news, etc. keep all of us on our toes.
There is confusing news in the press that we would be well advised to filter for ourselves and our clients and of course verify this with local data. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the February Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) dropped because of low inventory of homes for sale. But in January, when inventory dropped to its lowest level in 3 years the PHSI increased. The PHSI fell in February, and the inventory increased, and NAR blamed this again on low inventory.
So what's the story? I think looking at data on a monthly basis is probably not a good idea. We live in volatile times and it appears this is the new normal.
Most of the press continue to talk about a recovery as sustainable. I have only seen two contrary opinions. When I pare it down, both viewpoints are using the same data to arrive at different conclusions. I have even read where sustainability was mentioned as a fact. A fact only because the majority of the press are reporting the same and so should we all except the inevitable as market opinion one way or another doesn't matter. While I applaud the effort to build confidence, this kind of blind action is what drove us off the cliff. Or maybe I just have a bit less trust in our institutions, Government and elite individuals that got us here.
But I do have trust in our local markets to survive and flourish. And Plymouth & Cape Cod home sales are off to a relatively good start in Q1.