Reports from many Realtors® and loan officers in Sumter are indicating that activity is picking up. Personally, I have watched more and more buyers driving through my neighborhood picking up fliers and looking at houses. For buyers, it is a great time to be looking for a home. The inventory of homes remains high, while the 30 Year Fixed rate mortgage is low.
The January 2008 number of units sold was 69. Comparing this with prior January units closed, 2008 fell between 2004 and 2005 numbers. The number is down considerably from January 2006 and January 2007, but consistent with the year end results for 2007.
With the numbers of homes closing in January being lower than in December 2007 and the level of activity higher, I wondered if what we were seeing was just activity or actually plans to purchase. As of February 8, 2008, there are 151 homes listed under contract in Sumter. This translates into seeing a large jump in closings in February. I will be adding homes under contract to help follow the Sumter market better in future months.
In our journey of watching the Sumter market, we have been looking at the number of new listings per month. In January 192 new listings were added to the MLS. This indicated a slight increase of three properties from December. As a Realtor®, I would expect to see the number of new listings increase over the next few months as we get into "selling season". Looking back over the past several years, the increase in new listings between December 2007 and January 2008 is not nearly has high in prior years. It might take a few months to see a trend, but it might be that the number of new listings has leveled off in our market.
Sumter is still in a buyers' market, but home values are still steady. Sumter county homes are selling for 97% of list price. As a Realtor®, if these trends hold over the next few months, I expect to see our market improve and the balance between buying and selling markets become more balanced.
I have not included charts in this blog as the charts were difficult to read with only the January data for 2008 on them. The charts should return next month.
©2008 Kim Peasley-Parker, All Rights Reserved