October was an up and down month in Sumter county real estate. Some agents were busy with buyers and sellers, while others were trying to find the elusive buyer. There are buyers out there, but it seems the closer to elections we were, the more they were waiting to see what happens.
The number of units sold in October was slightly lower than the units sold in September (80 vs.86). October in prior years has been consistent on the August and September levels. While our numbers are lower than September, they are not drastically off. Wile factoring in the election, I would have expected the numbers to be right where they are at. Normally during November and December we do see buyer activity decrease with the exception of a few potential buyers coming into town over the holidays.
The number of new listings in October were the exact same as September numbers. Yes, I checked twice but September and October both had 161 new listings per month. Out of the past four years we have seen the number of new listings decrease in October three our of those four years. If November and December follow with prior year trends, Sumter County should expect to see the number of listings decrease in those two months. As in September, we have had agents changing brokerages and reentering their listings and that could also have affected our October numbers.
Sumter County remains below the 2004 sales levels with the total number of units closed. The trend on the charts indicate that the sales are following the normal progression through out the year, with no big movements up or down. Even though our numbers are lower, not seeing a big swing in any month is a good indicator.
I still expect the remainder of 2008 to remain slow due to the holidays. I have not seen any big changes in the financial markets to indicate any large changes in the 2009 market. We can all talk about the elections and changes that will bring, but there will be a lag between when those are implemented and when we see the changes. Real estate is a local market and fortunately, Sumter has still maintained their home values, but we are still in a buyers market.
Copyright®, November 2008, Kim Peasley-Parker.