December was a good month for the Boone housing market even with the seasonal fluctuations in the real estate market (December tends to be one of the slowest months for Real Estate sales). The supply of new listings continued at the same pace, but the number of pending sales increased 140% compared to last year (17 for 2008 compared to 7 in 2007).
The listing supply (the period of time needed to clear the housing market inventory) has gone from a high of over 23 months (2007) down to the low teens (2008) for Boone County for the month of December.
The silver lining to this housing market cloud is the affordable housing and financing rates available for buyers which is causing the increase in pending and closed real estate sales. With the influx of foreclosure homes coming onto the market, sellers have had to become more competitive with price and condition of their homes. A positive note for the seller, home values in 2008 averaged a .5% increase for the Boone County area compared to many areas in the country experiencing a 5-35% decrease. This indicates that home purchases in our area are still a safe investment in contrast to a volatile stock market.
Buyers in many price ranges are finding an abundance of homes available for sale with the increased inventory levels. Given the wide variety of choices available, buyers are in a position to be very selective in their choice, and they are not paying more than the current market value of a home. Home sellers should note that while the numbers of sales are slightly higher than 2008 for the last quarter, a large number of homes are remaining on the market unsold. As of Jan. 7th, 2009 we found that 142 of the 199 listings in the Boone area had been on the market in excess of 60 days; still indicating a need for more appropriate pricing. The good news is that homes which are appropriately priced, at current market value, and are in move in condition are indeed selling at an average of 90 days on the market.