Good news it is!
Existing home sales (nationwide) are at a one & a half year high. And that’s got to be a good thing. A lot of smart people are thinking that this is the bottom of the housing market trough and that the upswing has started. I happen to agree. Although, admittedly, I’ve been thinking that for the last year. But this time it’s true! Really. I pinky swear.
Oh, but you aren’t happy with national good news and want some of your very own Chattanooga-style good news? Well, I got some of that for you, too. Inventory (i.e. the number of homes on the market) is way down comparing January 2011 to January 2012. And I mean, waaaaayyyy down, 22% down, in fact. And if you’re a seller that’s awfully good news. If you’re a buyer, not so very much. The other local good news is that sales in January were up a little over 5% compared to last year. Even better than the national numbers.
Let’s go to the charts, shall we?
The bad news is that the total dollar volume, average list price, average sales price & median sales price are ALL down for January 2012. Now there are lots of reasons, besides plunging prices, that can explain that. I’ll just speculate on a few: better weather this year has brought out more first time buyers who typically buy lower priced houses, more foreclosures hitting the market this year (this time last year there was a bit of a moratorium) dragging prices down, or possibly it means that this isn’t a big enough sample and it’s just an anomaly.
My money’s on that last one. But if that’s true, the fact that the number of homes sold went up is probably also just an anomaly, too. So we’re kind of back to the middle, i.e. hanging out here in the trough, not really getting worse but not really getting that much better either. Which, compared to a lot of markets, isn’t that bad a place to be.
If you’re a big ol’ number geek like me, click to check out these same Chattanooga real estate housing stats for 2010, too.