Wow what a wind storm that blew into Roseburg on the 13th. It caused a lot of havoc in blown down trees and power outages, however, we seem to manage. I guess the old trite saying of “March has the roar of a lion…” is really true. Right now, I am real excited about the college basketball tournaments that are going on around the country leading up to the final 4. Speaking of the final tournament, my son-in-law invited me to accompany him to Houston where the top 2 teams in the nation will square off on April 4th. I am so fortunate this year because I saw the BCS Championship Bowl in January and now the Championship game in basketball.
Existing home sales fell in February following three straight monthly increases, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales dropped nationwide by 9.6% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.88 million. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects 2011 to be an uneven recovery for housing. He went on to say, “housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by 2 main problems. Unnecessary tight credit of borrowers and a measureable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers.”
Douglas county sales activity experienced a decline this February as well which follows the national and state trends. Comparing February 2010 with February 2011, closed sales went from 57 to 52. (-8.77%) Pending sales fell off as well from 95 to 75. (-21%) New listings were down from 198 to 181 or -8.5%. As we compare January 2011 to February 2011, closed sales fell from 66 to 52 (-21.1%) and pending sales dropped from 78 to 75 (-3.9%). New listings increased from 169 to 181 (+7.1). At the month’s rate of sales, the 1,054 active residential listings would last approximately 20.3 months which is up 4+ months over last month. Current listings are taking longer to sell as well, so seller’s need to adjust their prices to meet the market prices or price them slightly below market prices in order to generate a sale. The average sales price for February 2011 was down (-15.2%) compared to February 2010. This is a significant downward trend, however, prices dropped (-24.8%) comparing prices this month to the prices in January 2011. Thus the average sales price is down -$46,200. ($186,400-$140,200) I was not surprised because we continue to see the rate of foreclosures in our county increases as well as the number of short sales. I think that we are going to see prices continue downward compared to 2010 and will probably mirror 2009. Our average sales price today is the same as it was in February 2004 and down (-$100,000) from the high of $240,000 in February 2007.
So what does all this mean, we are still in a very soft real estate market and unless we see some stabilization in the national, state and local economy this trend will continue. We need to grow jobs in our county by encouraging our already businesses to hire as they can. I think that we will remain in our state of affairs for some time, so keep the faith.
Remember to keep our military and their families in your thoughts during these turbulent times of uncertainty in the world. Count your blessings and love on your loved ones, they need you and you need them.