“Real estate sales are improving modestly and are showing signs of things getting better” according to the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. Mr. Yun went on to say that “the pieces are in place for the housing recovery but there remains plenty of uncertainties that can derail the market.” He says that the real estate market has been essentially flat the last couple of years, at roughly 4.2 million homesbut NAR is forecasting a solid increase by the end of the year to about 4.6 million sales. The reason for improvement is that affordability remains at an all time high, interest rates remain low, foreign buyers and investors remain interested in residential real estate and the US economy is improving.
Many economists predict that corporations will continue to record higher profits, that the stock market will grow upward, and that inflation will remainlow. What’s more, pent-up demand continues to build and rentals are getting pricier. Home prices have appeared to stabilize in some areas of the country and are showing signs of improvement, giving more confidence to the buyers and sellers.
In Douglas County May residential highlights showed signs of improving as well. Comparing May 2012 with the same month in 2011 the results show that new listings rose by +17.5% from (189 to 222) and 11.6% compared to the 199 in April of 2011. Accepted offers increased +30.3% comparing May this year with last year (89 v. 116) and +41.5% from the previous month. However, closed sales declined -26.6% (69 v. 94) when comparing this month to May 2011. Inventory in months ticked up to +14.6 months as compared to May 2011 when it was 11.5 months. This means if we did not take another listing today we would have over a year’s worth of inventory to sell. We currently have 1007 residential listings for sale.
Since the first of January 2012, real estate activity is a mixed bag. Closed and pending sales are both positive at +0.3% (356 v. 355) with pending sales increasing by +9.1% (419 v. 384). The average sales price is down -2.8% from ($154,700 to $150,700 in 2012.) However, when you compare May 2012 with the previous the average sales price, it rose from $160,600 in 2011 to $163,200. This represents a significant change since the first of year when the average sales price was $119,500 to $163,200 or a +36% increase. So you can see, the values are going up which is good news for sellers. Most of the sellers continue to participate with paying for the buyers closing costs and pre-paids in order to help the purchasers buy the property, usually 3.5% of the agreed to sales price.
As we celebrate the Birthday of this Great Nation on the 4th of July,please keep our military service men and women along with their families in your thoughts and prayers. We all need to show them and our veterans our gratitude for the sacrifices they have made so we can enjoy our freedoms. Remember, our freedoms are not free.