The March statistics are out. Are they looking as sunny as the weather we have been getting the last few days? Here is a quick look:
Months of inventory
Months of inventory for March was 11.6 (i.e., it would take 11.6 months to sell all of the current inventory at the present purchasing volume). This is an improvement from the previous month at 13 months but still higher than a year ago which was a much more brisk 6.4.
Pending sales continue to remain 44% lower than same period last year and a modest improvement of 3% higher than previous month.
As for closed sales, they are still at about half (-43.92%) of the level from a year ago with 117 condos closed in March. However, compared to previous month, there is an increase of closed condos by ~20%. This is largely due to an increase in closed condos in the Belltown/downtown neighborhood. Interestingly, looking from beginning of this year, January closed sales are quite similar to March. There was a bad dip in February but closed sales came back up in March.
Median prices for closed condos are down by 16.66% from a year ago at $275,000 and about the same level from previous month at $274,000.
Overall, the market is showing a modest increase in inventory and pending sales, and a pretty good pick up in closed sales compared to previous month numbers (which were quite depressing). However, March was still lagging behind March 2008 in median price, pending and closed sales. Condos under $400,000 are still getting the most buyer activities compared to higher price levels.
So, basically, the statistics are demonstrating a “normalized” market. This is approaching an ideal equilibrium for both buyer and seller. Prices still need to come down a bit more (7% more), but when they do hit the equilibrium point, you’ll see buyer’s re-entering the market again. I guess I am tired of everyone referring to how “slow” it is in the Real Estate market. Simply put, this is a NORMAL market, relative to what history has demonstrated. Our market was out of control a year and a half ago, and it needed correcting.
7%?…..put down the NWMLS Bottom calling Dick Beeson Koolaid…take a look around…the last 8 years of housing appreciation was caused on borrowed demand..and im not just talking realestate..consumer driven economy on based on low interest rates and loose loan standards..
…..this correction will be much lower than 7% throw in the US and world economy…nothing is NORMAL right now…we are in a painful CORRECTION…our last decade s national GDP increase was built on borrowing…
“Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.”
Thank You Wendy for just putting the stats out there without trying to paint some picture that now is the time to buy like most realtors. I enjoy reading your Blog.
The MD, a Koolaid drinker? I don’t think so. He’s had a consistently independent tone across the blogs I’ve seen him participate in.
To me that media price column is useless. Say a year ago the March sales were: 5 condos, 1000 sqft each, $525K each. This March, the sales are: 5 condos, 700 sqft each, $350K each. And you are telling me that prices have gone down 30%+? I don’t buy it. I would at least expect to see price / sqft for that data to be meaningful.