As many of you probably know, I like numbers. I find that I am able to better serve my clients by understanding the data. Yesterday, The National Association of Realtors posted their Existing Homes Sales and Sale Price data for October. Once again the numbers were fascinating. The first standout bit of data was the Avg. Month’s Supply of Inventory. NAR shows the Nation’s housing inventory declined 3.6% for the month and that the number of month’s supply of inventory is down 24.5% from last year. That is a huge number. Yes, there is still too much inventory, 8 months worth according to NAR. However, a 25% drop in any number is substantial.
Sales in the West, Seasonally Adjusted (SA) were up 15.5% year over year, 10.5% Non Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), which in both cases helped pull the National numbers up to 13.5% SA and 11.7% NSA. These are large figures that bode well for the future because when sales are up and inventory is down, we will ultimately stabilize and see a shift from a buyer’s market to one of balance. Remember what that was like? A seller lists their home and it sells?
NAR also reported on prices… as expected, prices were down year over year, but in the West while down over 2.5% last month over September, the October prices were above 7 of the last 12 months. In other words, prices are moving in an up and down line rather than straight up or straight down – think horizontal zig-zag. Yes the trend line tilts south, down 4.7% YTD according to my math, but this is not nearly as gloomy as most would have guessed.
There were other interesting facts that NAR reported like a continued decline in distressed properties sold; an increase in 1st time buyers; a decrease in the number of 1st time buyers buying short sales and a decrease in the number of cash buyers and investors buying. What this signals to me is that if the sales numbers are up overall and investors are less active, that can only mean one thing: regular buyers are buying more homes. That’s great news.
So there it is. A bit of a mixed bag, but for the most part, pretty darn good news and with Thanksgiving upon us, it’s news every Realtor and homeowner can be thankful for.