The year is 3/4 over…

With 2012 now ¾ over it’s time to see how we’re doing so far in terms of the housing market locally. The stats for September and the year-to-date are now posted for September on my Move To Milford Web site.

I wouldn’t call the stats bad, but there are things to be disappointed about – mainly the slowing pace of sales and average sales values that have started to decline again. We are also literally running out of houses to sell. Many people who would like to sell and move on can’t, because they are underwater on their mortgages and many people who would like to move up are still scared by the current economy.

Here’s the chart from Altos Research showing the Milford Market’s average home values and inventory levels. This chart was as of October 1.

         

You can clearly see the nice run-up that we had this summer in average home prices. You can also see that when the inventory level didn’t follow prices up, we stalled out and the market turned down again.

Almost the same thing has happened in the Commerce market, althought the Commerce market peaked a bit later than the Milford market. Distressed sales in the Commerce market have stayed above 40% for much of the year, while Milford and some other markets dipped down below 20% –

The Highland market followed a different path, with inventory initially trailing and then overtaking the sales average but both eventually declining dramatically. Highland sort of peaked out early, back in June; while both Milford and Commerce continued strong into August.

Finally there’s the White Lake market, which trailed all of the other markets but which is still on a roll. You can see the beginning of the same pattern with that market thought, since inventory remains stubbornly down.

I’ll do some further analysis of the data that I’m collecting and report more on any other trends that are apparent. In the meantime to see all of the sales data for the year go to www.movetomilford.com.

One interesting stat that I watch quite closely is the average sale price cost per square foot. In the depths of the recession almost all of the local markets had fallen well below $100/Sq Ft, some as low as the mid $70’s/Sq Ft. That was mostly driven by low foreclosure prices, but it impacted all prices. Now several of the markets that I track are back above $100/Sq Ft. with Milford leading the way with an average of $103/Sq Ft and a Median of $111/Sq Ft  in September. Good homes in excellent condition in Milford can now command prices in the $110 –  $115/Sq Ft range.

There has also been a dramatic increase in New Build sales as builders have jumped back into the market to fill the void left by owners who can’t, or are reluctant to, sell right now. It’s a good time to be a builder, if you can put a product on the market in the $200 – $300K price range – the sweet spot in our local market.

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