Interesting statistics from our MLS as of June 30, 2012:
Our inventory has fallen 31% from June of 2011. We have what equates to 2.3 months of inventory (a normal market would have 3-4 months of active inventory). Closings and New Contracts this month are actually down from last year because of lack of adequate inventory (down 21-25% from last year). Biggest clue to our housing market: Median Price of Sold Homes is up 31%!
Inventory last year at this time was approximately 20,200; this month it was 8,600. In general, the lower price ranges are most in shortage. Every price range under $200,000 has under 2 months worth of inventory; this means that sellers are able to pick and choose from often multiple contracts on their property. They are often choosing cash offers which are not dependent on appraisals. This is most true on close-in areas of the valley, but even sellers in outlying areas are experiencing multiple contracts (and often cash offers), decreased inventory, and increasing prices. There are 4 months of inventory in homes around $500,000; but still 12 months worth of inventory in the $1,000,000+ price category.
This is NOT a time to make low-ball offers on a property in good condition. Many of those are selling for at least list price, often higher!
The number of foreclosures has dropped significantly over the past year. Rather than foreclosing, most banks are now working more efficiently on short sales and there are still a significant number of short sale listings in MLS. But those, too, have risen in price and are selling very quickly because they are still somewhat lower than traditional sales. The number of traditional listings and sales has now surpassed short sales; more sellers now feel they can get a reasonable price for their homes, so they are willing to put their homes on the market.
One of the biggest issues right now for buyers and sellers is APPRAISAL. Lower sales in the past 6 months are holding down current sales appraisals so they can only increase gradually; but cash contracts that are not subject to appraisal are quickly providing higher appraisals in most areas.
For more detailed information about your neighborhood or area, feel free to call or email. The market is definitely regional!