October’s numbers are some of the most encouraging that I have seen in years. Yes, years! One month does not a recovery make, or even a trend for that matter, but in these days of precious little good news, the most recent numbers got my attention. Have we bottomed out or are we bouncing around on the bottom? Too early to say. Of course we will be months past the bottom when we can say with any conviction that we are at the bottom. And as recently as a few weeks ago both the Wall St Journal and the Idaho Business Review were pointing out the seeming market paradox that has vexed me here in this monthly report for the better part of this year, namely very low inventory coupled with falling prices. The IBR dubbed it a “Nobody’s Market”. Buyers are frustrated by the lack of quality choices, and Sellers continue to take a beating on price.
So what’s different in October? Inventory continues to drop like a rock (-34.6% vs 2010). Months of Inventory, at a very svelte 4.4 months has been 5 or below since March. Closed sales and pending sales continue to show healthy year over year trends (+12.3% and +10.6% respectively). Average Days on Market continued their trend and dropped 27% to 89 days from 122 last year and the average sales price as a percentage of asking price rose to 95% from 90.
But in October, prices, for the first time in a very long time, actually were higher than they were a year ago, not by much, but they were higher. The average sales price per square foot at $89, was +1.7% over 2010 and has been basically steady at that number since June. But October was the first month that the number was higher than last year. Average Sales Price at $175,000 while down from a June peak of $184,000 was actually up .6% from 2010. I know it’s not much to hang a hat on but I’ll take it.
The market still has some fundamental maladies that will likely continue to keep it in check such as high unemployment, low consumer confidence, tighter lending standards, the large number of short sales/REO’s, and the fact that as many as 1 in 4 mortgage holders in our area may be underwater. External factors such as a return to recession, economic troubles in Europe, and uncertainty about the upcoming 2012 elections may also pinch our little bud of growth off before it can bloom. And while I would be remiss if I didn’t point out those things, I’m am pretty pleased nonetheless. For those of you interested in seeing the graphs of the data for this month please scroll down. As always, I appreciate your feedback, questions, and most of all your business and referrals. I know it is a little early, but since this a monthly report, I think I am safe in wishing you all a Very Happy Thanksgiving!
Windermere Access Realty
1412 W Idaho St.
Boise, ID 83702