Wednesday, June 16 2010
As I said last month, sales in March and April were spectacular! Many of the contracts written in those months closed in May. Closed volume in May was at its highest level since June of 2007 and was $10 million higher than any month in over two years. All those closings also reduced our month’s supply of inventory to just over 6 months supply. That means our inventory of homes is at its lowest level in almost 4 years. All of that is great news, but real estate results and conditions should not be measured based only on one or two month’s activity. A longer period of time gives us a more accurate picture. Pended transactions declined significantly in May, partially as a result of the expiration of the tax credit. Closings will still be healthy in June, just not at May levels.
The key question now is where do we go from here? Although we will not see results like March and April anytime soon, there are several reasons, according to The Kiplinger Letter, to believe that housing sales are on a steady but slow increase. First home prices are very affordable. It now takes about 18% of the typical household income to meet principal and interest payments on a single family home which compares favorably with the long term average of 26%. Second, consumer confidence is improving which is critical to expensive, long term commitments, like home purchases. As I said a couple of months ago, three quarters of Americans believe now is a good time to buy. Third, there is a consensus that credit conditions will ease and that mortgage interest rates will remain at their very low level for several more months. We won’t, and we shouldn’t, go back to the freewheeling days of 2007 but a slight loosening of credit can be helpful without creating unreasonable risks.
The best tip I can give you about shopping for homes is to start at www.TheTrentiniTeam.com or www.FCTuckerEmge.com We just enhanced and enlarged the size of pictures on all listings and are in the process of making several other improvements which we will roll out later this year.
Kathy and I would like to take this opportunity to whish you happy summer holidays and above all safe travels.