Saturday, August 30, 2008

July sales begin to show silver linings

While homes sales remain at a slower pace than the past few years, the media seems to finally be finding some silver linings in the storm clouds. The most positive factor that was identified in the past couple of weeks was that July homes sales were up 3.1% from June nationally. Yes - this was down 13.2% from last year, but sometimes you find your good news where you can. Cincinnati remains quite stable relative to the rest of the nation.

An interesting analysis of area sales found that 2007 is at about the same level as 1998 - prior to the heights of the "bubble" periods with dot-coms and housing. In my opinion, sales in '98 reflected a fairly balanced level between the down cycle in 1990 - 91 and the heights of the boom in '06. I wouldn't be surprised to see sales off a little bit more, but we seem to be reaching a level of stabilization.

The following information was released by the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors:

1,854 Homes Sold in July;
More Than 11,000 Sold First 7 Months

Local Realtors sold 1,854 homes in July, and 11,371 the first seven months of the year.

July sales represented the second best month of the year, relative to last year sales. Sales were off only 12.26% from 12 months ago. That’s an improvement over June’s 20.25% sales drop.

Nationwide, July home sales seasonally adjusted were up 3.1% from June, but off 13.2% from a year ago.

With the new $7,500 housing tax credit in place for first-time buyers, that should stimulate sales during the remainder of the year.

Inventory of homes for sales locally stands at 16,689, which represents 9 months of inventory. That’s down from last July’s 17,880, which is improving news for sellers. A balanced market – equally good for buyers and sellers – is 5-6 months.

The average selling price in Greater Cincinnati last month – at $181,259 – dipped 3.84% from a year ago.

Mortgage rates remain favorable locally, as they have all year. A conventional, fixed rate loan in July averaged 6.60%. That compares to 6.56% the same period one year earlier. It’s now 6.68%

“While sales are off somewhat in the area, it’s a whole lot better than some parts of the nation,” said Karen Schlosser, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. “For the year, we’re off 16.9%. Sales in parts of Florida, Nevada and California are off over 30%.”

Schlosser said the current housing market is excellent for buyers, due to a good inventory of homes to choose from, favorable prices, and attractive mortgage rates.

Summary of Single Family and Condominium Sales
Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati
Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS®

July Monthly Home Sales


Gross Volume

Average Price

July 2008




July 2007








Year-to-Date Home Sales


Gross Volume

Average Price

Jan-July 2008




Jan-July 2007








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