Saturday, November 29, 2008

October stats continue to show buyers have upper hand

After a few months of inventory making headway towards a more balanced market, October showed a bit of backsliding on that trend. Along with troubles in the financial market, we were also hit with a windstorm that effectively sidelined activity for a week. Inventory for October increased to 10.4 months. That is, at current sales rates, it would take 10.4 months to clear out all inventory on the market.

The rate was an increase of .6 months from September 2008 and a .6 month year over year increase from October 2007. Since a balanced market is typically 5 - 6 months of inventory, buyers still clearly have the advantage and are being cautious .

See the Cincinnati MLS inventory volume rate chart

See Cincinnati inventory and sales rates for 2008 through October

For a summary of the national sales trends, see the National Association of Realtors press release.

The good news? As of the end of November, mortgage rates dropped to 5.5% (and even lower in some circumstances) due to the latest Treasury moves to purchase mortgage backed securities. If you have been considering a move, the combination of rates, inventory, and pricing creates significant opportunities. If your are still in an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, you should strongly consider refinancing into a fixed rate loan now.

And one other bright spot to report. Green building is the one area of the real estate market that appears resistant to the downturn. See the Wall Street Journal blog report for more.

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