Tuesday, May 26, 2009

April housing stats "less worse"?

The stock market rallied in April on news that things were "less worse" than imagined and economic declines were slowing. Those same sentiments were partly reflected in April housing statistics as inventory continued a narrowly downward trend and month to month prices decreased at a slower pace nationally.

Meanwhile, in the local Cincinnati area, showings seem to be up, but the rate of sales and average prices still dropped. Agents in our office indicate that while clients are busy this spring, prospective buyers are looking at more homes and waiting to find the "great" deal. Where the typical buyer may have looked at 8 - 10 houses a few years ago, some are reporting that buyers are looking at 30, 40, or 50 houses before making a decision. (The lesson usually learned - there is no "perfect" house, only where you can accept compromise.)

Some key highlights in the April numbers:
  • Looking back to 1990 through 2009 for the month of April, our unit sales levels, dollar volume of sales and average sale price are at the 1993 levels.
  • April 2009 unit sales were down about 16% from April 2008. Total dollar volume was down about 24% from April 2008. The average sale price was down 10%.
  • The active residential inventory continues to decline, down from 2008 and 2007 and below 2006, headed towards 2005 levels…this is good…very good. Inventory is being reduced not only by sales but also by properties being leased.
  • January-April YTD for 2009 show dollar volume of sales and units sold at 1992-94 levels; average sales price at the same level.
  • Properties subject to lender approval (i.e. lender-owned, HUD, short sale) continue to have a huge influence on sale prices as they make up about 40% of the sales in April.
For a complete view of monthly stats, see the charts below

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