January 2013 continued the upward trend we’ve been seeing for sales and contracts written. Contracts were up 23% over January 2012, and closed sales were up 16%.
Total inventory was down almost 20% compared to last year. Depending on how you look at the inventory, however, there is still anywhere from a 9 to 11 month supply available, and we need to see that number get down to 6 months before we can see real price appreciation. Currently, prices year over year are generally flat, if not declining in some areas
The good news is that sales are up significantly and, if that trend holds, it will keep the inventory down, allowing prices to either stabilize or move in a positive direction. The challenge in this market is that many homeowners who have been holding off from selling for the past few years are now realizing that it is finally a good, stable market in which to sell. When these sellers start getting their properties on the market over the next few months, we may see an abundance of inventory that could throw this recovery out of whack by offering too much choice to the buying public, thus stalling price appreciation for the foreseeable future.
March will be the first month where we will see this potential inventory increase. If you are looking to sell this spring it may be wise to get ahead of the inventory boom while buyers still have less to choose from.
To get more information on current and future market changes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-234-4444.