April Market Report – Time To Get Something Going
Single family home sales in April 2014 were 662 in Ada County, an decrease of 8% compared to April 2013. YTD total sales are down 1% compared to this time last year; 2,097 homes sold compared to 2,115.In April 75% of our total sales were for homes priced above $160,000. This graphically portrays the smaller role that first –time buyers has on our market. In 2010 more than 52% of buyers were “first-time”. Today the number of first-time buyers is closer to 30%. Recent data shows that as many as 73% of millenials are delaying their first home purchase because of accumulated student debt. At the same time 87% of this group believes that home ownership is a good investment.Days on Market for April were 57. That’s down almost two weeks from March. In April 2013, Days on Market was 55.New homes sold in April totaled 103; down 34% from last year; and down slightly from March.Existing home sales were 559; down a mere 1% from April 2013.Historically, April sales launch into Spring from a strong March “platform”. April 2014 posted only a modest 12% increase over March. (Note: April 2013 sales were up 28% over March 2013; leading us into a huge spring and summer.)Of the total sales in April, 10% were distressed; down 2% from last month. In April 2013, 21% of sales were distressed.Pending sales at the end of April were 1189; down 18% from April 2013. Pending sales have trailed behind previous year’s pending sales for nine consecutive months. The good news for April is that pending sales are ahead of 2012; first time this year.Pending sales in distress are 8%.April median home price was $209,450; up 12% from April 2013. Our YTD median price is $203,500; up 10% over last year.New Homes median price for April was $299,998; up 14% from March 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 9% to $190,000.The number of houses available for sale at the end of April increased 13% from March 2014 to 2,530. This is an increase we really needed going into Spring selling season. This is 35% more than last year at this time.We anticipate continued inventory growth from now until the end of Summer. Our challenge is that the increase in inventory is largely driven by homes listed for more than $200,000.Of the total active listings, 7% are distressed, down 1% from March.In Ada County we now have 4.5 months of inventory on hand, down a little from the end of March.The price category in shortest supply is $100,000 to $119,000 where we have 1.1 months.From $120,000 to $160,000 we have 2.3 months available inventory.From $160,000 to $300,000 we have between four and five months…except for the very popular $250,000 – $300,000 which has only 4.1 month’s supply available.Above $300,000 we have a 5 month’s supply. Above $500,000 the supply is closer to 15 months.Of sales in April, the most popular price point was $120,000 to $160,000 (21%); and $160,000 to $200,000 (21%) followed by $200,000 to $250,000 with 15%.So…what’s next?Sales in April sputtered. Now we are into a Spring that was “blockbuster” in 2013. Chances are that we will continue to lag behind some months and be barely ahead in others. Pending sales showed a spark of life in April that may take hold in May. That’s what I’m counting on.Median price seems to be holding tight to the $200K level. This will go up “a little” as we head into summer.New studies reveal that student debt is a bigger retardant on new homebuyers. Three out of four college grads say they have to wait longer to retire more of that debt before they can afford to own their first home.Somehow we have to find a way to increase the number of homes available in the $120K to $160K price range. The number of homes for sale in this category is down 3% from January.There is demand and ability, we’ve just got to have the right product.Bottom line…its going to be a cooler summer than last year.