Market Update for March 2006

The word of the day is “patience.” Followed closely by “expectations.”

In the CharlAlbemarle area –

Active in February 2005: 279
Active in February 2006: 413
% increase: 32.45%
Contingent: 29.08%
Pending: -23.73%

Active in March 2005: 412
Active in March 2006: 472
% increase: 12.71%
Contingent: 12.83%
Pending – -123.20%

There seems to be a fairly safe correlation between the % increase in Active and Contingent properties. The number of Pending properties causes raises a question, if only because I am uncertain as to why the discrepancy exists. A likely cause is user data entry error – the greatest flaw in the system is our dependence on people (myself included).

— For the entire Market Area

Active in March 2005: 646
Active in March 2006: 770
% increase: 16.10%
Contingent: .31%
Pending: -98.17%

More properties on the market means that buyers are more selective of which property they intend to buy. There are more options … heretofore how much a Seller paid for their house and when has been mostly irrelevant with regards to fair market value. That remains the case, save for one thing – Seller’s motivation.  Not to beat a dead horse, but Sellers are going to have to alter their expectations and their efforts to sell in order to achieve top dollar.

Fair market value: What a ready, willing and able buyer is willing to spend on a property. All the numbers and statistics in the world will not change the fact that if a buyer feels a property is worth X$, then that property is worth X$ to that buyer.

Caveat: The increase in numbers can be partially attributed to the large number of condo conversions. Official MLS numbers should be released shortly.

Speaking in code:

The Pending Home Sales Index,* based on contracts signed in February, slipped 0.8 percent to a level of 117.7 from an upwardly revised index of 118.6 in January, and is 5.2 percent below February 2005. January experienced a strong upward revision from a preliminarily reported index of 116.3 and was higher than the December reading of 117.6; additional data from the Northeast showed that region to be stronger than earlier believed.

From NAR; thanks to Inman for the hat tip.

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For the previous month’s market update, go here.

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  2. Doc April 3, 2006 at 20:44

    PHSI (seasonally adjusted) [From Robert Cole]

    Aug 05 128.2
    Sept 126.3
    Oct 123.5
    Nov 120.7
    Dec 117.6
    Jan 06 118.6
    Feb 117.7

    A steady sloope of -19%.